How To Improve Your Situational Awareness From One Minute Of Effort Per Day

My job here at Return Of Kings entails teaching you how to improve yourself in physical terms—teaching proper nutrition, exercise techniques, and training regimens. However, the muscles and adipose cells are just two parts of the entity that is you that are capable of training and being made better than they were naturally made.

Many people in this side of the internet advocate things such as meditation as a method of training mind, body and spirit. While I am not as of yet versed in this subject (I’m planning on learning how to meditate at some undisclosed point in my life), I am familiar with a specific kind of mental training—more specifically, a method of training the eyes to “grab” more information than the average man, to train the mind to retain that information, and to train the entire body to have more situational awareness.

This idea has been posited by many people before-such as Bruce Lee in his Tao of Jeet Kune Do advocating “practice in concentrated seeing”—but the method that is most commonly used, including by spies and special forces soldiers to this day, is the time-tested “Kim’s Game”

kim cover

Typing in “Kim Cover” on Google gets you a lot of Kim Kardashian’s giant Photoshopped ass, and surprisingly little of this classic of English literature

A Literature Lesson

The game has existed for centuries, but the name of it that I am using is taken from the famous Rudyard Kipling novel Kim, in which the game is referred to as the “Jewel Game.” Set in the time of the “Great Game” (that game being imperialism around the Subcontinent and Central Asia) between Great Britain and Tsarist Russia, young Kimball O’Hara is drafted into being a spy for the British Empire by a Sahib who puts up a front of being a jeweler.

Early on in his spy training, Kim and the Sahib’s Indian servant are called into play what the spymaster refers to as the “Jewel Game”: the sahib takes 15-20 jewels and lays them out on a towel, has the two young men look at the jewels for exactly one minute, and then covers them up. He then challenges them to name how many stones there were, their locations, and give any further description they could be capable of giving.

The Indian servant is capable of naming all of the stones under the towel, and name the locations of all of the stones, while the eponymous character struggles and is incapable of accurately naming the locations or colors of any of the gems in questions. Protesting that the servant would be more familiar with the objects than him, Kim demands that the game be replayed, using a randomly chosen assortment of objects rather than gems. To nobody’s surprise—certainly not the reader’s—he loses this one as well.

Having been humbled, the young bravo decides to undergo tutelage in the arts of espionage with the Sahib, vigorously practicing over the course of two weeks to develop his powers of observation and situational awareness.

kim game

How To Play

The game is best played with two people, if only for the competitive atmosphere forcing the two opponents to work harder at developing their skills, but you can sufficiently play the game by yourself.

The easiest way to do it is exactly like Kipling stated: Take a small handful of objects (I would start with 10 or so), and place them on a towel or some other flat surface. Intently stare at the assortment of objects for a minute, and then cover it up. Try to remember and recite what objects were in what locations, and then uncover them and check whether you were correct or not.

Personally, I would recommend keeping a pen and paper offhand, for you to record your progress. Write down the “contents” of the game before you begin playing, and then write down the guesses of objects that you made. Once you have completely mastered the array of objects, and are capable of naming all of the objects and their locations, you can be said to have “won” the game.

From here, you can make the game more challenging by increasing the amount of objects in the array, and decreasing the amount of time that you spend studying the assortment of objects.

Alternatively, there are many static images of the Kim’s Game that you can find on the internet, such as the one below courtesy of the Art of Manliness:

24-Items-1

These are just as good as the regular game, and more convenient for those with a limited amount of space. For a real challenge, dig up a “Where’s Waldo” picture from your childhood and try to use that in the Kim’s game.

And most importantly, remember that, much like training your body, training the eyes and mind is a process that varies in length for everybody—some people will be naturals at it, while the vast majority of us (myself included) will have to struggle to make gains in the field. But they can be accomplished. I myself can vouch for training myself in “concentrated seeing” and improving my sense of situational awareness (to be fair, I was a pretty dumb child and teenager, so it’s not hard to improve that).

