Ready, Fire, Aim

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them”.
Henry David Thoreau

It’s rare for me to draw a blank. I can usually think on my feet. Some say I have a  gift for story.

Other’s say I’m full of it. Story, I assume is what they mean.

Tonight, though, it feels like I’ve got nothing. Nada. Zip.

I suppose I could just keep on writing about nothing. Hey, it worked out OK for Jerry Seinfeld. “It’s a show about nothing,” says George Costanza.

“Why would anyone watch it?”

“Because it’s on television.”

“Not yet it isn’t.”

Now it feels like I’m just putting down anything to get started. Almost like I’m feeling that if I can just get enough words out, something good will happen.

I’m not sure. Let’s just say that I’m not holding my breath.

Still, good things can happen when you just say what the heck, let’s do it. For example, JFK. Kennedy decided that America would put a man on the moon before 1970. Depending on who you believe, American astronauts walked on the moon in 1969.

Either that or they walked on the surface of a secret sound stage in LA. Either way, it was pretty cool.

I wish I had a bit more go-with-the-flow, but I prefer Ready-Aim-Fire. The problem is, though, that I usually stop at Aim. I get ready. Then I aim. And aim. And aim.

And never really get around to the firing part.

With this blog post series, I’ve been trying to get over myself. I’ve been trying to just put the work in, post it, and see what happens. So far, I haven’t died. This is progress, because some of this stuff has been – let’s be honest with each other – less than ideal.

I’ve been trying out the Ready-Fire-Aim approach.

This is a bit like Wilbur and Orville Wright. The Wright brothers were not aircraft people. Or engineers. They were, in fact, bicycle and small engine mechanics. While other companies worked on developing more powerful engines, the Wrights used what they already knew.

Bicycles were unstable, and so were airplanes. The key to the bicycle was in controlling the balance. They applied what they knew to airplanes. Their system of controls of fixed wing aircraft are basically in use today.

But they started out with no skills or expertise in the aircraft field. They started anyway.

I find myself admiring people who just get started. Don’t get me wrong. I think there is a place for research and deliberation. It’s just that I have a tendency to remain there.

I need to get used to the firing part of the equation.

I saw a show on military snipers. When they are getting ready for a competition, they fire a number of test shots. They have a spotter. The spotter says “You’re about 50cms left.”

The shooter adjust the sights and fires again. And again until the bullets fire into the target. If they simply spent all their time getting ready and aiming, they would never hit the target.

Or anything, really.

My dad always said that a ship in motion is easier to maneuver than one that is sitting still.  I think this is good advice for me, so I plan to take a shot. Even if I don’t quite know how to get started.

I can always adjust my aim later.

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