In Others’ Words: Aim
“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet & educator
A few years ago, my two oldest daughters and I experienced a different kind of “girls’ night out.”
Instead of heading to our favorite restaurant for dinner, conversation and laughter, we spent four hours at Whistling Pines, the local gun club. The instructor, a woman who competes in shooting competitions, taught us everything from “This is a bullet” to “Do not point that loaded gun at me. Or you. Point it down range–at the target.”
I’m a writer. An editor. Usually the most dangerous thing I pick up is a red pen. (Are you scared yet?) Why did I go learn how to shoot a gun?
Because I didn’t know how. And I wanted to learn how to handle a gun safely in a nice controlled environment.
At the end of the evening, my goal was to hit the target — as many times as I could. And, yes, I often found that to “hit the mark” I had to aim a little higher than where I wanted the bullets to go.
Ready. Aim. Fire.
Was I ready? Yes. I’d been instructed. And I’d listened very, very closely. Journalist that I am, I took notes.
Did I aim the gun? Sure did. I focused on nothing else but the target. I didn’t worry about anyone else on the range. I didn’t think about where they were aiming. My eyes were on my target only — and a little higher than where I wanted to hit.
Fire. Bottom line, I had to finally pull the trigger. Let the bullets leave the gun. Deal with the sound, and the kick, and the end result. Sometimes I missed. Sometimes I surprised myself and did better than I expected. But I always accomplished something.
In Your Words: What are you aiming for? And what’s your secret for hitting the mark? Are you aiming just a little bit higher than what you want to achieve? What causes you to aim lower?
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