As Lurgan Sahib said, improvement can only come “by doing it many times over until it is done perfect—for it is worth doing”

Read More: How To Increase Your Sexual Prospects Before Even Using Game

53 thoughts on “How To Improve Your Situational Awareness From One Minute Of Effort Per Day”

  1. This looks good for memorization skills but how does it translate to situational awareness? I see situational awareness as being aware to your surroundings, noting any suspicious people or spots where an assailant could be lying in wait. Perhaps improving focus I suppose.
    I prefer doing little exercises that translate directly with situational awareness. Whenever someone walks into a room, I do a quick scan to see if they could be hiding any weapons, if they’re acting odd, wearing clothing that doesn’t fit the situation, etc.
    Another one I do when I’m out walking is count cars in the parking lot. How many cars have their windows cracked open? How many have someone sitting inside them? How many are running?

    1. I assume it’s just in training focus on the ability to grab more information from a glance.
      Having never been a spy or Navy SEAL, I can’t vouch for how much awareness training they do, but I do know this is part of it, and I do know that Kim’s game has helped me.

    2. A more applicable skill is to walk through a city and stop at every corner and glance round the corner for 1 second, then turn away and try to recall everything you saw.
      Same every time you walk into a restaurant or shop or such – learn how to size the place up at a glance.

  2. I ended up finding a special edition of “Kim” at a hipster thrift shop a while back. I out to get around to finishing it, if it doesn’t disintegrate first.

  3. Just stopping by to say I’ve been celebrating Brexit since Friday, and I’ve still not stopped!!

    1. Do you think there’s gonna be a second referendum? I’ve got an eerie feeling that it was in the works all along!

    2. Same here. I’ve listened to “Rule Britannia” so many times that I’ve started to sing it in my sleep.

      1. I like the line Britains will not be Slaves. Irony is George III’s father was the patron who got it written and adopted.

    3. It sucks that we can not have the same kind of vote in Germany. Apparently – if the newspaper is not full of shit – our basic law prohibits it. What kind of moronity is that?

  4. “a training technique by one of Britain’s finest writers”
    Dammit. Was expecting some tactical training from the Harry Potter lady.

      1. There’s your problem – it’s Avocado-Candelabra.
        Just practice and remember that all good spells are powered by Kratom, the greatest magic of all.

    1. Would that be the same Harry Potter lady that called all Brexit supporters fascists?

      1. The same! Was hoping for some useful tips on avoiding all the racists and fascists out there. They’re literally everywhere!

        1. She’s going completely off the rails, calling Leavers Voldermort, Little-Trumps, Hannibal Lecter, etc.

        2. She’s going completely off the rails, calling Leavers Voldermort, Little-Trumps, Hannibal Lecter, etc.

    2. I just remembered something: in the last Harry Potter book, Ron gets a book on relationships that teaches him to drive Hermione wild. Rowling never describes more than maybe one or two points of the book, so I’m guessing she doesn’t know what’s in it.
      I choose to believe it’s the wizard equivalent of “Bang” or “The Art of Seduction.”

        1. To be fair, I read a little bit of the first Harry Potter book with an ex a long time ago and actually thought it was pretty good. At least she can write, unlike the guy who does the Game of Thrones books. I eventually got turned off though because I’m a huge Tolkien fan and I kept meeting Harry Potter fans who don’t like Tolkien because he “uses a lot of big words that are hard to understand.”

        2. I remember the little bit I read with my ex years ago not being unreadable. The first Song of Fire and Ice book was just that, and I really wanted to like it.

        3. Sums me up as well mate. 2 years to write a book, when she’s already a millionaire…. pull your finger out bitch! Especially when she was halfway through the last book before writing the next in the series….. why? Who does that?

        4. I’ve always felt that reading Harry Potter is the literary equivalent of being on holiday. Fun as far as it goes but you couldn’t live your life like that.
          Tolkien, on the other hand, is pure self-improvement. There is a reason it’s stood the test of time along with many other classics.

    3. Next week I’ll do an article on how to learn languages with the Flashman method: The trick is to sleep with women from that country, and you’ll pick it up as you go along.

      1. It’s sometimes called the “pillow dictionary.” I used it myself to learn Spanish and Russian and can attest to its effectiveness. Although to be serious, you’re still going to want to put in a lot of study time on your own, especially with a tough language like Russian.

    1. My fear with “concentration” is that it might possibly be more limited. I find it easier to remember sets of numbers and simple patterns than varied objects of different sizes and properties.

