Image: YMAA Publication Center

As a husband and father, I take my responsibility of being a protector seriously. To be prepared for any situation, I read “Spotting Danger Before it Spots You” by Gary Dean Quesenberry, an airline marshal with over 33 years of law enforcement experience.

Quesenberry’s book is a concise and insightful guide on how to improve situational awareness and personal safety. Here are the four main takeaways from the book:

  1. Don’t Allow Yourself to be Distracted: In today’s digital age, it’s easy to get caught up in our devices, and we often forget to stay alert. The author reminds us to stay off our phones when out in public, and not to have earbuds or headphones distract us while walking down a sidewalk. It’s essential to pay attention to our surroundings and be aware of any potential threats.
  2. Have Situational Awareness: The book emphasizes the importance of being aware of your environment and potential threats. Always look for exits, watch out for unusual behavior or people dressed unusually. By being aware of your surroundings, you can avoid dangerous situations before they even arise.

  3. Avoid Looking Like an Easy Target: The book mentions a study that involved prison inmates watching videos of people walking, and they ranked 1 to 10 how easy they are to attack. A 1 being the most ideal person to attack, and a 10 being a person they would want to avoid at all costs. The study concluded that race, gender, and age had nothing to do with the results. The lower-ranked people (1 to 3) showed body language that they are an easy target, while the highest-ranked people (8 to 10) displayed confident body language and awareness. So, it’s crucial to avoid looking like an easy target by projecting confidence and being aware of your body language.
  4. Practice and Review: The author stresses the importance of practicing and reviewing scenarios. By asking yourself, “what would you do in this situation?” you can learn to think more quickly and come up with a plan on the fly. It’s also essential to review situations you’ve encountered to identify any areas for improvement.

“Spotting Danger Before it Spots You” is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their situational awareness and personal safety. It’s a short book that gets straight to the point and provides valuable insights that can help keep you and your loved ones safe. I highly recommend it.

If you’re looking for accountability coaching to improve your personal progress, check out my 12-week accountability coaching program.

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