Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The archer

A young archer, hoping to improve his skills decided to enter an archery competition. In preparation for that day, he trained meticulously and prepared his best bow and arrow.
 
Although he had done everything he could, the young archer couldn’t help but feel intimidated by the more established archers. They were so confident, their shots so precise, and their names were etched on the wall of fame.
 
When his turn came, he went to the field heads down, his hand and feet trembling. But still, the young archer raised his bow, knocked an arrow took aim, and shoot. His first shot went wide and missed the target altogether. The spectators laughed.
 
The young archer ignored them. He knocked another arrow, took aim and shot his second arrow. THUD his shot struck the target. A good shot, but not perfect. Again he aimed and shot, and this time his shot hit the bulls-eye. Again and again, until the last arrow, he aimed and he shot. Sometimes his shots were good, sometimes not so much, but aim and shoot he did to the best of his abilities.
 
The reigning champion came up after the young archer, proud and confident. He took his stance, aimed…but he never took the shot. Overcome by anxiety borne from his expectation to achieve perfection, the champion forfeited; and he didn’t even take the shot.
 
Our novice young archer didn’t get first spot, but he did much better than the forfeit-er who didn't even try.
 
Lesson:
 
  1. It is not enough to prepare, and aim – you must shoot!
  2. It is not enough to have a goal, and prepare yourself for it. After doing all that, REALLY go for it! If you don’t ‘shoot’, you will never know what you can achieve.
  3. We have a goal, and we have prepared ourselves all we can. We take aim, and we shoot. Our shot may be good, it may be not-so-good, or it may be totally horrible. If it is horrible then try again. Again and again, relentlessly without giving up, and maybe eventually we will hit the bulls-eye. If we don’t try, we won’t find out no?
  4. Sometimes we may get what we aim for – we may hit the bulls-eye. But we won’t be hitting a bulls-eye every time, because we are HUMANS. Imperfect, and not infallible. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t. We will get to feel all that experience if we take the shot – if we DO.
  5. Don’t be afraid to do something that you THINK you may do badly in. Doing badly is better than doing nothing I think, no? Maybe if you continue to try, you will hit something. If you don’t even try, you won’t EVER achieve anything.    

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