Drawing the Circle First

March 17th, 2014 @   -  No Comments

During a hunting trip in a forest, a prince noticed a circle marked on a tree with an arrow shot perfectly into its centre. A few yards away, he noticed several more targets that were very similar. Amazed by the accuracy and the precision of the talented archer, he started looking for him. Shortly after, he came across a man with a bow and arrows. He asked him, “How did you manage to get your arrows into the centre of the bull’s-eye every time?” The archer answered, “It’s not that difficult, first I shoot the arrow and then I draw the circle.”  

How many people shoot first and then draw the circle? How many individuals simply go through the motions with no goal or plan? How many allow others to set and define their goals for them?

When you don’t have a specific destination in mind, the direction you take is of no importance. Similarly, when you don’t have any goals in mind, you will not accomplish much. If you aim at nothing, that’s what you will have. So, how do you start the process of setting and achieving your goals?

Before planting the seeds, first you need to identify what type of fruits you want. You need to identify what you want to achieve and why it is important to you. Examine your motives and clearly state your reasons for wanting this goal. Ask yourself questions like:

How will this goal affect various areas of my life such as religion, family, health, and community? What are the costs associated with achieving this goal? Is it worth the price?

At a parenting seminar, Salem, a man in his fifties, shared his story. Years ago, he bought a big house. With two jobs and a mortgage on his house, he was struggling to make ends meet. His economic worries overwhelmed him and consumed all of his time and thoughts, so he hardly had time for anything else. After paying off his house, Salem realised that his family relationships had fallen apart. He attempted to mend them many times but in vain. He discovered that the cost was far more than he wanted to pay.

Make your goal significant

Our lives can be represented by a line which starts with our birth and ends with our death. Our death is the beginning of a new eternal life. Connecting our goals to our purpose in life gives them meaning and significance.

Use this timeline to look at your life so far and the goals you have set. Think about how you can turn some of your goals into an investment that continues to bring benefit to you, to the people around you, to humanity as a whole, to animals and the environment. For as long as it does that, it will bring you reward, even after your death. 



Develop an Action Plan – How do you get there?

What action steps can you take? What obstacles or challenges could you face? What are the possible solutions? Most people give up when they face obstacles. But difficulties and obstacles are not blocking your path; they are the path. As someone once put it, “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

To find enough motivation, commitment and strength to keep going despite obstacles, ask yourself, why this goal? If the why is big enough, your level of commitment and persistence will be high. On the contrary, if the why is unclear or lacking, you will give up when there’s an obstacle.

Execute – Let your plan lead to action

You may have the noblest intentions and the smartest goals, but if there is no execution, nothing will happen. Executing goals is the greatest challenge. Your action plan brings value only when you put it into action.

You control your actions, but you cannot control the results of your actions.  When you do your best but fail to achieve your goal and your efforts are not fruitful, you should not be discouraged. The Creator fully rewards any effort for His sake regardless of the outcome.

Nuh (AS) spent 950 years teaching and spreading his message, but he could not convince the majority of his people including his own wife and son. Does that mean he failed? Absolutely not.

Draw the circle first then shoot. By drawing the circle, you make sure that you are shooting in the right direction. You may miss some of the shots, but, if you don’t shoot, you will miss 100% of the shots.


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