Have you heard this phrase before?
Simply put, it’s a phrase that reminds us all to avoid over-thinking and well, basically just get in with it! I was made to think of it again over this last week as I have taken up archery over my summer break. I’m doing a 4 week course which will allow me to go on and practise at any time (hurrah!). It’s something I’ve wanted to do for long time as I’ve really loved it when I’ve tried it in the past, and what better place to do it than in Robin Hood county!
Anyway, for our first lesson we were told to NOT focus at all on aiming!
It felt really counter intuitive to me to do this. After all, if I wanted to hit the target how on earth would I be able to hit it if I wasn’t aiming at it in the first place?
What we were instructed to do instead was to get our technique right. We were taught to hold the bow in the correct way, to pull the string across, elbows straight, stopping neatly under our chin. We did this again and again and again and again!
I’ll be honest with you. Some arrows hit the target in no-mans land….some may have even hit ‘green’ ; )
The idea of the training was to make the technique feel second nature to us. To begin by ‘aiming’ at the target we would lose focus on the ground work that will eventually help us to be better archers. A good technique will serve us in time to come. Only when we feel competent in technique can we then focus on our aim.
I can totally see how this idea can serve us in other areas of our life.
Though it would be silly to think that this way of thinking would work in every facet of our life, the idea of being able to start something without first knowing that we have every single part thought through is freeing. To know that, for some things, we might be better in not having an idea of where, exactly it might be headed, is most enlightening.
For me I can apply this to a writing project I currently have on the go. I’ve had this project on my mind for a long time. I have also had it in my head that I need to have the entire framework of the book thought through, researched and plan complete before I even start it! When I have tried to start before, I have quickly got caught up making it already ‘perfect’ and have gone back over a few hundred words to correct spelling, grammar and content.
The fact is, that I am better off just starting it and then to keep going without fully knowing where I am aiming! A bit like the archery, the very practice itself of just writing, means I get better at writing! Over time I will get better at my craft, formulate clearer ideas and know more about my aims. Your aim, and hence ultimate ‘perfection’ sometimes comes from the doing, not the overthinking or constant attempt to aim for something.
I’d love to know about a time that you may have benefited from firing before aiming! What was the outcome…did it serve you…did you get to where you wanted to in the end?
I can’t wait to hear about your stories and promise to share more about the times that I’ve done this too.
Till next week.