the need to win.

Janis Rozentāls' "Strēlnieks."

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.

excerpt from "the way of chuang tzu"
translated by thomas merton