Have you ever heard of the prophecy which says that one day, a chosen one will arise who will take the perfect selfie and thus absolve the rest of us from having to continue trying to take the perfect selfie? That chosen one is here - his name is ...
At this point, I hope you realize I'm just messing around - no such prophecy exists. How do I know? Because I made it up. However, there is an element worth exploring in my silly little example - the notion of having a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Have you ever said to someone something like, "Ok fine, I'll go to that place with you. But I know I won't have any fun." And then you proceeded to have zero fun. I have. It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. You said you'd be miserable and you were. When it comes to personal protection and saving lives, you must have a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. Your prophecy must always have you vanquishing your enemies, overcoming the obstacles, and claiming victory by ensuring survival.
Don’t want to take my word for it? No worries - I got this from Lt. Col. David Grossman – former Army Ranger, Psychology Professor at West Point and author of On Killing and On Combat, required reading on the Marine Commandant’s list. He said that one must have a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t shoot the messenger…
I can hear you already, "come on Alex, this can't be THAT necessary to surviving a violent encounter." I'm glad you are skeptical. Let me share a true story to illustrate the power of a self-fulfilling prophecy - please note that identities have been withheld to protect the people involved but recognize that the events of this story are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge:
There once was a man who was married and had 3 wonderful children. He lived in a great part of suburbia in the Northeast Ohio with his lovely wife and family and seemed to have it all - he was living the American dream. However, he had a demon in his past - alcohol. He had been on the wagon for years (his wife and children had helped to sober him up). He was proud of his achievement but would always tell people, "Yeah, but if I ever fall of the wagon, I don't think I'll make it."
He said this with a decent amount of frequency. Maybe it was an attempt at humility? "No really, I had nothing to do with beating alcohol, you can thank God and my family for that." Perhaps that is what he was getting at when he would say to people, "If I ever fall of the wagon, I don't think I'll make it." You'll never know what he meant by it, because he is dead.
The man unfortunately relapsed one day and proceeded to fight a terrible battle. He was distraught and overcome with the feeling of "How could I return to this?" In a truly terrible and tragic way, his self-fulfilling prophecy came true - he relapsed and he couldn't handle it. In validation of his own self-fulfilling prophecy, he killed himself and left his wife a widow and his young children without a father.
I want to make something perfectly clear - I do not say any of this to cast judgement on this man. I am simply pointing out what happened (defining reality) so that you and I may benefit from this story and terrible event.
The man chose to live up to his self-fulfilling prophecy. Why? He seemingly had much to live for. In a strange way, human beings would often rather remain consistent even at great personal pain and cost than to "change" their opinion even when we stand to gain much benefit and pleasure from the change.
I confess to not being entirely sure why some humans choose to do this - but I have done it myself. Can you relate? "I'd rather stay true to what I said and be wrong, than change my position and be right." Not only that, but there is a power in the programming this man was telling himself.
I firmly believe that our environment is programming us constantly - for good, ill or neutral purposes. The fact is that this man said to himself on many occasions, "If I ever relapse, I don't think I'll make it." That is how he programmed himself - he programmed himself as the victim, the loser, the defeated one. I implore you not to do this to yourself. If you currently are, recognize it now, and replace it with a new self-fulfilling prophecy, "I will be victorious. I will go home to my family. I will survive no matter what."
I have interviewed over 100 of the most elite professional protectors from all over the country (and even some internationally) who said that if you are going to survive a deadly encounter, you must believe you will. They also said you must prepare for violence ahead of time. Prepare your mind and body by creating your self-fulfilling prophecy NOW! Vividly picture your victory, the vanquishing of the enemy, and you standing victorious after your conflict.
If you feel you lack the physical skills to do this, come to me – I am your solution. Get training – bona fide, battle-tested, warrior born martial training. I can help you.
HINT: It will be far easier to create a positive self-fulfilling prophecy when you KNOW you have skills and proper training in personal protection - I can help you with that, or recommend you to many others who can. But I cannot take the action for you; you must act to save yourself.
"You will survive! You do not have my permission to die! Fight to Victory!" - Lanshe Sensei
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.