In late 2013 I was facing a dilemma. My book on Google Semantic Search was flying high, I was deep in research on another book on Trust and I was coming across some pretty interesting studies on how the brain works and how the mind, the brain’s layers of abstract awareness, is fashioned. Search, in its abstract form, is nothing more than the application of the mind’s system of classification of data across the world applied via a technological interface.

Similarly, trust is the ability to analyze and understand the relational values of points of data (that is to say, people, places, events and things) so that a reasonable, viable prediction can be made about the future. My area of expertise usually has me looking at search and marketing and branding, I talk to executives about data mining and the web. But really all of this is driven by human behavior.

Nothing happens if we cannot model it in our minds. And our minds are so complex, so chaotic at times, that it is difficult to ever hope to understand how a person thinks, never mind how we think as a species. Yet as our neuroscientific tools get better and we begin to look deep inside the thinking mind we can see that what makes us special every time we perform at an exceptional level is not just what our brain contains but how our mind connects. More specifically it is the way the different parts of the mind talk to each other that creates the template for performing a particular thing: playing the violin, shooting a rifle, making a critical decision in an extremely small frame of time and so on.

It is data then and the way it is processed, its semantic evaluation by the brain and the constant re-assignment of values, that actually gives rise to some of the most incredible feats of human performance you can imagine. It was that then that resolved the dilemma I was facing, drawing me deep into a universe where the mind paradoxically appears to be capable of imposing its will upon the world, allowing individuals to deliver positive outcomes despite the odds being stacked against them.

While I focused primarily on snipers I also examined data from elite baseball players, talked about elite athletes and examined unique human performances delivered in areas as diverse as flying airplanes and climbing rocks without safety equipment.

The Sniper Mind is a road map into how to better optimize your mind. It pulls together the latest neuroscientific research and data gleaned from hundreds of original interviews to provide a practical guide into how to think more effectively even when under the greatest pressure. As human beings we have only one superpower: our brains. But without training them we are unable to tap into the analytical thinking necessary that allows us to triumph.

This book then is a guide on how to win and keep on winning.

Thank you for listening.

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