General Mattis famously said without hesitation to the question, “What keeps you awake at night?”
“Nothing. I keep other people up at night.”
General Mattis also goes by the call sign “chaos” and wanted his troops to go on the offense instead of defense when it comes to combat profiling and getting caught off guard by the enemy.
As he put it in, in a small excerpt from book Left of Bang, he wanted troops to have a “bias for action.”
1 – Know the meaning of “left of bang” vs “right of bang”:
“Left of bang,” means before the bad stuff happens. That’s where you want to be–alert, ready, prepared to respond to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
“Right of bang,” means after the bomb has gone off, after the shots have been fired, after the damage has been done.
-From the book, “Left of Bang”
Knowing the meaning of left of bang and right of bang is important if you want to examine you’re own life in terms of offense vs defense.
What this book and the training course is designed to do, is to, “instill a mindset of proactiveness in the individual — with tangible skills of observation, tracking, and profiling.”
The book goes on to explain that this type of thinking is not just for combat soldiers, but for wives who walk down a dark alley, or sharks in the corporate boardroom.
Left of Bang, is a book for everyone.
2 – Run an proactive vs reactive scenario of your own life
You can run a “left of bang” scenario on your own life.
Think of what would happen if you lost the one source of income you have now. For most, that’s a job.
I know from experience that losing one leaves a man or woman with no options–just panic and fear.
One of the reason I blog is because I know nothing is certain in life and in order to live life on the offense I always have to be thinking “left of bang” before the explosion goes off.
So I write and make money on the internet. It’s not much but I’m taking action instead of waiting around for explosion to go off.
If you need to get into shape, but have trouble then you going to be playing defense if any bad news comes. It will be a reaction and you may have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle which you might not be prepared to do.
Start off slow and follow the advice of your doctor.
If you are in a toxic relationship with someone, you are always going to be reacting to their crazyness. It’s a cycle I wouldn’t wish on anyone and can destroy your soul if you keep it up.
Going on the offense would be to just cut out the negative influences in your life. I’ve done it several times.
3 – Realize that being left of bang requires intense concentration
For combat profilers and soldiers this could mean life of death:
Although the books mostly talks about situational awareness, the concepts are applicable in everyday life.
Most of us don’t face death everyday like soldiers do, so we have to motivate ourselves in other ways. In that case, being left of bang, requires ambition, drive, and the will to succeed.
If you reach a snapping point in life, where you’re tired of where you are, then maybe it’s time to go on the offense and live left of bang. This blog post is an example of that.
Here’s how to get started living life on the offense instead of defense:
- Be proactive before you are reactive
- Know the meaning of left of bang vs right of bang
- Run a scenario on your own life and see if you are playing offense or defense
Think of most people who complain and are stuck. What is the one thing they all have in common? They play life on the defense. They react. They have no game plan if something bad happens. It’s all just flying blind, and waiting to see what happens.
Think of the opposite. People who take action. People who are always up to something. Always reading, writing, creating, and having other sources of income. Living life on the offense starts from there.