You Can't Hurt What You Can't Hit
And- You can't hit what you can't see
Last week I talked about the fundamentals of marksmanship and how we can relate them to our lives and the goals we are trying to achieve by striving for consistent, incremental progress.
Today I want to continue with the subject, but turn our attention to the fundamental of sighting.
If you’re aiming at the wrong target it doesn’t matter how well you’re shooting. -Click to tweet.
There are two errors we can make in sighting. The first is an error of sight picture. If you do everything else correctly, where you sights aim is where you will hit. If you are confident in your long-range goal, keep your sights firmly fixed on it, and make steady incremental progress toward it, that is necessarily where your actions will take you.
But, if your long-range goal is too far out it may be hazy. You might be focused on the 8-ring instead of the X-ring. That’s perfectly ok. You will be close, and you can adjust.
The bigger problem is an error in sight alignment. To hit your target you need to center the clear front sight tip in the rear sight aperture, and then place this sight picture on the proper aiming point on the target. Unlike the error in sight picture we discussed above, any error in sight alignment will magnify with distance. This is often caused by concentrating focus on the rear sight.
If the rear sight of your daily actions is not aligned with the front sight of your intermediate goals, you aren’t going to make progress toward your target, the long-range goal or ‘sky anchor’.
And, as in marksmanship, the thing that we need to keep fixed in perfect focus is the intermediate or ‘high-hard’ goals-our front sight. We occasionally need to ensure that our high-hard goals are still aligned with our sky anchor, but by making steady progress towards a goal, we can be assured that we moving to our target.
If we fixate too much on the rear sight, or daily actions, we can become discouraged because we have a bad day or, maybe we had a good week, but aren’t seeing the sort of progress we hoped for.
Like James Clear (Atomic Habits) says, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there.
Automate your daily actions by creating systems. Take choice off of the table.
Keep the front sight in focus, keep the main thing the main thing.
Read. The Black Count By Tom Reiss
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It is wildly fascinating and a Pulitzer Prize winner. It is the true story of the father of Alexandre Dumas who you may know as the author of The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Christo, and others. Many of Dumas’ tales were based loosely on his father’s exploits, as a man who went from life as a slave in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, to being one of Napolean’s generals.
A quick update for today. My memoir, Tough Rugged Bastards is now in the hands of my publisher, and the Department of Defense review process. It will definitely take longer to get through the DOD process than it will for the publisher’s edits, but I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a fall release date.
“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.” ~Arnold J. Toynbee
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
“To persist with a goal, you must treasure the dream more than the costs of sacrifice to attain it.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich
“Having a dream is like having sunshine. Without it, you cannot see as clear. With it, your world shines. Have a dream, and the light will fill your eyes with hope.” ~ J.R. Rim
“Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.” ~Carl Von Clausewitz
Thanks for reading. See you next Thursday!