  5. We actually practice this in Sniper school. Try using it in conjunction with working out for improving memory while under physical duress.

    1. Glad you mentioned that. Spending a large amount of time watching and looking for an “unknown” abnormality in routine and behavior is something that you cannot learn in a classroom.

      1. The sense of smell kicks in. Funny people smell funny. Also I’ve found that when I look at normal people peripherally, like quietly observing an animal in a cage unobtrusively and not disturbing it, I can pick up slight nuances on their mindset. Then when someone passes by with some sneeky shit on their mind, you notice it in their body language too and again without directly staring at them. Once you read the figures (people) in an area, then you know the right opener to quietly spit at the hottie.

        1. Don’t know. In a former life I used to look people in the eye because I was looking for intent and watch body language. You need to remain calm as you try to wind the situation down.

    2. Or try playing whilst drinking beer at a beer garden.
      Sit there getting wasted and staring at the hot chicks you want to fuck. Then close your eyes and try to remember where they were sitting, what they looked like, and what they were wearing.
      You can increase the game difficulty by adding more beer.

  6. >>” a method of training the eyes to “grab” more information than the average man, to train the mind to retain that information, and to train the entire body to have more situational awareness”>>
    You’re a genius Helleck. This sounds similar to common ‘speed reading’ coursework where you relax and train your eyes to scan. Mentally you don’t sound out each word but instead do ‘subvocalizing’ while ‘chunking’ entire pages visually to your brain. Your brain then quickly registers the content.
    In pickup or approaching similarly you scan a room, club or event for your target(s). You don’t put up walls by wasting time imagining and playing scenarios of violins and dopey walks holding hands in a rose garden. No that would give you the ‘tunnel vision’ described in the previous article. You move in and spit game.
    Also on a sidenote, factory wage slaves have blinders put on them. These Foxconn workers are very focused with tunnel vision.
    http://www.connectedinternet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/alg_china-factory-400×268.jpg?fc0281
    They take naps in shifts and live eight to a room. They also shower in groups of six or seven. This isn’t abuse or adverse working conditions anymore than fifty soldiers packed into a jerry boat landing in Normandy would be considered in violation of labor laws. They were at war like the Chinese are waging economic war. Those Foxconn workers aren’t entitled workers, they’re expendable troops in battle like the troops on jerry boats. Try raising issue with the unions about the working conditions on the jerry boats in WWII, about the lack of paid vacations or pensions. Those don’t exist on a battlefield. The Chinese workers are integral parts operating in a 24-7 economic battlefield that seems to be engaged in a continuous Blitzkrieg now and I wonder if any of those Foxconn workers ever find time to browse ROK??

    1. They’d be better off as a western colony than under the communist party. Think about how many of them have ‘deserted’ and come to the west.

  7. When I relax in some street café, sitting at an outside table, drinking Glenmorangie Nectar D`Or and smoking a fat Bauza Fabuloso, I truly enjoy playing the game “Spot The Sinner”, while watching the passers-by…;))
    Namely, EVERY deadly sin (as in famous seven…and several non-canonical ones) leaves subtle…(and some less subtle…)) traces in faces and physiques of people….and while Pride and Gluttony are easy ones…the rest can be much more trickier to see. ;)))
    A more elaborate version of the same is spotting soul-rot in groups of people, and evaluating their (sinful) relation to each other…;))
    Fun to do…and incredibly useful in professional life; I still remember the time when it landed me a seven-figures gain, just for my simple observation-derived knowledge of my business-partner`s unwillingness to WALK (Sloth)… and his borderline-obese-dominatrix fetish (Lust, …and Greed…he was too cheap to pay for it…ever)
    .. ;))))

  8. I do a similiar excercise with colored numbers on cards.
    1. Number, location and it color.
    2. Number, location, color and direction it is facing ( up, down, left, right. ). Etc.
    Is English is no longer one of the 24 offical languages of the European Union? Currently it is the most dominate of the of the EU’s 3 working languages the other 2 being German and French.
    I’m Curious to see what happens…

    1. I think they will probably keep English, because the French won’t accept any other nation’s language and the other nations won’t accept French. So they are stuck with English.

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