We do almost everything in boxes, in tight little scripts. This type of problem is solved this way. That type of problem is solved differently. We are habitual thinkers. Most of the time, if we do break out of one box, it is just to step into a different one. My suspicion is that the world is very big, full of possibility and many people, maybe all, almost surely most are very uncomfortable with an unbounded world. When they find that chaos and freedom, the first instinct is to create or impose rules.
Which implies that in any given interaction, all the involved people are bringing their own rules to the situation. Generally, in any given society, the rules are agreed upon. Bluffing in cards is fine, implying your hand is different than it is is simply good strategy…but sending signals to your partners is cheating. The rues are all agreed upon, almost all subconscious…and all artificial.
If you see the situation clearly enough, you can almost always cheat from the other person’s point of view. You can almost always break rules that are only rules that exist in the other person’s head. And that is a huge advantage.
I want to do a film on “Self-defense Advice in Real Life.” One of the segments would be a mom answering a call from the school. Little Johnny had heard self-defense instructor daddy say one too many times, “There are no rules in a street fight” and “Every fight is potentially a fight for your life” so when another second grader pushed him and called him a name, Johnny used daddy’s logic and stabbed the kid.
Erik Kondo wants me to do a short article on things that sound logical but are not. I won’t do the article because he outlined it so well that it would feel like plagiarism. Erik can write it. But one of his examples:
“With the rise of MMA, police have been concerned about what to do if faced with a trained cage fighter. The solution has often been to get one of the best MMA guys in the world to teach cops some MMA so that they can hold their own.”
On the surface, if you don’t think about it too much, that sounds logical. Until you do the math. An officer is lucky to get eight hours a year in DT training. No matter how good the coach, eight hours a year will not trump someone who does eight hours a week in the same skill set. The ability of the trainer matters, but not to the tune of a 400hr/year difference in training time.
The trick is to do eight hours a year in a skillset that the other person is not prepared for. Cheating, or what appears to be cheating from the other person’s subconscious ruleset.
And that is it’s own specialty. The ability to see the rules (subconscious and conscious, from physics to laws to habits) and voluntarily choose which to obey. Strategically choose the ones that are advantageous to break. Stay within laws and policy, because that is the job, but step outside of expectations. Because that works, very well.