The bow, the arrow and the target.

We are all archers and so it is absolutely essential that we know what instruments we have at our disposal.


The bow
The bow is life: the source of all energy.
The arrow will leave one day. The target is a long way off.
But the life will stay with you, and you must know how to look after it.
It requires periods of inaction - a bow that is always armed and braced loses its strength. Therefore, allow it to rest, to recover its firmness.
A bow is flexible, but it has its limits. Stretching it beyond its capacity will break it or exhaust the hand holding it. Therefore, never ask from your body more than it can give. In order to maintain elegance of posture while keeping the bow drawn, make sure that every part does only what is necessary and do not dissipate your energies. That way, you will be able to shoot many arrows without tiring.


The arrow
The arrow is the intention.
It is what unites the strength of the bow with the centre of the target. The intention must be crystal-clear, straight and balanced.
Once the arrow has gone, it will not come back, so it is better to interrupt a shot, because the movements that led up to it were not sufficiently precise and correct, than to act carelessly, simply because the bow is fully drawn and the target is waiting.
But never hold back from firing the arrow if all that paralyses you is fear of making a mistake. If you have made the right movements, open your hand and release the string, take the steps you need and deal with your challenges and even if the arrow fails to hit the target, you will learn how to improve your aim next time.
If you never take a risk, you will never know what changes you need to make.


The target
The target is the objective to be reached.
It was chosen by you. In this lies the beauty of the way of the bow: you can never excuse yourself by saying that your opponent was stronger than you because you were the one who chose the target and you are responsible for it.
If you view the target as the enemy, you might well hit the target, but you will go through life trying only to place an arrow in the centre of a piece of paper or wood, which is absolutely pointless. And when you are with other people, you will spend your time complaining that you never do anything interesting.
That is why you must choose your target, do your best to hit it, and always regard it with respect and dignity; you need to know what it means and how much effort, training and intuition was required on your part.
When you look at the target, do not concentrate on that alone, but on everything going on around it, because the arrow, when it is shot, will encounter factors you failed to take into account, like wind, weight, distance.
The target only exists if the man can dream of achieving it. What justifies its existence is the desire, otherwise it would be a mere inanimate object, a dream, a chimaera.
Just as the arrow seeks the target, so the target also seeks the arrow.

Paulo Coelho