Soldiers, complexity, daily life and world challenges…

Posted on March 22, 2011


A short reflection on daily life of the combat soldier and you, anxiety, insecurity, our perception of reality and what it does for us…

Combat soldier have it more easy…
I just watched Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow and I wandered about the mindset that comes with being a combat soldier. Deployed to war where the daily focus is narrowed down to basic stuff that is all about life and death. It is that simple; and it makes perfectly sense! As a human being the combat soldier is disconnected from the normal sort of complex life; a life where you constantly need to make dozens of decisions. A life where you constantly need to shift focus. A life where you sort of feel the need to ‘take on’ the massive loads of data that pours over you ‘24-7-365’ because they might be important for you and your decision making processes…?

It certainly can be and probably is a complex context the combat soldier needs to navigate in and the life and death context surely adds pressure to the experienced complexity. This is also why combat soldiers need and uses standard procedures. Standard operational procedures (SOP) remove some of the complexity of the situation and supports a better focus.

I experience that the reality of the combat soldier is much less complex than if he had stayed at home and dealt with ‘standard daily life’. On the other hand the situation in hostile territory means that the soldier needs to focus on the behavior and decision making that keeps him alive: complex is bad and simple is good. Dealing with life and death brings along the ultimate sense making. Why you are here and what you need to do is clear as crystal.

Production of anxiety and insecurity

This brings me to my main point; daily life bombards every one of us with massive loads of data that we feel an urge to address because the data may be useful in some way! This leads to frequently shift of attention and thereby a lack of focus. The continuing movement of attention and the thought that you might slip some very important data lower your stamina, stress and tolerance bar. This supports the production of anxiety and insecurity in our minds.

The almost permanent feeling of anxiety and insecurity supports a general insecurity about the world; though there may have been lots of situations with random violence, terrorism, earthquakes, tsunamis, local and regional wars, floods and drought happening around the world for centuries – we look at our present situation as if the entire earth had never been more unsafe.

Only 20 years ago during the Cold War you can say that the experience of reality was based on more firm and absolute positions. Today very few, if any positions, can be said to be absolute. All is change; leaving no place to rest your mind.

We are all subjects to the functionalities of a hyper complex reality

This state of mind leaves us to deal with world problems in an extreme emotional mindset that turns the scale of actual importance up side down. What seems at first the most important problems to deal with may not be it; but you may not even register this dilemma because you are not present with your mind. Unable to focus you shift constantly from subject to subject. Unable to focus and make an effort to grab the overall view of the situation you move on leaving only the emotional picture of the situation in your mind.

None of us can grasp reality alone. We are all subjects to the complex functionalities of the hypercomplex reality described above; but we still need to make better decisions and take on the many challenges of today and in the future. The big question is how do we do it?

We do it together. (what if “together” is the only absolute position left and can collaborative work be labeled a “mega trend”?)

The social technology Collaborative Man® provides a possible solutions on how to navigate in a complex world – together.

Collaborative Man® also comprises the new and successful praxis oriented learning model: Listen – Think – Talk: A modern learning model that supports a fast and updated mental approach to all learning processes without long courses and degrees.

Read on!