There is a pre-quel to the Bhagavad Gita that goes like this: The great King is looking for the Ultimate Warrior— he sends word to everyone that there is a test and any man (sorry 5000 year old story) could attend. All the great warriors young and old come to the field to show their prowess.
The King arrives, sits on his throne and all the men look up- expectedly, standing tall, wanting to be acknowledged. (Even back then in a land far far away there were issues with wanting to be the “one”) The King looks around, proud of the turn out, he looks far into the distance and says to the participants, “Hit the Target”. For a moment the men all look at each other, did they miss something, was there more to the instruction?
And in an instant the men pull arrows from their quivers and start shooting at anything— literally anything, without much thought, without much knowledge — they continue as the sky turns black with arrows and the arrows slice through anything and anyone in their path— everything turns quiet, and the men look to the King for his recognition, and the King stands, looks at the destruction and says, “No”, he lowers his head and the men start scrambling to find any arrow still recognize-able to continue their deluge of destruction— they begin to fight over arrows, they begin to fight over everything— the King is extremely disappointed and starts to walk away.
Through the dust and mayhem up walks Arjuna, his quiver full of arrows— he has not shot one, the men start yelling to shoot!!!, shoot!!!! No one can understand what he is doing— the men begin shouting, “what are you doing— shoot at anything— just shoot!”
Arjuna pulls an arrow from his quiver places it on his bow— and waits. He stands surveying the destruction and waits, he stands his ground— the men have exploded and are screaming— “shoot the arrows-“ Arjuna stands unfazed by this extraordinary display— he waits.
After what seems like forever— Arjuna releases his arrow— everything fell silent— everyone was watching— the King stood- it took FOREVER for the arrow to stop moving…
The King threw up his hands and screamed, “Yes, Yes that is it.” The men exploded again— screaming and running towards Arjuna— “He must have cheated one said, He must have known— one arrow that’s crazy.” Right before a true battle was about to break out- the King exclaimed,” It was not the grass, the rabbits, the leaves, the trees, or another man that was the target— all of you shot 1000s of arrows at nothing at what you could glimpse without thought, you shot at hope, your wanting to be the One True Warrior, took away your Attention. The Target was the bird high in the tree whose eye glimmered when the sun hit it just right.”
The men fell silent— Arjuna with his quiver filled with Arrows— was patient, stood in the strength of himself, and waited until his Aim was clear— Arjuna, as you all know becomes the center of the Bhagavad Gita— his Aim is challenged again and again through the Gita.
The Moral: #keepyouraim there is no substitute for clear vision— I have shot 1000 arrows at a situation many times, and wasted a lot of energy and attention on small work— I am reminded over and over about this story everyday- that to connect to my Aim I must have dristi— clear vision — I cannot be swayed by what’s easy I need to wake up to what’s worthwhile. I don’t have an endless supply of arrows to shoot and hope I hit my targets— I have to be awake and clear and #keepmyaim