Visionary Pursuits

The bowhunter

I recently had a conversation with my step-father about a favorite pastime of his: bowhunting. I wanted to get a little more insight from him on how this works, because as far as pursuing a vision goes, we are all hunters. Our conversation yielded some great insights:

Me: So Mike, I know you really like bowhunting. When you go out, do you just grab your equipment, drive to the nearest forest, and start shooting?

Mike: (chuckles) No. You have to get all your equipment together first. Make sure everything is in working order. Then you have to find a place to go that allows that kind of hunting.

Me: Ah. So you need to have particular destination in mind? You need to know where you're going.

Mike: Yeah, I guess so.

Me: And once you get there, do you go running into the woods screaming like a warrior?

Mike: Uh, no. That would scare off all the animals.

Me: So you're saying you have to go in with the right attitude.

Mike: Yeah, that's right. You're a hunter. So you have to focus on what you're hunting and go in quietly.

Me: Would another way of putting it be that you go in with 'intention'?

Mike: Yeah. You have to know what you're looking for, too. You don't want to just set up your blind anywhere. You could be waiting for days. You have to look for the droppings. So, for example, if you're looking for deer, you need to find an area where there are a lot of deer droppings because you know that's a place they go a lot.

Me: So you get into the woods and you look for a place where the conditions for success are possible? You put yourself in a situation where the signs of success are present.

Mike: Yeah, I guess if you call deer droppings a sign of success. (laughs)

Me: Right. So you're there, you get set up in the right area, and then you grab an arrow and draw your bow.

Mike: Well, no. First you've gotta wait. You have to be hidden in your blind for a while before the deer think it's safe to come around.

Me: So your success isn't instant?

Mike: Of course not. Sometimes you have to sit around all day waiting. And you definitely don't want to have your bow drawn already. Your arm would get tired really quickly.

Me: But that's your goal, isn't it? You want to draw your bow and shoot a deer.

Mike: Yeah, but there's an order to things. First you have to wait for the deer to come around. Then you pull out your arrow and string it. When you have a good shot, you draw your bow. But you don't want to pull back until you're sure you have the shot or you'll just wear yourself out and you won't hit anything.

Me: So it sounds like there are a lot of steps to being a successful bowhunter.

Mike: Yeah, you have to do it right or you won't hit anything.

How true that is! Bowhunting gives us a great example of how we should all manage our visionary pursuits. We have to make sure we clearly know what our goal or aim is. Then we have to put ourselves in the circumstances which will help achieve it. You can have the best intentions, but if you don't surround yourself with success potential, your chances of achieving are just as good as hitting a deer in your front yard. (Yes, I know that may be possible for some people!)

Once you're in the situation, attaining your dream takes time and commitment. Just like Mike can't draw is bow back before finding the target, we can't expend all our energy in one short burst either. We must spend our efforts in deliberate ways, making sure to only attempt a shot when everything is prepared. Otherwise, like the impatient bowhunter, you will grow tired and discouraged, and walk away with nothing at all.