Archery teaches lots of lessons, there are many techniques, approaches, and styles.
Everyone’s familiar with the idea “Ready-Aim-Fire”, and that seems the best way to approach our goals in life; we make a plan, prepare extensively, work the plan, and expect success. Sometimes it works out that way, and aren’t we glad? Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes things go awry, and we decide in our hearts “I’ll never try anything again”.
Here’s an alternative approach to life and the things we want to achieve, let’s call it “Ready-Fire-Aim”. Here’s the difference between the two approaches:
Ready-Aim-Fire An archer stands comfortably, and draws the bow. The goal is a bulls-eye every shot, regardless of the archer’s style or technique. The shooter notes where the arrow hits after each shot, and make corrections. As the process is refined, the shots improve.
Ready-Fire-Aim. There are moments when your shot is experienced in a much different way, and it’s great when it happens. Sometimes, on draw and aim, you feel a moment when everything lines up; when body, space, bow, eye, mind, arrow, and target are one. At that very second, you “let go” of the arrow, you let go of yourself, and become one with the shot. It’s very cool, feels awesome, and often results in a great shot. Even before logic says all is ready, you let go. Even if you don’t hit the bulls-eye, your learning curve jumps, and it is often an amazing shot.
Ready-Fire-Aim works in life as well. In some situations, it may the only approach that will work. Many have tried to achieve things in life only to fail, sometimes repeatedly. I talk to good folks like this every week who are just working like crazy to make something positive happen in their lives. Some are discouraged by past failures, paralyzed by fear, frozen by criticism. They have convinced themselves they’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile.
Try The Ready-Fire-Aim approach. Don’t put things off forever. Do something. Try something.
1) Set a goal 2)make a plan 3)work it 4)check the results 5)adjust 6)try it again 7) repeat.
Perfectionism is the enemy. It doesn’t have to go perfectly the first time or the tenth time. Excellence is achievable, perfection is not. If you don’t hit the bulls-eye, make adjustments, go another direction, come from another angle. Preparation for any task is important, and this is not a method that forgives inadequate or sloppy preparation. It does allow you to improve as you go along, and helps you make additional preparations for an even better shot at your target.
Do not wait until you can do something perfectly, do something now. If you need to launch a new project at work, and still need to work the bugs out, call it a “pilot” project or program. Be courageous and say “I’m always learning to do it better”. If you want the attention and efforts of others, see what works and what doesn’t, model your own learning and growth, keep at it.
Ready-Fire-Aim. Try it. Go ahead.