As I wrote about recently, I‘m slowly working my way through The Sniper Mind by David Amerland . At first, it was because I had some other books to finish; then it was because I wanted to write about what I was reading, but couldn‘t figure out what to write first. I finally realized yesterday though, as to why I struggled to really get into this book. It was because of some preconceived notions I had about it. Unconscious ones, to be sure, which is why it took me so long to figure it out. Ironically, it was forcing myself to listen, by sheer force of will and because I‘d made a promise, further into the Audible audiobook version that helped me figure it out. The ways in which our brains work is so odd, really, I thought this would be a good topic about which to write next, and it‘s why I‘m sharing David‘s entire G+ Collection on the book, because if you read through many of the posts, my next thoughts will make a lot more sense.
Assumptions. They don‘t make an ass of you and me. They only make an ass of me.
[Side note] I‘ve always thought that a kind of silly idea, „Yeah, you know what assume really means, har har har, it means by assuming you make an ass of u and me!“. No, it doesn‘t. If I mistakenly assume something, why does that reflect badly on you? But I digress…..[/Side note]
The unconscious assumptions I held, which held me back from reading the book, and which reading the book has helped me dispel, had to do with the military-oriented title of the book. Probably there were some subconscious negative associations with past sniper attacks in the USA, particularly the one in Washington, DC. From seeing many of David‘s posts about the book and the intro, I knew that it wasn‘t just about the military. I also knew that Gina Fiedel had written a number of in-depth posts about the book, and that she really enjoyed it, and her field is web design & development, nothing military-related. But this is the part about how oddly our brains work, and often in ways we aren‘t even aware of: despite all that, my subconscious belief was that it was primarily about the military and snipers, and I didn‘t really want to read about that. So somehow, I always managed to find a way to not read it. Something always came up. Another book. Work. Family. Watching martial arts videos on YouTube for the 267th time in case I missed something the first 266 times. Arguing on Facebook or Twitter about politics.
Something about Persistence and Purpose? Yeah, I think David mentions those somewhere in the book. 😉🤔
The whole time though (I bought the book on Kindle pre-order, so I‘ve had it a long time), I felt a guilty twinge every time I saw David post about it on G+. Since he posts about it a lot, I felt guilty a lot. (Former Roman Catholic here, so I know a lot about guilt.) Eventually, I knew that I had to read it, because I didn‘t want to carry that around forever. Who knew that guilt, persistence, and passion could be so intertwined? LOL. Sometimes, I think they‘re all just variations on a theme.
It‘s about so much more.
As I‘d promised David a few months ago, I WOULD read the book, or rather, listen to the audiobook, during my commute to and from work. As I‘ve done so, it‘s still been rather slow, because I keep thinking of stuff to write about in response. And I don‘t have enough time to write about all of it, and there‘s a LOT!!!
True, the focus of the book is indeed the set of skills (mental, physical, emotional) that snipers must develop and inculcate, and how those skills can be applied to business start-ups and development. However, it is the depth to which David investigates those skills that is so fascinating. As he does so, he pulls information and research from so many fields, it really surprised me. Neurolobiology, psychology, vision, perception, critical thinking, how our brains extrapolate data to previously unencountered situations, military and business history, and so much more.
And THAT is the kind of book I love reading! If only I can figure out how to set aside the time to write about as many of the ideas that come to mind from reading it…..which may still be the biggest barrier to doing so. LOL