Dropping the Arrow

The ability to set and achieve a goal is among the most admired achievements in the Western world. Entire industries — consultants, coaches, webinars, classes, books — have evolved to help people design a goal and set in motion the steps toward achieving it.

I have lived most of my life setting and working toward goals. From the vision boards I had on my bedroom walls to the inspirational quotes I had taped inside my high school locker, I have developed and perfected a habit of keeping my eyes focused on a single point in the horizon. I have made critical decisions based on whether they would get me closer or move me further off the mark, the so-called bullseye.

Setting a goal and achieving it are often based on analytics and planning. You align all the variables in a row, taking one step, then another. I am a classic, textbook over-thinker. I examine a problem or question from every possible angle, often ruminating for days, weeks, months, even years, trying to discern the perfect answer.

Intellectually, I understand the folly of looking for the perfect answer. Trying to find the target in the distance, my one true target, can result in my standing there, indefinitely, with my arrow poised. What if I shoot in the wrong direction?

Forging a new path is not exclusively based on skillful analysis. It is also revealed by dialing in to your intuition. This kind of deep looking tunes inward, rather than scans the horizon. It requires our ability to drop the arrow.

A voice inside says, You were given

the intuition to shoot an arrow

and then to dig where it landed,

but you shot with all your archery skill.

What you are looking for

is nearer than the big vein

on your neck. Let the arrow drop.

Rumi

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