Hunt The Dumb Stuff


January 8, 2015 by JImbo

Another lame drill weekend is fast approaching.

THIS is what we do in the Army now for “training.”

Thank you clueless politicians for meddling in our affairs and imposing pointless touchy-feely support groups on us, preventing us from having the time to train to KILL PEOPLE AND BREAK STUFF.

That’s kinda what the Army does.

Sometimes we build stuff.

Sometimes we fix things.

Generally we’re there to make the bad guys not able to hurt Americans anymore.

And we used to be pretty good at it.

Then this lame crap happened.



Click to access Skills_Sheet.pdf

Here’s the curriculum.

(feel free to scroll through the crap. You get the idea.)

Resilience & Performance Skills

Hunt the Good Stuff to counter the negativity bias, to

create positive emotion, and to notice and analyze

what is good. Record three good things each day and

write a reflection next to each positive event about

why the good thing happened, what this means to

you, what you can do to enable more of the good

thing, and ways you can contribute to this good thing.

Hunt The Good Stuff

Identify your Thoughts about an Activating Event and

the Consequences of those thoughts. Thoughts, not

the Activating Event, drive Consequences

(Emotions and Reactions).

Activating Event,

Thoughts, Consequences

Identify and correct overly rigid patterns in thinking

through the use of Mental Cues and Critical

Questions. Mental Cues and Critical Questions help

to identify the information you missed because of a

Thinking Trap.

Avoid Thinking Traps

Identify and evaluate core values and core beliefs

that fuel out-of-proportion emotions and reactions.

Use “What” questions to help identify the Iceberg.

Detect Icebergs

Identify your thoughts about why the problem

happened, identify other factors with Critical

Questions, test them for accuracy, and then identify

solution strategies.

Problem Solving

Stop catastrophic thinking, reduce anxiety, and

improve problem solving by Capturing the Worst,

Generating the Best, and Identifying the Most Likely

outcomes of a situation and Developing a plan for

dealing with the Most Likely Outcomes.

Put It In Perspective

Change the focus away from counterproductive

thinking to enable greater concentration and focus

on the task at hand. Mental Games are games that

require your full attention, are hard and fun, and can

be done within a few minutes.

Mental Games

Shut down counterproductive thinking to enable

greater concentration and focus on the task at hand.

Fight back against counterproductive thoughts by

using evidence, optimism, or perspective.

Real-time Resilience

Identify your top Character Strengths and those

of others and identify ways to use your Character

Strengths to increase your effectiveness and

strengthen your relationships.

Identify Character Strengths

in Self and Others

Use Character Strengths in yourself and others to

overcome challenges, increase team effectiveness,

and strengthen your leadership. Identify the

Character Strengths you will use and the specific

actions those Character Strengths will lead to being a

more effective leader and enabling members of your

team to overcome complex challenges.

Character Strengths:

Challenges & Leadership

Communicate clearly and with respect, especially

during conflict or challenge. Use the IDEAL model

(Identify and understand the problem, Describe the

problem objectively, Express your concerns and how

you feel, Ask other person for his/her perspective

and ask for a reasonable change, List the positive

consequences that will occur if the person makes the

agreed upon change) to communicate in a Confident,

Clear, and Controlled manner.

Assertive Communication

Praise effectively to build mastery and winning

streaks. Name strategies, processes, or behaviors

that led to the good outcome. Respond to others

with authentic, active, and constructive interest to

build strong relationships. It is the only style that

strengthens relationships.

Effective Praise and

Active Constructive Responding

Use self-regulation skills to effectively modulate and

restore energy in order to thrive under pressure.

Understand how mind-body activation levels impact

performance. Prioritize controllable factors that

influence mind-body activation. Practice deliberate

breathing and develop strategies to combat chronic

sleep restriction.

Energy Management

Attention Control

Heighten sensory awareness to what is most relevant

and keep it there to avoid distraction. Understand

how to direct attention and build awareness

of personal attentional tendencies. Identify personal

indicators of distractors that compromise focus

Develop routines to set and reset the ideal state for

focused skill execution.

