Aim. Focus. Shoot. Repeat: Steps to achieving anything you want
Over two years ago, I was privileged to become a Marie Curie COFUND fellow in Ireland with a visiting opportunity to Spain. I started pursuing a Marie Curie position at least 2 years before I eventually got it. I followed certain steps to arrive at the position. These are the same steps I have used every time. I thought it’ll be helpful to share them with you early enough this year so you can apply them in your pursuits this year.
When you find something to target, aim at it. To aim at it means that you are actively planning to achieve your target. When we aim at a target, we usually use a gun or a bow and an arrow
Consider these to be a representation of your arsenals, your superpowers.
It won’t make sense to say you are aiming to achieve something without unleashing all you have in your talent arsenal on it. But then, you need to ask yourself if you’ve got your gun or bow and arrow, and ready to aim.
For me then, aiming at becoming a Marie Curie fellow meant that I had to read several materials, write and re-write my proposal, go back and forth with my research mentors, learn new technical skills and so on. These made me fit to hit a Marie Curie fellow position without missing.
Let’s say you want to be an author this year, one way to aim at becoming that is to start thinking of ideas to write on, do an outline for the book and research each topic you want to write about.
Sometimes, you may have a target but cannot aim because you do not have the right arsenal. This then will require you to first acquire the necessary aiming tool for whatever you are targeting.
To focus means that you are single-eyed on your target. Sometimes, we do not hit the bull’s eye because we are distracted.
Distracted by failed goals or dreams
Distracted by previous targets not hit
Distracted by pressing needs
Distracted by upcoming deadlines
But have you noticed that distraction increases around you when you are in an environment that does not help you to focus?
You may need to stay away from a few things for a while.
From social media
Just to create the right environment to concentrate your thoughts on your target and plan or strategize.
Focusing on a target requires that your thoughts are invested in hitting the target. When you think enough about a challenge, you can develop ideas that can lead to solutions.
When you find a target, aim at it. Then, focus on it until the target is acquired within the area of your focus.
The best time to shoot is when your target is acquired within the area of your focus. In the game of shooting or archery, after you have aimed and focused on your target, you need to shoot.
That is, release the bullet from the gun or the arrow from the bow. Same with your target. Remember your arsenals? Your superpower? You do not want to waste them too.
One thing you don’t want to do is miss, which ultimately means wasting your resources. To shoot then means that you must put your arsenal – skills and talent to work.
Why would you aim at a target, and spend time studying how to hit it only to then not take action?
Or, what sense does it make if you have not acquired the skills, talent and knowledge needed to hit your target?
Before you shoot, be sure that it’s not going to be a waste of your bullet or arrow. Interestingly, you can actually know what the outcome would be when you shoot at your target. Onee only way you know this is if you have developed yourself appropriately.
When I was ready, I shot at a Marie Curie fellow position. And I did hit the target.
Sometimes, you may aim appropriately, maintain good focus and shoot quite accurately but for some reason, will still miss the target. If this happens, there’s only one thing to do.
Repeat the process.
Aim. Focus. Shoot. Until you hit your target.
Apeh Omede, PhD