Good quotes inspire readers and connect with them on a deep and meaningful level. A great quote does all the above, and more: It includes archery. Check out our Top 5 archery quotes, and let us know which ones are on target.
“In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns around and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself.”
Every subject seems to inspire a Confucius quote, and archery is no exception. When something goes wrong, we need to look inside ourselves and reflect on whether we helped cause it. Humans are quick to assign blame when things go astray, but we must consider what we can do to fix things.
When an arrow misses, it didn’t suddenly turn. The archer caused the arrow to follow that path. The same is true in life. Daily choices we make often determine how our future plays out. It’s up to us to correct our failures. An arrow won’t fly straight unless you shoot it straight, and our lives will not go the way we want until we live them that way.
“The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede.”
German philosopher Eugen Herrigel uses archery as a metaphor for life’s great questions in “Zen in the Art of Archery.” One could argue that the accomplishments that make a successful life are completely objective. What some view as great achievements might seem minor to others. It serves no purpose to do something just because you think you should.
Nobody’s paths are the same, and nobody takes the same steps to reach the same goal. Likewise, forcing matters seldom gets us to the goal faster. When you stop overthinking and simply act naturally, things usually fall into place. Archery follows the same principle. The perfect angle for one archer might trigger a catastrophic shot for another.
“Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.”
Archery provides a sense of stability, even though each shot’s outcome depends on the archer’s draw and release. Though arrows are unpredictable and independent from the bow, archers can count on the bow they hold to be the unchanging factor in an otherwise calculated sport. Your aim, draw or stance can differ each shot, but the bow never changes. As wild as arrows can be, they rely on the bow and the archer for consistency.
Life guides us to try new things and take exciting adventures, but afterward we still want something to return to. Everyone needs a bow they can count on to be consistent, literally and figuratively.
“The main thing about archery is a battle with yourself. You can ruin it all. Once you have learned the technique, the point is to re-create the perfect technique over and over and over.”
Geena Davis is as wise as she is a talented archer and actress. We’re our own best friends and worst enemies. You – and you alone – determine how well you do in life or on the archery range. When things go wrong, you can repeat the same mistakes or pinpoint the problem and solve it. Missteps and malfunctions can teach us what to do differently. Once you figure out what works for you, you can only get better, at the range and in life.
“In piano, if you try to force hitting this key and that key, it’s very broken. It’s not pretty. When you’re in archery, you can’t try to force it step-by-step-by-step. Then the shot doesn’t flow and it’s not a good shot. If you just let the performance flow, it’s really beautiful.”
Olympic archer Miranda Leek knows talent should be organic. Music comes from the soul, just as archery does. Great musicians know how to play instruments, and how to feel them. Archers are at their best when they can feel the bow rather than just shoot it. Fundamentals are essential tools, but at some point you must use those tools to build something greater. Trusting your abilities enough to relax and go with the flow is difficult. Most people spend their life trying to achieve such confidence, but once there you can create a symphony from any shot you take.
We cite quotes to spark hope and put words to thoughts and ideas we can’t express as clearly or eloquently. Finding a quote that speaks to you is like making a new friend. It’s comforting and lets us know we’re not alone. Archery instills that feeling, too. Let’s hope these quotes resonate with you the next time you’re at your local range.