The Archer’s Key to Success
by Rasheed | on February 26, 2012
The archer takes aim carefully and…
Nothing stands between the archer and his target.
The archer takes a moment to close his eyes, take several deep breaths, feel the wind brush against his face. He whispers beneath his breath, “I will hit the bullseye. I will hit the bullseye.”
The archer opens his eyes, faces the target, and lifts his bow up. He loads an arrow into his bow and pulls it back tightly. Unbeknownst to the archer, a small crowd cheers him on… but he doesn’t hear them. The game is between him and the target… the cheers are nice, but the bullseye wouldn’t be hit if he didn’t properly prepare his shot.
He closes one eye and focuses his gaze on the center of the target. He takes a deep breath and releases the string…
“What can an archer teach me about success?”
The story above illustrates several qualities that are necessary to be successful in any endeavor. Let’s dissect it.
Factor 1: The archer’s target
First, we notice that the archer has a target. This is the single-most important quality of success. Without a clear target, what happens? Well, I’ll let you decide. Try repeating this mantra: “I will succeed in retiring my parents!” In that mantra, “retiring my parents” is the target. Without the target in that mantra, what do you have? “I will succeed in”
There isn’t even an exclamation point in the latter mantra! So how can you succeed in anything when you haven’t even defined what the thing at which you wish to excel?
So that’s tidbit number one we can gather from the piece of fiction above.
Factor 2: The archer’s vision
Another lesson we can derive from the story is the fact that nothing obstructs the archer’s view of his goal. Now, this isn’t how things are in real life–since we can’t see the future–but from a figurative standpoint, he can clearly see his target. Can you clearly see your goals? Do you have a picture of the car you want to drive? Do you have a picture of the swim suit you want to fit? The house you want to live in? If you can’t visualize yourself attaining your goals, then it likely won’t happen. You only get what you picture.
Taking the allegory slightly further, let’s say the archer was facing the other direction–his target isn’t in sight at all. Instead, let’s say he’s focused on that cute brunette in the crowd. When he releases the arrow, where’s the arrow going to go? Anywhere but the target, and he may find himself in prison as well. (You can leave that sidenote out of the analogy’s commentary, lol)
It’s the same with your own goals. If you picture something you don’t want… that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Factor 3: The archer’s mantra
Let’s derive another lesson from my story of the archer: that of “the mantra.” I actually have a lot to say about the concept of a mantra, so I’ll put it into its own post, but I’m just going to say that mantras are extremely powerful.
An archer with no target needs a miracle to hit the bullseye. It’s imperative that you set clearly defined goals to strive for.
Factor 4: The archer’s focus
On the same token as the mantra is the focusing of the mind. Some do this via meditation; others, via prayer. Whatever way you want to focus your mind, it is essential to do it–clarity of mind is important in making a straight shot towards your goals. Notice how he feels the breeze of the wind against his face–do you ever notice it? Do you ever stop to smell the flowers, figuratively speaking? Do you feel the rain, or do you merely get wet?
Sometimes, life’s greatest pleasures and joys can come from realizing the intricacy of something as minuscule as an ant.
Factor 5: The archer’s praise
One thing I wanted to point out–and it’s a trap that I’ve fallen into, and many others have as well. It’s the trap of praise.
Praise is good. Recognition is good. However, you won’t always be recognized for every achievement you have. You won’t always have a crowd of people cheering you on, especially when you are fighting an internal target.
Though praise and “cheerleaders,” so to speak, are very great in motivating people, a person may attach his sense of accomplishment to the praise. That’s something that is very detrimental to productivity. I don’t want to get into anything too complex, but the sense of euphoria you get when you accomplish something gives you the feeling that you got something done: game developers have capitalized on this by adding achievements, and many websites are even getting in on this “trend” of gameification. In essence, being recognized by a machine that you’re doing “the right thing” (according to the machine’s programmers).
Now, again, praise and recognition is great, and fantastic. However, many people dwell on the praise of past accomplishments and then after that, stop accomplishing because they already got their euphoria.
Here’s a perfect example: I was on the Dean’s list for the college of engineering my freshman year. When I was a freshman, I thought that was fantastic! I figured that if I kept doing what I was doing, I’d keep on getting on the Dean’s list. Well, joke was on me, because I literally did nothing my freshman year. Didn’t study at all, skipped classes occasionally, and slept in the classes I did attend.
But then the next quarter, my GPA took a nosedive to a whopping 3.0 (cue gasp).
Praise is always good, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes praise can send a wrong message to someone and can positively reinforce the wrong habits. It’s a sticky situation for sure. In the case of the archer, he’s being cheered on, so he has motivation to make the perfect shot, but he’s getting a sense of euphoria and he hasn’t even done anything yet.
Action steps: Following the path of the archer
1) Define your goals. What’s the bullseye of your target? Who or what will it effect, either positively or negatively? You can’t shoot a target you can’t see, as Zig Ziglar states.
2) Have a clear-cut vision and path to your goals. Make sure nothing gets in your way or obstructs your view. Have a vision of what your lifestyle will be like after you accomplish the goal.
3) Develop a mantra. Short, simple, but effective. Something like, “I will succeed today,” or “I will talk to ten people today,” or “I will do 30 reps at the gym today.” Whatever it is, repeat it throughout the day.
4) Figure out a way to have focus. You have your pathway to your goals–now focus on walking the path! Do this by either meditating daily, or praying… either way, it’s you time, and time for you to pause, reflect, and smell the roses.
5) Don’t let praise derail you. It’s okay to accept praise (make sure to always thank those who praise you!); in fact, it can be offensive if you try to deny praise. However, don’t let praise lead you down the wrong path and make you miss your shot.
This has been a long post, but I put a lot of thought into both crafting the fiction at the top as well as extracting lessons from the short work. If you enjoy this style of writing, let me know in the comments!
In peace, love, and prosperity,
PS: If your company does not have a step-by-step duplicable system for YOUR success, check this out (unless you are just making way too much money)
For Instant Access to our Step-By-Step System: www.MonthlyMoneySystem.net
If you enjoyed this post about the archer’s key to success, share the wealth!