This sharp little poem has really struck a chord with me!
To work out why, I tried substituting author for archer and applause for prize. There’s no doubt an overwhelming desire to show off is a surefire way of taking your eye off the ball … or bull. Double vision indeed!
Amazing that the poem was written 24 centuries ago, don’t you think?
When an archer is shooting for nothing He has all his skill If he shoots for a brass buckle He is already nervous If he shoots for a prize of gold He goes blind Or sees two targets - He is out of his mind! His skill has not changed. But the prize Divides him. He cares. He thinks more of winning Than of shooting - And the need to win Drains him of power. Chuang Tzu