What Are You Aiming At?

Come here, my friends. Have a seat on this comfy sofa. Turn off the news. Disconnect from social media (well, after you read this blog post). Stop streaming Netflix. Just sit. Take a deep breath. In…Out…

Good.

Now, I have a question for you to think about. What are you aiming at?

We are all archers in this life. We all have a bow and a quiver of arrows. We all have a selection of targets. Which one (or more) are you aiming at?

Some of you will say “I’m aiming at nothing”. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it. Trust me – that’s how I’ve spent most of my life. We still draw our bows. We still shoot our arrows. But if we aim at nothing the arrows go all over the place because we’re not directing them anywhere.

You can’t get away from shooting arrows – that’s just the nature of life. But you can aim them.

And, just like an archer, we can be looking at a target, but if our aim is just slightly off we might miss it altogether. A slight adjustment when shooting the arrow can be the difference between a bullseye and putting the arrow into a nearby tree.

My aim has been slightly off lately. It’s so, so easy to do, barely noticeable until you see the arrows aren’t hitting the center of the target you’ve chosen. I get caught up in the step by step process instead of seeing the real objective, or get swept away by the whirlwind of everyday life, or sucked down into a million rabbit holes. My arrows go all over the darned place. If you’ve read my blog before, I’m sure you know that this is something I struggle with constantly. I’m sure it’s a constant struggle for you, too.

In my case, it occurred to me that although I have identified one of my targets as “to be a successful indie author”, I’ve been pointing the tip of my arrow at the “successful” part instead of the “author” part. And, for me, that’s off.

Sometimes it’s harder to see that your aim is just slightly off than it is to recognize you aren’t aiming at all. For example, I really do want to be successful. Of course I do. Nobody says “I want to be a failure doing this thing I love.”

But I can’t force myself to be a success. I can learn the skills I need to master and do what I can to support the likelihood of success, but whether it happens is not really under my control. It can’t be what I aim at. The center of the target actually is the writing. Success is the byproduct, not the bullseye.

Do you see the difference? I hope for and try to support success. But I must aim at creation. Success will not come without creation, but creation can come without success.

I have often felt that if you feel like you are a round peg forcing yourself into a square hole, you must step back and evaluate what’s going on. That feeling was my first indication that I was just slightly off target – the feeling of needing to use force to get into the groove.

Again, I’m going to do my darnedest to try to be a success. I’m going to sit at the feet of people who are further along the path than I am and listen to them and learn everything they’re willing to teach me.

But I’m not them and the way I ultimately try to make this work will be my own. I have to aim at the center of my own target, not theirs.

Which brings me back to my question. What are you aiming at? Is it a career? A money goal? A relationship? Do you want to be like a particular celebrity? Or are you aiming at escaping real life altogether?

Then I have to ask, do you want to hit what you’re aiming at? Is your target worthwhile? Is your aim true, or slightly off? Or are you forcing yourself to aim at a particular target when really you want to turn around and shoot your arrow in the opposite direction?

We are all archers shooting arrows. Where do you want yours to hit?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Very thought-provoking! Maybe my aim is too far-sighted ….

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