We make our New Year’s resolutions with good intentions. But few of us stick to them.
Let’s try something different in 2023. Set your goals with guidance from Master Awa Kenzō.
Who is Awa Kenzō?
He was a legendary archer in late nineteenth-century Japan. The man of “one-hundred shots, one-hundred bullseyes.”
He was a Master of Kyūdō, the Japanese martial art of archery. Where aim matters more than outcome. Where success is the process.
Master Kenzō practiced Zen Buddhism. He believed the bow and arrow could help one achieve enlightenment.
If used properly.
In the 1920’s, philosopher Eugen Herrigel travelled to Japan, seeking to learn from Master Kenzō. After months of watching his pupil miss the bullseye, the master said:
“The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed.”
Forget the target. Focus on aim.
In archery, it’s your stance, your breath. Your awareness of the environment, of the sunlight and the wind.
In life, it’s the course you plot and how you navigate it. Aiming is how you achieve your goals.
And it’s how you optimize trajectory, from arrow tip to target. Ask yourself:
- What habits can I build and nurture to increase my odds of success?
- What are better-than-nothing behaviours to promote consistency?
- What is the best path to follow (the optimal trajectory)?
Another useful exercise is the AIMS Self-Reflection Questionnaire. Ness Labs’ Founder Anne-Laure Le Cunff explains in this article – my inspiration for this micro post fyi.
Let’s look ahead to the New Year. With a clearer way forward and fewer resolutions destined to fail.
Oh, before I go…
I’ll share exactly what that means in the next Davis Daily entry.
P.S. My three words are enlighten, engage, and experience. What will yours be?
*feature image by Andrea Longarini (my partner in life)