‘The Gift of Fear’ a learning observation worth reading about

Gavin de Becker developed the threat assessment tool called Mosaic, which is used by the Supreme Court as well as police departments and schools across the country to predict whether someone will turn violent.

His consulting firm, Gavin de Becker & Associates, has consulted everyone from Ronald Reagan to the CIA, and includes numerous Fortune 500 companies.


I found myself glued to de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” from the very first page. The story itself is a well-written book of how a young boy at age 10 began assessing violence, and by age 13 could predict the outcome. The Mosaic threat assessment program was modeled after the way he broke down the individual elements of violence as a child, and has become the most sophisticated artificial intuition system predicting violence today. Learning is defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior or mental process caused by experience. Throughout the pages of this book Becker shares his real-life experience both personally and professionally to teach others what to look for.

The overall message in “The Gift of Fear” is best described by de Becker’s quote: “When you accept the survival signal as a welcome message and quickly evaluate the environment or situation, fear stops in an instant. Thus, trusting intuition is the exact opposite of living in fear.”

I recommend this book as a must read for anyone. The insights Becker shares in this book will shine a light in the dark places that many have never seen, and it will open the mind to the cognitive processes that most have never considered. In its simplest form, fear will no longer be a feeling; instead it will be used like a tool.


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