Missing the Bull’s-eye

  It seems to me that each of us has a mark we set for ourselves; A mark for all the important areas of our life. I know I do. It is a center I seek in my relationships and in my work—a bull’s-eye.
 I don’t know about you but I often miss the bull’s-eye. One thing that I find helps me hit the bull’s-eye is to have a really simplified idea about why I’ve missed it. Doing so can put me immediately back on course.
 In my work it is not listening. If I’m not listening I know I’m missing the bull’s-eye.
 In my relationships, I know I’m missing the bull’s-eye when I blame my partner for my own feelings.

 Stephen Mitchell has book called the Second Book of the Tao translating mostly the work of the Taoist philosopher Shuang Tsu.

“The mature person is like a good archer
When he misses the bull’s-eye
He turns around and seeks
The reason for his failure in himself.”

 In his commentary, Mitchell says,

“When you can live this most radical simile, missing the bull’s-eye may look like a flash or irritation with your wife, or outrage at the morning headlines. “Turning around” means taking total responsibility. There’s no blame or denial in it.”

 Our target in life is to be ourselves. Initially this may sound like a selfish idea, but when being our best self is our bull’s-eye everyone around us can benefit.
 There’s nothing wrong with having targets in your life that are far off and hard to hit–Those “big goals.” Yet, there needs to also be those daily targets that keep us steady. A daily practice that eventually makes hitting the far targets a result of organic growth and skill and not dumb luck.
Perhaps you’ve heard the words of Thomas Fuller? “One may miss the mark by aiming too high as too low.”

 Your bull’s eye should be specific and attainable on a daily basis.
 For example, your bull’s-eye should never be about what you don’t want to happen. Your bull’s-eye shouldn’t be to not get in a fight with your spouse or to keep someone else from being a “you know what.” Your bull’s-eye should be to listen intently, or communicate from love, or be patient.
 The clearer your bull’s-eye, not only the easier it is to hit, but the easier to know when you’ve missed which means the sooner you can try again.

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