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What archery taught me about achieving goals

I am not a professional archer, and neither do I am an amateur. Never before had I laid my hands on a bow until a few months ago. At that time, I was on a vacation with my nieces in a remote resort. We were there to take a few days break from the hustle and bustle of our daily work in the city.

The resort was far from town, and far from any other entertainments. So we have no choice except to make full use of the facilities available. Thankfully, the place was peaceful and relaxing. After all, that’s what we intended to do in the first place; be in peace and relax.

My nieces love archery. I would say that they are amateurs. So one evening, we rented a set of archery equipment. As it was handed to us, a staff showed us on the correct way of using it. As I were watching and listening to him, one phrase just got stuck into my head: "When aiming for a shoot, make sure you see the tip of the arrow is at the target point". "Well that sounds easy", I thought. So I decided to have it a try. And so I did.

It was my first time. I do not even know how to hold the bow correctly. My niece helps me on that and even warn me on a few things so that I would not hurt myself. So there I was, with the bow and arrow in my hands. As I was pulling the bow string backward and aiming for my very first shoot, I remember the phrase and did exactly what was told. Once satisfied, without thinking further I release the string. To our surprise, the arrow got stuck in the third circle from the middle. We were shouting with laughter. Not bad for a first shot.

A few days later, back in my home, my heart is still smiling with satisfaction. It is not just about the experience, but the valuable lessons I learned. Something that I can truly relate to life. Something that I would like to share with others.

So here are the lessons I learned from archery:

  1. Know where your target is on the target board and be determined to shoot the target. When you have a goal, make sure you know your goal clearly and be determined to achieve it.
  2. Make sure you are comfortable in your position, and you know you are holding the bow and arrow correctly. When you are on your journey towards your goal, be prepared for it. Learn whatever you need to learn to make yourself comfortable in achieving your goal.
  3. See the tip of the arrow at the target point. Decide there and then that you want to make it happen. Be determined. See and feel your goal being achieved even before it happens. Feel the excitement and satisfaction of the achievement. When I was aiming for my first shoot, I felt the satisfaction of shooting the target successfully.
  4. Once you pull the string far enough, just let it go confidently. Pulling the string is like gathering the willpower. Once you have gathered enough, just do it. Don't wait too long to make it happen. Your willpower doesn't last long. Be confident with what you have worked on. With full-hearted just let it be.

Okay, let me explain it further. When you have a goal in mind, you have a desire. You have been thinking about it and you want to make it happen. To do so, you prepare yourself and make plans. Then you make your choices on the method, timing, and other related matters. Once you are comfortable, you decide to go for it. And when the time comes you do it as planned. Unfortunately, in reality that doesn’t always happen.

Oftentimes, it doesn’t go as straightforward and smooth as that. Sometimes you have doubt and second thoughts. As a result, you change your plan at the very last minute and you end up doing it unprepared. You lose your focus. You barely meet your goal. And if you did, not with full satisfaction.

Every day we have goals to meet, from buying groceries, meeting someone on time, publishing an article, to completing your assignment, you name it. No matter how small or big your goal is, they affect your well-being as a whole. Your inability to meet goals makes you a procrastinator, not productive, and worse, it makes you feel like a loser.

If you are a kind of person who has problems in meeting goals, like I used to be and still do sometimes, then you better take a deep look at the way you approach your goal. Are you serious about your goals? Are you committed to making them happen? What are your feelings about your goals?

On the other hand, if you are a goal achiever (I am still working towards that), then you are living your life to its fullest. You feel satisfaction in your daily life. You are progressing every day towards your bigger goal, or your vision. You are living in freshness, not regrets and frustrations.

So, how do you go about it? You have ambitions and inspirations but can’t seem to make it happen. Day in and day out, you are not making much progress. You are stuck in a rut. It’s not a healthy and happy situation. After sometimes you feel sick about it. Sadly you just don’t know how to get out of it.

Here’s where the lessons I learned from archery can change your life. First, know your goal clearly in your mind and in your heart. For an example if you want to publish an article (shoot an arrow at the target board), take it seriously by making sure what to write about and when to publish (what kind of bow and arrow you will be using and where exactly is the target board). Get the feel of the goal. Ask yourself why you want to meet the goal so badly. What motivates you. Then hold on to that reason tightly.

Second, make yourself comfortable with your goal. Fear is your enemy. Therefore, make your goal your friend. Be more acquainted with it. Find out more by learning from someone knowledgeable or do research. Do research on the topic you want to write about and if necessary conduct an interview with an expert (Learn how to hold the bow and arrow correctly and tips on shooting the arrow, as well as precautions for your own safety).

Third, once you are comfortable, you will feel the urge to make it happen. So be excited about it. Focus on your goal and feel it happening. Build up your willpower and feel the hunger of achieving your goal. As for the article writing, you now have ideas, facts, and figures. You are eager to write about it and share them with your readers. Focus on the benefits your writing is about to bring to your readers (You are focusing on the target, you see the tip of the arrow at the target point and you are about to let go the string).

And finally, fourth, you are at your peak. So just do it and let it be with confidence. Let your words flow enthusiastically, and enjoy your writing journey (Let go your arrow with full confidence and just let it be)

Well, thinking back to it, I think I'm falling in love with archery. Perhaps I will try again whenever I have the chance. The lessons I learned from it will always be something to ponder upon as I polish my archery skills and improve my goal achieving capabilities. Therefore, whenever you are up for a quest, always remember, that meeting your goal in your heart and mind makes up half of the journey to success. You just have to take the action confidently to complete the journey.

About the author: Nur Nuha is a freelance writer. When she is not crafting words for inspiration, she write codes, or be in nature. Wherever she is, you can always contact her at nurnuha@learn-wisely.com.