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Focus on the act, not the goal

In our fast-paced society, we are constantly driven by goals and deadlines. If you work in the corporate world, like I do, it is even more so. Perhaps there is a better way to live…

A friend posted this on Facebook a while ago and it stuck in my mind –

When an archer is shooting for nothing, he has all his skill. 
If he shoots for a brass buckle, he is already nervous. 
If he shoots for a prize of gold, he goes blind or sees two targets. 
He is out of his mind! 
His skill has not changed. But the prize divides him. 
He cares. He thinks more of winning than of shooting,
and the need to win drains him of power.” ~ Chuang Tzu

Any musician who has been in a recording studio knows how true this is. Likewise the martial artist in competition or testing. They may have worked on techniques relentlessly for months, then in front of the judges it all comes apart. I’m sure each of us has personal experiences with this phenomenon in other parts of our lives.

The secret is a balancing act – We must learn to set goals, and work towards them, but keep our mind on the task in front of us when the time comes.

In the book “A New Pair of Glasses” by Chuck C. he said there was a time when he was so mentally debilitated that the simplest acts, like tying his shoes, required 100% of his attention. He went on to say that the experience was liberating and humbling at the same time. He said it was sad that we cannot give that kind of focus to everything we do.

Can you relate?

Have a great day everyone!