Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is Your Focus on the Target or the Prize?

In his book, Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, Anthony De Mello quotes Chinese sage Tranxu: "When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power."

This is a conundrum for many, though its presence usually escapes our awareness. This can happen in a variety of ways. Here are two examples.


Say you feel a financial pinch (or not) and decide to offer a product, service, or workshop. Maybe it is something you already created or you create something new. The Prize is how much money you might get; perhaps, even recognition and referrals. Your Target is to provide something that solves a problem for people or enhances their lives. Re-read Tranxu's words and think about how this might affect your energy, attitude, actions, and ultimate results in such a situation.

Are you relaxed and confident about using your skills, talents, or knowledge to assist others, with serving them as one motivator and growing yourself as another? If so, whatever your initial results are, they will expand. You will expand.

If your eyes (emotional energies) are on the prize, you will contract instead of expand. Your potential clients or customers will contract away from you, and so will your desired results. You will focus on aspects that lead you away from your true path.

Let go of any tendency to compare yourself and your desired results to others and their results, as this is another form of Eyes on the Prize.


Consider the difference between having your target be a loving, joyful relationship with your right partner, and allowing that to arrive and unfold in your life vs. considering a specific individual as your prize. How will you think, feel, speak, and act in the first scenario vs. the second? Which scenario is imbued with ease and which with emotional upset and drama?

You could say a true target leads to expansion of your inner knowing and larger awareness. This type of focus results in not just some or many sought-after prizes coming to you, but inner and outer gifts from the Universe arrive, as well. These gifts are not rewards; they are results of Cause and Effect, according to the laws of the spiritual universe.

If your target is to BE more, which causes you to offer and contribute more, you will focus on what helps you create this. Results will come to you because this is how IT works.

You can certainly be aware your desired prize is out there and still put your primary focus on your true target. If your focus is primarily on the prize, you can bet you will experience one or more of these: worry, anxiety, jealousy, lack of confidence (or arrogance), overwork, loss of energy, depression, loss of sleep, money fears, harsh self-judgment, and the list goes on. Your results will be less than desired or none, because this is also according to the laws of the spiritual universe.

This Target or Prize focus can be applied to anything in your life. It is a good question to ask whenever you feel any emotions other than serenity, confidence, or happiness. But, it is also important to identify your True Target, which is always an inner one. Inner always creates outer. Outer always reflects inner.

You are what you practice.
穢 Joyce Shafer

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