“Don’t be scared of hanging out of the helicopter to get a better shot, you’ll have a harness.” the helicopter pilot over the blades whipping above us. “You mean this?” I held up a floppy black seatbelt, looking no more secure than the belts in the old Jetta I hoped to blow up. Well, here we go. I shrugged my shoulders internally, and locked into go mode . . .
There wasn’t a choice of whether I would accomplish the shot or not, there was simply shooting.
It didn’t matter that this was the second time I’d been up in a helicopter in my entire life, the first being a tour over the Grand Canyon with my mom and dad when I was just a tiny Weiss. It didn’t matter that in order to get a good shot on the car, I had to hang my body and my left leg out of the door, high above the solid ground. It didn’t matter that a bunch of people below were watching me, waiting for the outcome. It didn’t matter that my hands first touched the SCAR rifle only 45 minutes before. It didn’t matter that worry filled the helicopter pilot’s eyes as he asked, “You’re gonna use a scope?” and when I nodded my head yes, he said, “well, that’s going to make it a lot harder.”
No. None of that mattered. Correction. None of that could matter. That’s all clutter in the mind, distracting from the shot. All that matters is the shot itself. The gun in my shoulder, aiming, the recoil, the follow through.
Same thing in life. We have so much clutter filling our minds if we let it. Worry of what could have been, what we should have done, what we should’ve said, or what we wished we had known. Then we bounce over to the future. We worry about how all the things we think could’ve been better, might mess up our future moments — or worse — our whole life path.
Focus, my friend.
Center on this moment. Play the cards that are dealt, and play them the best you can. That’s all you have control over. Keep your thoughts wrapped in the task at hand, with the tools in hand. Give yourself grace.
Back in the ‘copter, for a split second my mind rushed as I saw how tiny the car actually looked from way above, and the fact that the roof was my only target. The explosives technician rigged the roof with a strike plate. Hit it and it would blow. My scope picture danced and bounced all around the target, subject to the movement of the ‘copter. It was like being in rough and stormy seas and trying to keep your eye on a tiny life preserver in the distance flowing in and out of the frothing waves.
And then. Everything quieted.
Be it determination or a tiny clearing amongst the clouds of the mind, in that moment none of the challenges surrounding me mattered. I sent a shot, and in that split second as the flames began billowing around the Jetta from the first shot, I didn’t believe it. How could I possibly have gotten a shot like that off on the first shot? Before the flames reached their half way point or the success registered fully, my second shot sped through the bubbling fire as the black smoke greeted the azure sky.
Now, my friend, that whole video shoot was a learning experience. Usually I do things on my own (as you can probably tell). There were many more players for this one. So many things could’ve gone wrong, and did go wrong. Just one example, the MK116 rifle arrived for the first time in my grip shortly before I shot the RC car. I didn’t have a way to sight it in properly, so I had to aim a foot above the twirling little bugger, to even hit it. This of course meant my sites obscured the view of the RC. But, I didn’t have a choice. Correction. I didn’t allow myself a choice. Alternative choices to what you really want, contributes to more mind clutter. I simply had to work with what I was given for those moments, and not fret about the outcome.
There’s always a good possibility we will fail. We’re human. But we don’t actually fail if we max out the potential of the moment we have, and the tools we’re given for it. What’s happened and what will happen, is not in our control. Let that sink in. Outcome is not in our control.
Give up control of the moments surrounding the moment you grasp now, Sharp Shots. You may fail, but you may succeed. Forget the outcome. All that matters is this present moment. Work with what you’ve got starting right… … … NOW.