Bold Adjustments

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to be in the army, and for fear of sounding like Uncle Albert and saying “Duwing the war!” I did learn a lot of lessons – some obvious and some more bizarre – from my time in uniform. So, today’s lesson children is to do with correcting artillery fire…

The point of this may not at first seem apparent but bear with me. When one (a military type one) fires artillery, one will often fall short or go beyond the target. The temptation then is to add a little bit of distance or take away a little bit to get closer. However this often results in ‘creeping’ towards the target, as seen in World War I and uses a lot of ammunition and time to achieve the aim – hitting the target. So, what artillery types are told to do instead is to ‘make a bold adjustment’, meaning if the first shot was short go quite a bit longer than you think you need to or if it’s long the same in reverse. The second shot is therefore almost certainly on the opposite side of the target and therefore the target is inside a known ‘bracket’ and the fire can now be controlled within a known distance. If this wasn’t done, the first and second shots would be at the bottom or top of an unknown scale and bringing it on target could take ages. What am I banging on about (pun intended as always)?

This is a metaphor for life. Have you had a job that’s so-so and you’re not really sure you want to be there but think that maybe a promotion or raise will make you see it in a different light? What about a fitness goal that eludes you as you try to make incremental changes like running a 10k rather than 5 or losing just 1kg of the 10 you’d hoped for? I’m reckoning that there’s a time in your life, maybe now, where you are making creeping adjustments towards a goal that actually you’re not sure you even want. I prescribe making a bold adjustment instead. Change jobs entirely to one you want to do (it’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to be on than halfway up one you don’t). Sign up to a marathon, you’ll run your 10k on the way. Be bold. Really go for it. You have nothing to lose*. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

*Life is hard. There’s always a reason not to do something. Always. You need to pay the rent etc. but permanently putting off your ambitions due to Normal Domestic Concerns (NDCs – I’ve just made that up) is madness. Don’t be on your deathbed and say “I wanted to be a poet/balloon animal maker/trapeze artist but I had to pay the rent.” We all have to pay the rent. Following our ambitions requires hard work, and support and understanding from those around us, cultivate both and make it happen. The alternative is mediocrity.

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