Attitude is the most important ingredient for your survival and security. Survivors share a realistic belief about their capabilities and likely outcomes. Survivors have an “Armored Attitude.” Don’t confuse this with unbridled optimism from pom-pom waving cheerleaders. An Armored Attitude is a rare approach to adversity, but it’s extremely effective.

Awareness is another powerful ingredient. Awareness is the preparation and the dynamic evaluations people make as they move through space – often called situational awareness. Awareness isn’t sufficient to find a solution in high risk situations or events. Awareness is a starting point. High awareness gives you an edge and allows you to consider alternatives as risk increases, meanwhile attitude is the motivation layer that guides you to safety.

Survivors thrive because they understand that 9-1-1 is never immediate – it’s only a back-up. Survivors with an Armored Attitude understand that Police and Fire Fighters are Second Responders. You must be your own First Responder. Remember the Cheerleaders – they’re the one’s who let their guard down when the Cavalry shows up. Survivors don’t stop fighting while there are still choices to make.

In Tim Larkin’s, How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of your Life, he offers a thought experiment that asks how you would feel if a muscle-bound 300 pound man was paid to harm you? Tim doesn’t ask if you could defeat this opponent, only if you could “touch” him. It’s easy to imagine that you could put your hands on this guy, but harder for most people to envision walking away from the encounter. Tim teaches you how. It’s that attitude that gives you an edge. His program, TargetFocusTraining, teaches exceptional skills to average people and can help you develop an Armored Attitude.

Another great resource to help you develop an armored attitude comes from Tim Schmidt, the founder of U.S. Concealed Carry. Tim is an expert who knows how important attitude is. He has been a strong advocate for Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Dave Grossman’s “Bulletproof Mind.” Dave’s program educates people about personal defense techniques and ideas. Between the two of them, you’ll get a terrific education in the power of attitude.

Case studies demonstrate how planning can build an environment to create winners with an Armored Attitude. Southlake, Texas, a city with 35,000 residents has an incredible record in High School football. Southlake Carroll High School has won the Texas state 5A football title five times in the past ten years and three former Dragon’s suited up for the 2011 Superbowl. In the late ’90’s the Dragons outgrew their existing facility, but rather than divide their students between two High Schools, Carroll ISD kept 9th and 10th Graders together in the original building, while 11th and 12th grade students moved to a new “Senior” High School. From kindergarten to graduation students in the Carroll School District are Dragons – a unified mascot across Southlake established an enormous fan base. Dragon’s symbolize the entire city, not just their football team, and residents have high standards and higher expectations.

Another example may answer the question – Why are Marines so tough?  Organizational marketing drives their confidence and attitudes. Marines benefit from the same ingredients that make Southlake Carroll so tough. Individually Marines are evenly matched against US Army Infantry soldiers, but Marines have a different belief system. Every Marine is a Rifleman first, and that expectation is drilled into them from their first day. Marines are indoctrinated to feel like they’re part of an exclusive, neglected, and scrappy organization that can’t depend on anyone else for survival, and their mission profiles and history provide ample evidence to support those attitudes. Meanwhile, the Army lowers expectations and motivation by dividing its forces into three broad groups: Combat Arms (Infantry, Armor, Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers), Combat Support (Chemical, Military Police, Military Intelligence, Signal), and finally, Service Support (Medical Service, Quartermaster, Logistics, etc.). Expectations are stratified by design. Many Support soldiers believe they will not be needed to perform combat operations – “we won’t need to use our weapons” is a common attitude in the support ranks and contributes to lower motivation and performance in combat skills. Unarmed civilian contractors hired to perform many duties carried out by support units contribute to that belief system by serving as an existence proof that those thoughts are accurate. Army Warfighters are professional high achievers, but on balance, it probably takes fewer Marines to put more rounds on a target.

Violent weather, mechanical failures, bad luck, criminal mischief, and civil unrest swallow targets everyday on any part of the globe. No matter where a threat comes from or what form it may take, an Armored Attitude combined with good situational awareness will give you an edge that may be the difference between an interview with you than an interview about you.

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