Mentally rehearse successful performances to

program the mind and body to perform automatically

and without hesitation. Understand the scientific basis

of the brain-performance connection. Identify and

practice the three factors that contribute to effective


Integrating Imagery

Identify a personally meaningful goal and develop a

concrete plan to ensure achievement. Understand

how personal values help form self-directed

motivation. Develop commitment strategies to

support goal attainment. Create techniques to

regularly monitor goal progress.

Goal Setting

Work effectively toward academic goals and

managing time. Understand how your time is spent

during a typical week, and conquer procrastination

through an action plan.

Plan and Prioritize Your Time

Examine how motivation is the foundation for

successful learning, and recognize attitudes that may

limit success. Understand how learning changes

your brain, and how a learning mindset affects your

study strategy.

Your Learning Mindset

Improve knowledge retention through brain-based

learning theory. Understand how memory works and

why healthy habits are critical to academic success.

Remember What You Study

Establish the right study conditions to direct attention

to immediate learning tasks, employing the Study

Power Hour as an example study regimen to regulate

study effort.

Make Study Effort Count

Develop and use active processes to aid

comprehension, knowledge retention, and efficiency.

Apply the “Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review”

reading process.

Attack Your Reading

Develop meaningful, reusable resources that

facilitate comprehension and retention. Consider how

listening and attitude affect the quality of notes, and

develop a better note-taking style.

Take Effective Notes

Become test-wise through planning, understand test

questions, thinking effectively, managing energy,

and embracing nerves to alleviate test anxiety and

optimize test performance.

Combat Your Tests

Form successful study groups and apply individual

learning strengths effectively in a peer situation.

Learn characteristics to seek in effective study

partnerships and troubleshoot partnership pitfalls.

Learn With Your Peers

Identify the mental skills that underlie performance

and understand the psychology of performance

excellence. Recognize the distinctions between

growth and fixed mindsets. Understand the

relationship between thoughts, emotions, physical

states, and performance.

Mental Skills Foundation

Develop effective thinking to set the conditions for

consistent performance excellence. Understand the

sources of confidence. Identify personal strengths

that can be leveraged for confidence in any situation.

Develop effective responses for counterproductive

thoughts and effective perceptions of failure and


Building Confidence

Develop effective thinking to set the conditions for

consistent performance excellence. Understand the

sources of confidence. Identify personal strengths

that can be leveraged for confidence in any situation.

Develop effective responses for counterproductive

thoughts and effective perceptions of failure and


Clear as mud?

We generally spend MOST of our drill weekends doing this stuff.

We can spend up to an hour on one of them, as they go around the room like an A.A. meeting and reintroduce ourselves… again.

“Hi, I’m Bob and I regret joining the Army….”
One in particular is amazingly useless.

It’s called “Hunt the Good Stuff.”
You say something bad that happened to you, then the silver lining in it.

For example “I got in a car accident last week and am now $10,000 in debt… but hey I’m not dead so I can start paying off the debt when I get a job!”

That kinda thing.

Totally pointless.

That’s not even the best part.

There are MORE fun things beyond CSF!

We then get to add in other politician-imposed requirements such as:

“Suicide Prevention” (don’t kill yourself)

“Sexual Harrassment Prevention” (don’t rape people.)

“G.A.T. Personal Self Assessment Survey” (twice a year)

Commanders Survey (“How is your Commander treating you? How do you feel about that?”)

“Transgender and Gay Awareness” (it’s okay to be gay… or whatever the hell)

There are tons of these.

And also drug testing every drill, height and weight measurements (if you need it or not and even if you pass the physical training tests), and a host of other fun pointless activities.

I think my favorite is the move to quarterly leadership assessments.


They used to be yearly… then twice a year… now quarterly.

At the same time, ALL we do now is sit in classrooms.

What the hell am I supposed to rate my soldiers on?

How well they sit in a classroom and try not to fall asleep?

The kicker is I’ll get comments like “You really need more descriptive comments in your leadership appraisals.”

I sure hope this will all come in handy the next time we’re down range and bullets are flying.

Somehow I don’t think “Hunt the Good Stuff” is as useful as “Hunt the Terrorists.”


3 thoughts on “Hunt The Dumb Stuff

  1. Pat Russell says:

    Thinking Trap intrigues me?


  2. Chai says:

    My attention kept wandering by just reading through the list. I’m so sorry you have to actually sit through all that in practice

    Liked by 1 person

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