A Fly On The Screen Analogy For Reaching A Goal

Fly on insect net By Jonas Bergsten
By Jonas Bergsten via Wikimedia

A fly clings to the screen as it stares outside at a world it longs for but cannot reach.

Goals feel like that at times. Seemingly beyond our reach because of fear or an inability to find a pathway there.

Immobilized by indecision, the fly twitches its wings in a desperate unease of confusion, then suddenly leaps into an erratic flight, looking for a way outside to the goal that seems unattainable.

In a Hail Mary flight, the fly zigzags around, bouncing from screen to screen.

Is the hole here? Is it there?

How did I get here? How do I get there?

It will take time and effort. But the fly doesn’t have time—a day is a lifetime for a fly, while we humans think we have all the time in the world.

Sometimes, the fly finds its way outside by chance, through a rip in the screen or an open door. Maybe it took a day of bouncing off walls and crawling along window sills for an opportunity to reveal itself, a moment of happenstance that led to a path outside.

Like the fly, we work toward our goals with instinct (luck), timing, and the ability to know how to capitalize on an opportunity accidentally found.

Will we follow up on an email an agent sent?

Will we contact the editor who responded to a post?

Will that positive comment instill us with confidence?

Sometimes reaching a goal can be as daunting as a trapped fly trying to escape from a porch, seeing opportunity through the crisscross of screens, seemingly tangible, yet miles away. It always appears farther than you think and can take years (or an eternity in fly time) to finally get there.

But if you give up because you are tired or afraid you can’t find your way to the goal that has impassioned you your entire life, then your dreams may end up dead on the floor, twitching in regret, like a fly that never finds its way outside.

Find a path to your goal and persist in getting there. The only regret we have in life is the paralysis of inaction from a lack of self-confidence and the fear of failing.

Don’t be that fly that ends up on the floor, on its back, staring at sunlight filtering through the screen, as its life twitches into oblivion. Be the fly that finds its way outside.

2 Comments A Fly On The Screen Analogy For Reaching A Goal

  1. David

    The analogy is good, but I often feel like the “how” is the more difficult part of the equation. If we don’t know what to do (like the fly), how do we get to the other side? A lot of wing flapping in going on, but no progress is being made. Come to think of it, I can really relate to this!


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