If You Aim at Nothing, You'll Hit It Every Time
"If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." - Zig Ziglar
The main idea behind this quote is obvious. If you want to achieve something you have to set a goal, direct you energy at it, and go after it. If you don't have any goals or any direction you are aiming, you won't do anything. It's like hoping in a car and driving around in a circle. You never really go anywhere.
I've had times in my life where I have experienced the thrill of working hard and achieving a goal. One of the primary examples of this was in high school grade 10 when I set the goal of being the best hockey player in my grade. Whether or not I actually was the best could be debated, but in my mind I know I succeeded because of the growth and development I experienced as a young man and a player. I set the goal, I took aim, and then I directed all my energy at that target.
As I've gotten older I have had to set new targets.
Help launch a new church.
Improve my fitness.
Pass interviews for pay grade increases.
Pass interviews for a new job.
Achieve budgetary goals.
Find a new house.
Be the best husband I can.
Be the best Dad I can.
Complete a couple marathons.
Complete a few triathlons.
Some of these were short term goals. Some were long term. Some required a tremendous amount of effort. Some not as much. But moving the needle on any of these goals required that I first identified where I wanted to go, and then planned out the route to get there.
I feel like I'm in another season of "taking aim" at a bunch of things. To be honest it takes me a little bit to get my head around recalibrating things. I have a tendency to want to arrive and then get complacent. I have a tendency to slip into aiming at nothing and wanting to go through the motions. But whenever I do I inevitably begin to feel restless and frustrated inside myself. There is some motor in me that won't allow me to stop completely.
There are a couple challenges for me in this process.
#1 - Staying happy and finding joy in the times when I am recalibrating my aim.
#2 - Staying focused and moving forward when the progress seems slow.
The reality is the we rarely achieve of goals quickly.
I was complaining to someone about how, after working out 5 days, I didn't see the number on the scale significantly dropping. They responded by asking me if the scale went up to that number in five days. The point was obvious. It took time to get where I was, and it will take time to get where I want to go. I don't really like that. Like a kid in the backseat of a long car ride, I want to be there now. But that's not how life works. At least not anything that is worth something. You don't microwave a great rack of ribs, you grill them long and slow and patiently. And when that process is done you have something amazing to savor and delight in.
So, I'm working on taking aim at a few things. I'm reordering my life and prioritizing where I want to go. Then I'll engage in the deliberate, intentional, possibly prolonged process of headed in that direction until I reach my goals. And when I get there, I'll enjoy it for a season, and then it will be time to reset and begin working towards a new goal.
Keep aiming, working the plan, arriving, recalibrating, and moving forward friends.