In seeing the title of this blog, you probably went to the often-quoted mantra of "aim small, miss small." While that may be true, it is NOT the focus of this entry. The critical component is reading the title is understanding the process. We want results but fail in mapping out the steps to get to those results. In other words, if you want to improve the quality of your accuracy, you have to improve the quality of your aim. Keep reading to learn more...
If you read my prior blog on how "archery is life," the you understand how the struggle is real - what is "good enough" determines so much in your life and leadership. I have taken specific steps to not accept "good" by striving for greatness in my archery. The image to the left is but on part of that plan - the normal target that I shoot into has a central circle that is 5 inches in diameter. In wanting to get better, I am forcing myself to narrow that focus by creating smaller targets. The one I used today was a circle with a 3 inch diameter. Why? Well, "good enough" is when I get to a super-tight group on a consistent basis. This photo provides clear evidence that more work is needed - yes, every arrow was within that smaller circle. Yes, the last 3 shots were side-by-side (one is sandwiched between the existing arrows) but that pattern, overall, remains inconsistent. If I accept these results, then I am falling back into the trap of "good enough."
What did I do here to get everything in that smaller circle? Did I change my technique? Was I shooting different equipment? No, the answer is surprisingly simple. I forced clarity into my focus. Rather than looking at that larger black circle as "success," I made my mind see the true goal - that smaller circle.
We are guilty of the same thing in life as we coast, drift, and wander "toward" something. We cannot see our dreams clearly meaning that we cannot see our goals clearly. Until that clarity happens, we cannot intentionally act. Do not think that you have to see everything right now because more clarity comes as you advance. In ancient Hebrew culture, where darkness ruled after the sun had set, the lamps of the day provided just enough light for a person to take one or two steps. After taking those one or two steps, guess what happened - they had enough light to take one or two more. Do, right now, what you know to do in life until you start to focus on what really matters as other things fade.
As the picture above shows, I have quit seeing the larger, black circle on that orange background. When the bow is fully drawn and the arrow is ready to fly, I see 2 things - the pin I am using to aim and the white circle behind that pin. My aim has improved and so has the accuracy. Now, repetition drives consistency in behavior and, together, they will create a tighter pattern. When the center of that larger circle is torn out, I will have to change my aim again for future improvement to occur.
You may be wondering what my next step in this archery focus will be, so I'll tell you - in January, the circle shrinks to 2 inches and I will use a different colored circle. I am getting older and my eyes are not what they used to be, so I am have to retrain those older eyes. They must work with my mind to only "see" the minutiae prior to the shot. When I see clearly, I can then release myself purposefully toward the goal. Accuracy accords to your aim - the two are inseparable. If you want better accuracy, you have to become better at seeing the small and important things.