You’ve all seen the videos if you’ve watched Planet Earth or any nature documentary – the crocodile, slowly and silently slithering towards the gazelle who just stopped for a drink of water. The gazelle puts its head down for a split second, then snap, the crocodile’s jaws are around its neck.
There are some situations in life that are completely unavoidable, sure. However, most of them are completely and totally avoidable, simply by being aware of your surroundings. Let’s talk about the dichotomy between Soft Targets and Hard Targets.
A Soft Target would be someone who isn’t paying attention to their surroundings, or someone who doesn’t exactly pay full attention. Let’s say that someone is in a car. A Soft Target would be unaware of the flow of traffic, how close rush hour is, where the nearest exits are that could get them to their destination faster, and so on and so forth. In a modern age, this is most closely symbolized by a person who will never get off their phone, not even when walking down a busy street.
The majority of the people in the world are Soft Targets, because it takes more than just not being on your phone, it takes a process of actively digesting and analyzing information as you go about your day.
Hard Targets are the literary foil to Soft Targets. They aren’t merely aware of their surroundings, but are actively taking in everything about them, from the weather to the times shops on the street close. This is all a mindset, it takes time to train yourself into being a truly hard target, but the first step is to simply be aware of your surroundings. Clock things, even things that don’t seem important. Timing is everything, and there are some things that could save your life if noticed beforehand.
Being aware of your surroundings is the starting point, but it’s not enough. You need to be able to actively analyze the world as it’s happening around you. The transformation from a Soft Target to a Hard Target isn’t accomplished with just this, but it’s a good first step.