Why is it That We Miss the Target So Often?

Most of the Time it’s Because We Aren’t Focused on the Target

Why is it that we can so easily lose our focus? There are a few reasons for a lack of focus. It could be the millions of things that surround us every day that are working extra hard to get our attention. Or it could be because we’re bored, tired, wired, or busy.

Focus can be hard but it’s vital for accomplishing your goals.

Too often when we are about to accomplish our goal, we lose our focus and quit. Focusing and persisting can be hard but it’s worth the effort.

“A sailor who fearfully watches stormy seas lash his vessel will always steer an unproductive course. But a wise and experienced captain keeps his eye firmly fixed on the lighthouse. He knows that by guiding his ship directly to a specific point, the time spent in discomfort is lessoned. And by keeping his eye on the light, there never exists one second of discouragement.”

From the 7th Decision in The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

I will persist without exception.

If you’ve ever come close to achieving something but didn’t quite reach your goal, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Close, but no cigar.”

Have you ever stopped to think about this phrase? And why a cigar?

The expression, “Close, but no cigar” means that a person fell slightly short of the desired outcome and therefore gets no reward.

The phrase most likely originated in the 1920s when fairs, or carnivals, would hand out cigars as prizes. At that time, the games were targeted towards adults. Yes, even in the ’20s most carnival games were impossible to win which often led the owner of the game to say, “Close, but no cigar” when the player failed to get enough rings around bottles or was just shy of hitting the target.

It’s easy enough to see why it’s hard to hit a target when playing carnival games where the odds are stacked against you.

But real life isn’t a carnival game.

In real life we can hit our target if we align our goals with God’s

Too often we think we have it all figured out only to find out later that we don’t, like Nicodemus the Pharisee in John 3:1-17. He was a smart Jewish leader and should have known what the Scriptures said. He said to Jesus, “You could not do miracles unless God were with You.” And Jesus replied, “You must be born again before you can see God’s Kingdom.” Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?”

Jesus replied, “Everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life.” 

Close, but no cigar, Nicodemus.

When we disregard Scripture and live our lives contrary to its teaching, we will miss the target. There is a difference between knowing of God and KNOWING GOD.

Live your life so that you don’t hear God tell you…close but no cigar.

God held nothing back in His love for us, not even His Son! We should hold nothing back in our focus on the target.

An Update on The Lavallee Remodeling Project





A Good Example of How to Hit A Moving Target



A few weeks ago, I wrote about the challenges of remodeling and how they pertained to the Lavallee project. I pointed out that these challenges start before construction and continue throughout the project. These moving targets are part of remodeling.


Hitting a moving target requires the ability to look ahead and visualize where it’s going.

One of the project goals was increased head room at the top of the stairs on the second floor. The top of the stairs ended in a low vaulted ceiling attic room with a small raised dormer for head room. This area was cramped and dark. It didn’t provide a very usable space.














The increased head room was the initial focus. We also planned to remove a dividing wall doubling the square footage of the space. It was still going to have limited head room at the sides of the room but would provide the head room needed to access the second floor and would make a great play area for kids.

The original plan was to install some beams to allow for raising the center portion of the roof and ceiling. As the project progressed, we began seeing another option to gain more usable space by adding to the existing short walls. This option would open the area up more and make it more usable. It would also allow enough wall height for installing two 25” x 25” windows above the porch roof giving the area some great natural light.












Once the walls were built level it was apparent the floor was not. It was decided to remove the floor from the stairway landing and level it up as well as eliminate the existing broken floor joists. When the original painted tongue and groove wood floor was uncovered it was determined that it should be salvaged and used. At this point we don’t know where yet, but we’ll find the right place.

After seeing the open framed ceiling with a few temporary ceiling joists, the customer asked about leaving it vaulted. After some discussion, we decided to leave it vaulted with a narrow flat ceiling near the ridge and install some beams rather than ceiling joists.

As you can see the targets keep moving and we have the stairway landing one in our sight.

The floor height in the stairway landing area was fifteen inches lower than the height of the second floor. To accommodate this height difference there was a step at the top of the stairway turned 90 degrees. This is not a good design and is not going to work. We are currently planning to cut a step back into the second floor rather than how it is currently.




At our weekly production meeting with the customers earlier this week we discussed the stairway plans. As we talked there were some new and different options that began to surface.


I’ve been thinking about some ideas for this stairway since the meeting and have come up with different options. I think this target is on the move and we better get it in our sights.




Check back later to see what direction the stairway goes and how it turns out.