How to Turn a Set-back into an Opportunity

catching-fire-photos-post-art-2In light of the recent release of the third installment of the Hunger Games, I can’t pass up this opportunity to write about the symbolism in the story. I have been a big fan of Katniss and the Hunger Games trilogy since reading the books several years ago. I think there are a lot of life-lessons we could all take away from the books, but I want to focus on the significance and symbolism of the arrow.

Arrows are different from other weapons/projectiles. There are more independent and flexible and their operation is unique. In order for an arrow to move forward and be effective it has to be pulled back. And not just pulled back, but pulled with great force and tension. When the tension is strong enough the arrow will fly forward and will go much farther than it possibly could if it had been thrown forward. So what makes it go farther and stronger? It is a combination of pulling back and tension or pressure.

Life does that to us too, it pulls us back and there seems to be a mountain of pressure ready to dump on us an any given moment. The pulling, we know that as a set-back. When was the last time you experienced a set-back? Did it feel like everything you have been working for was just beyond your reach? That you were actually moving farther away from your goal than you started? That can create its own kind of pressure but sometimes there are external pressures to add to the pile.

Those moments when it feels like there is a set back or when there is too much pressure and to goal is further than where you started, those are the moments when being goal-oriented is crucial. When there is a focus, a direction, there is still a target. That makes it impossible for you to stay in your set back forever. You have to move out of it and when you do you will move towards your goal. But that only happens when there is a release of pressure. That release can come from you – you can take control of the situation and let go of the pressures that don’t serve you, the pressures that hold you back. Sometimes we have to patiently wait and let others release the pressure, keeping your focus until that moment will still allow you to move forward to where you want to be.

You are the arrow and life is the bow, and you are the one who gets to pick the direction. You have the power to turn set-backs and what seems like overwhelming pressure into an opportunity to fly forward. Turn your stress into good stress and launch yourself forward!


When have you been an arrow? What happened as a result? 1

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