I was watching Downton Abbey the other day [side note: if you have not yet watched this, watch it], and I heard one of the characters say something that struck me. He said, no one ever hits the bullseye on their first shot, and it really got me thinking.
If we’ve never been an archer before, when we want to hit the bullseye, what do we do? We start to aim and shoot, aim and shoot. And we keep our focus on what we want and we learn, each time we shoot, where our arrow goes. Maybe our aim always goes left so we adjust to the right. Maybe the wind is stronger and affects our arrow, so we learn to notice it more and make adjustments.
What happens when we start looking at the person next to us, also practicing and hoping to hit the bullseye? Our aim goes way off, because we’ve taken our eyes off of our own bullseye. And what’s more, we don’t give up after our first shot, we keep trying. We keep on raising the bow and drawing. We know we will hit the bullseye and we understand that it is practice that will get us there.
Because, what is the alternative? To stand still and only shoot when we know we will hit the red dot. How is that going to go? When will we know we know without being in action and practicing? How long will we just stand there and wait, hoping that we’ll be as accurate as the person next to us who keeps on shooting?