Monday, January 11, 2010

The Secret To Everything

Most people have the five ordinary senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. But what do you do with them?

Some people believe there is a sixth sense, an extraordinary sense, ESP. Extra Sensory Perception. Though, there is nothing extraordinary about perception. Perception is merely how the brain processes the senses. Even if you are not aware of receiving the sense, your brain still processes it through perception.

Perception is important because it largely determines how we think about things, events, people, etc. It decides how we interact with the people and things we encounter. Normally, this process is described as a four-step method: observe, orient, decide, and act. The OODA Loop.

Observe is a bit of a misnomer; the person who first described the OODA Loop, Colonel John Boyd, was a fighter pilot so sight was the most important sense to him. But Observe still serves as an apt starting point in that it describes the receipt of a sense. So the first step is the receipt of information about your environment through a sensory input.

Orient can be a bit difficult because it is often abstract, not actually involving a physical repositioning so much as a mental repositioning. It is also difficult because it requires you to correctly position yourself within your environment, either physically or mentally or both.

Decide is, I suppose, the easiest concept to understand. You observe your environment and orient yourself within that environment, now you must decide what to do. Logic is the only way to successfully navigate this step.

To act is the final step in the process, which is easier said than done. Assuming you can overcome any fear or obstacles in your way.

And, of course, none of this is happening in a static environment. Every step you take potentially alters the environment. And your opponent is going through the same environment, altering the environment further. So the process is multiple-layered and you may have several OODA Loops going at once. The key is the speed in which you are able to complete each OODA Loop. The faster you complete the Loop, the faster you can complete each successive Loop. When you are completing your Loops faster than your opponent, you are said to be inside your opponent's OODA Loop. And that is the best place to be, because you will win everytime. In everything.

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