The bow, the arrow and the target

Paulo Coelho

The target

The target is the objective to be attained.

It was chosen by you. Here lies the beauty of the path: you can never apologize by saying that the adversary was stronger. Because it was you who chose your target, and you are responsible for it.

If you look on the target as an enemy, you might even make a good shot but you will not manage to improve anything in yourself. You will spend your life just trying to put an arrow in the center of something made of paper or wood, which is absolutely useless. And when you are with other people you will complain all the time that you do not do anything interesting.

That is why you need to choose your objective, do your very best to attain it, look upon it with respect and dignity: you have to know what it means, how much effort it has taken, how much training and intuition.

When you look at the target, concentrate not just on it but on everything going on around you, because when the arrow is shot, it will have to deal with factors that you miss, such as wind, weight and distance.

The objective only exists insofar as a man is capable of dreaming of reaching it. What justifies its existence is desire – or else it would be something dead, a distant dream, a daydream.

So, just as intention seeks its objective, the objective likewise seeks man’s intention, for that is what gives our life a meaning: it is no longer just an idea, but the center of the archer’s world.

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Comments

  1. Diane DeFruscio says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Sometimes you leave me speechless. Your wisdom awes me. I could not possibly add to your words…

    “The objective only exists insofar as a man is capable of dreaming of reaching it. What justifies its existence is desire – or else it would be something dead, a distant dream, a daydream.

    So, just as intention seeks its objective, the objective likewise seeks man’s intention, for that is what gives our life a meaning: it is no longer just an idea, but the center of the archer’s world.”

    Love,
    Diane

  2. […] MORE CLUES….when the little girl showed me the Z in the sky…and I was still reeling…she then went on to tell me ask me if I have ever seen the man with the bow and arrow in the sky….I wasn’t really listening and I was still getting over the Z…but knew to take note of that as this was another piece….well a friend just sent me a link on it…and look what the bow and arrow means….it means fixate on your target, or focus your thought on what you want…check it out and take what you want…from where I sit, why on earth after a Z in the sky would this little girl go on about a bow and arrow if it wasnt to add more clues to this amazing puzzle… The bow, the arrow and the target at Paulo Coelho’s Blog […]

  3. Zee says:

    “The objective only exists insofar as a man is capable of dreaming of reaching it. What justifies its existence is desire – or else it would be something dead, a distant dream, a daydream.”

    Our capacities are as wide, far, short or narrow as the daring of our imagination. I remember something similar being written by Coleridge and Blake. In fact, Einstein said something along the same lines about science.

  4. […] More on The Target via Paulo Coelho’s blog. share the love and this post: […]

  5. -It is true that and we should keep our vision clear on what we are going to achieve in our life. Keep it secret and then the secret target will be achieved since every objects around you, will hopefully try to make it true in reality, oneday !

    -Even though the factors such as wind, weight and others are disturbing arrow to teach to the target, most of the times it does not actually hits the target, it is because sometimes it is not meant to be.. or sometimes it is not actually the things you wanted to hit on the target…

    -Building up the self confidence is good thing but building self satisfaction is better.

    God bless you all !

  6. orly says:

    oh my G-d
    u r ssso powerful in ur ideas,,,,,
    in my life i have sometimes few arrows,,with few targets to use,,,
    i like to have some options,,,, focussing in only one target,doesnt give me other ways,,, and i like to have a few ways in my life
    to confuse the enemy!!lol

  7. Irina Black says:

    Target-the thought,which pierces space and time.

  8. Cindy says:

    I wonder if the target, the objection, could also be a person that you really love?

    Or would that be black magic than?

    Love

  9. Alexandra says:

    Nice conclusion.The target is maybe the most important ,because indirectly push one to act.I guess.With no target,bow or arrow have no sense.I feel wierd when I hear many saying their dream is to be rich.They are sure all their problem will be solved.I think is not like that,money cant buy everything.In fact,chosing the dream,the target is an important job.I dare say maybe we can understand one person by the target he chosed.

  10. Diane DeFruscio says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Sometimes you leave me speechless. Your wisdom awes me. I could not possibly add to your words…

    “The objective only exists insofar as a man is capable of dreaming of reaching it. What justifies its existence is desire – or else it would be something dead, a distant dream, a daydream.

    So, just as intention seeks its objective, the objective likewise seeks man’s intention, for that is what gives our life a meaning: it is no longer just an idea, but the center of the archer’s world.”

    Love,
    Diane

  11. Savita Vega says:

    “The objective seeks intention….”
    I see this in “signs”, or rather, I “read” it in signs.

    Sometimes there is an opening in life, a door that we do not even perceive, do not notice, do not even conceive of because the objective which lies behind that door seems so unthinkable – so “impossible.” And maybe it is, under ordinary circumstances. But then comes this opening…and this is when the signs pop up – just like roadsigns along a highway, to tell us, “Hey, there is an exit here! – There is a way!” And these signs, these instances and occurances of synchronicity introduce us to the idea – they point toward that unthinkable objective and say, “Look here! This is possible!” All that is needed is for our intention to latch onto the idea to make the objective manifest in our lives. But first, we must recognize and give heed to the signs. We must be willing to open our minds and latch onto the “unthinkable”, the “impossible” as a viable and valid objective.

    This has been happening to me lately – the occurance of such “signs” pointing toward an objective I never would have dreamed possible in my life. And I keep seeing these signs, being almost bombarded by them on a daily basis, and I keep thinking (thought directed, I suppose to God): “You must be joking! This?! Me?! Here?! Now?!” And yet I know it is not a joke – it is an opening, a way through toward reaching this objective. All I have to do is latch onto it with my intention, and it will indeed manifest (a miracle of sorts) right in the midst of an otherwise mundane world.

    It almost scares me to think of it, because it seems so impossible, so crazy, so unthinkable. And yet, because I see these signs, all pointing in the same direction, directed right toward it, I am allowing myself to dream, to imagine, to think “Yes, this could be.” And meanwhile, as though in slow motion, I am raising my bow and drawing back the string. Just as my eyes and my aim are seeking that target, I know that that target is seeking my intention in order to make itself manifest in the world and in my life.

  12. Catherine says:

    I like the point about reflexivity between the objective and intention…

    “So, just as intention seeks its objective, the objective likewise seeks man’s intention, for that is what gives our life a meaning: it is no longer just an idea, but the center of the archer’s world.”

    Perhaps the one thing that would keep me from my target is the way NGOs and development is manipulated or mistreated.. ;o)
    thus the objective seeking the man’s intention becomes less appealing to devote one’s heart and soul to.

  13. THELMA says:

    I think, reading the passage today is to learn how to … focus our attention and make our thoughts .. reality. The essence of our journey. I may be wrong but this gives to the “bow, arrow and the target’ the meaning we need in order to adopt .. Archery in our everyday lives, even noetically[Νοητικά], [mentally].
    LOVE,
    Thelma

  14. Cindy says:

    I just printed out The bow, the arrow and the target, and put it on my wall in my toilet! :-)
    Now I can read it at least, well…a few times a day now :-)

    I did read about this in several forms, but often seem to forget the details and than it still does not work.
    This way I can remember and use it!

    I translated the target as the goal, and I need to love it, hopefully I got that right?

    Thank you for writing it!
    Love