The archery teacher

A long time ago there was a teacher of archery. He took his students into the woods for some practice. On a branch of a tree he set a clay pigeon. The students formed a line, and he went to the student at the head of the line. "What do you see? ", he asked. "I see the tree, the branch, the bird, and the sky," said the student. "Go back to the end of the line," said the teacher. He asked the second student, "what do you see?". "I see the forest, I smell the flowers, and hear the wind!" said the student. "No need to raise your bow. Go back to the end of the line." said the teacher. And in this way, the teacher told every student to go back to the end of the line.

It was now the turn for our hero. The teacher asked him "what do you see?". The student replied, "I see the eye of the bird.". The teacher asked him "Do you see the tree?". "No." said the student. "Do you see the flowers?". "No, I see nothing but the eye of the bird. All else is darkness.". "Well done," said the teacher, " raise your bow."

The student raised his bow and shot the target dead centre.

The purpose of the story is to teach the importance of focus. When you're focused on a single purpose with no distractions, you will achieve your goal. When you're trying to write code with an IM window and a YouTube video distracting you, you're bound to make errors.

The story comes from India, where the teachers name is Dronacharya, and the student was the famous warrior Arjuna. It is one of the stories embedded in the epic myth, Mahabharata and is one of my favourites.