Do you recall the movie The Hunt For Red October?
Well, there was a famous scene when a torpedo was shot at the submarine, the Red October, from a short range of 1.5 miles... The situation looked grim. The crew was frightened, and the captain ordered what looked like a suicide. He ordered to turn the Red October toward the incoming torpedo.
The officer on the wheel was sure it was a mistake and asked for clarification. The captain confirmed the order, “Turn toward the torpedo, and fast!”
Everyone on board the Red October was holding tight. Some started to pray quietly. The tension was at its peak! In a major contrast, the captain started an idle chit chat to a devastated person next to him. The captain seemed to be totally relaxed.
The torpedo slid over the Red October, but did not explode. Why?
Was it luck or something else?
Before I explain what exactly happened there and how a sure hit was missed, let’s look at what you can learn from this story.
1. When things go right, it is never luck – someone makes them go right.
2. The majority is mostly wrong – to make things go right, you must have an independent view on the situation.
3. To win, you must have an unshakable certainty.
The bad news is:
If you are frightened, if you are not winning, if you feel you don’t use your full potential – you don’t have the above.
The good news is:
Everyone, without exception, can achieve it.
So, what happened and what can you learn from it?
A torpedo is a sonar system that looks for the strongest noise in the water: the noise the submarine propeller creates. It is being shot from an attacking submarine and gets closer and closer to the target. The closer it gets to the target, the stronger the noise, the less chance the target has to avoid the torpedo.
When the attacking submarine shoots a torpedo, its own noise is the strongest noise. To prevent the torpedo from turning on the submarine that shot it, it is programmed to have its sonar system off until it is 1 mile away from the attacking sub.
The captain knew that the torpedo’s sonar turns on only after it's 1 mile from the attacking submarine. He also knew that he was 1.5 miles from the attacking submarine. So, all he had to do was to rush toward the torpedo and let it pass him before the sonar got engaged.
Once the torpedo’s sonar was engaged, all he had to do was turn off his engine. The torpedo would then find and attack the only viable target, the only noisy target, the attacking submarine that first shot the torpedo. That’s what happened.
Here's what we can learn about the handling of the torpedoes that are being shot at us daily in life:
1. Knowledge results in total control.
2. You need to know your enemy.
3. Most people, even if their lives depend on it, will not learn their enemies.