Making Quick Decisions

Having a plan in place, even if it isn't perfect, is a lot better than making it up on the spot when lives are on the line.

posted on April 1, 2022
Sheriff Jim Wilson

The greatest defensive skill is awareness; the ability to spot trouble early enough that several options exist for dealing with it. The second greatest defensive skill is the ability to quickly decide on a valid plan for dealing with that trouble and putting that plan into action. What we should avoid at all costs is just standing there with our mouth open - “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this is happening! Now what do I do?”

The first step, of course, is to have a plan; actually, several plans from which we choose the plan most appropriate to the specific situation.

The problem: A group of punks are coming down the sidewalk and several of them are looking at me and it appears they have focused on me as a victim. Plan #1 – Step over to my car which is parked right there and quickly drive off. Plan #2...Cross the street and go on about my business. Plan #3...Step back into the restaurant where there are others who can assist me. And the whole time, we should be reminding ourselves that this is a Condition Orange situation - “I may have to fight within the next few minutes. Am I ready?”

The problem is that plans have to be made ahead of time, considering potential situations and determining the response, or responses, that would be most appropriate. Waiting until the attack starts before trying to determine a proper response is nearly always a recipe for failure. It’s sort of like finding someone who has never played football, never seen a football game, and telling him, “Okay here’s a football. You are now the quarterback. Just go in there and do what you think is best.”

We all know people who seem to be able to jump into an emergency situation and quickly resolve it. Many of these folks have learned that quick response by mimicking parents who had that skill. Others have learned it by growing up playing various sports that require quick decisions. Others play various games, electronic and otherwise, that require the person to think quickly and correctly. In short, quick, successful decision making is a skill that we can all find ways to improve on.

A person can also find helpful decision-making aides by simply typing “Making Quick Decisions” into an internet search engine. There are a number of good articles on the subject that will help in personal defense. The same with “How To Deal With Emergencies.”

The point is that all of us can learn to improve our ability to think and make correct decisions in emergency situations, and do it quickly. We simply have to do research, think, and train ourselves. Waiting until there is a gun in our face is entirely too late.


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