Friday’s Focus: Distractions Danielle Rogers February 6, 2015 Advice, Lifestyle, Relationships, Words of Wisdom Once you are able to work yourself into a productive routine or schedule you know exactly what a distraction looks like. Let me rephrase that, once you become habitual in your productive behaviors, you are more apt to detect any distractions that may come your way. Although the “see” in the initial statement was proverbial, I feel as though “see” isn’t a good choice of word due to the fact that some distractions can come masked as something yet come to teach you the same lesson you allegedly promised God you just mastered. As far as distractions go; you feel them and often in the early stages we don’t heed our inner voices and fall susceptible to whatever distraction presents itself to us at the time. It is very well possible to be baited by the same distraction multiple times in the same form. This can come in the form of trying to change people as opposed to removing ourselves from a situation. Continuously making the same mistakes in business believing that your lack of progression has more to do with others and not the potential redirection of your path. However, you also may overcome a distraction in one form but be presented with the same genre of distraction in another form. This is called the test. Often times we fail the test not because we aren’t capable but because we fail to retain and apply the lesson at hand. We subconsciously keep delving into repetitious cycles trying to avoid the same mistakes as opposed to focusing on the outcome we wish to obtain, thus driving us towards it. A subtle change in focusing on what you do want and not the things you don’t, already knocks half the battle out of your way. “War” so to speak is just as mental as it is physical. If you can train your mind your body and efforts will follow, it’s the same concepts that apply to working out. Training your mind is a task within itself, a task most people are unequipped to take on. The first step in training your mind is actually reprogramming your mind from all the things it’s been trained to come to know. Most people can’t sit in a quiet room for too long without getting antsy. Others can’t go for a drive in the car without having the radio on. Couple those things with work environments, the actual work, spending time with others, and space filling all that time with social media. When all those things are said and done there’s nothing left to do but fall asleep and rise the next day to do it all over again. When is the time being taken to release all that you have allowed to penetrate your psyche in the days time? How can you determine what you really feel as opposed to the nagging attention seeking brought on by your ego? Distractions don’t seem to weigh as heavily on traditional workers in the sense that one can do just enough to get by or gauge deadlines while still maintaining the ability to sleep comfortably knowing their check will arrive as scheduled. However, for creatives and entrepreneurs this is a burden far too costly to bear. Distractions can stifle your creativity. They also can have you falsely believing you have all the time in the world to spare because you are the captain of your own ship. You couldn’t be more wrong, being the captain of your own ship is a responsibility not a leisure. If anything you are the one with the least amount of time to spare and are at greater risk for losing it all and in turn yourself. What I find more times than not; distractions cause you to waste money, time, and miss opportunities. Yes, it feels amazing to “be free” and live on your own terms but there has to be an accountability factor maintaining balance through the act of actually running a business and not just being a creative. That’s if you seek to monetize your talents and gifts through intentional positive purposeful living. Distractions can affect any aspect of your life and can come in many forms but the most generic and all encompassing form is FUN. Fun can mean anything and nothing at all depending on who is presenting the opportunity and where said opportunity lies. Friends tend to pressure you with rowdy fun because chances are that’s your normal go to and in an effort to perceivably meet you half way they’ll entice you medium level fun such as staying in and drinking as opposed to hanging out at an establishment. Just like with anything else there’s levels to an opportunity for distraction so even if you’ve built up the will power to decline that one clever person will attempt to entice you to bring your work with you. Distracting yourself is also possible by simply focusing on the progression or lack thereof pertaining to another individual when you should be solely focused on your own journey. Our personal lives can also find itself on both sides of the fence. What this means is that you can be involved with someone that doesn’t support you or your work in the midst of the grind be it the big picture because they don’t see your vision or the small sacrifices it takes to get there. But just to revert back to not being able to see your vision, if you are romantically involved with someone or even if it’s just a friend, the love they have for you should manifest in the form of support when lack of understanding ensues. Just as your personal life has the potential to distract you from your professional life and vice versa the key as with everything else is to maintain balance. Spirituality is a personal and sacred thing. It succumbs to professional, personal, and social life when it comes to distractions. Spirituality is one of the main ways we find and are able to maintain balance, so without a strong spiritual foundation anything you do is already at a disadvantage. Without spirituality; we are less likely to have peace, love, and the uncluttered mind space necessary to make sounds decisions in any area of our lives. In short there is not set form of distractions or a particular aspect of you life that distractions will not try and penetrate. They will take whatever form appeals to your weak areas at the time as well as come as reminders to make sure you’re capable of making the proper decisions to elevate you higher. The best way to detect distractions in and around your life is to be still and know. This means quieting your mind and getting into a meditative or prayerful state where more times than not the answer will arise internally. What we then do with that answer is what will determine our path as a reward or consequence will then ensue. The effects of any decision may not arise immediately but just know the karma manifested from seeds planted makes it’s way into your life when God sees fit. In order to maintain structure in your life professionally, personally, or spiritually you have to be able to make the hard decisions. The decisions that make others uncomfortable and even challenge the life you’ve come to know. The reward is success and although it may get uncomfortable at times, the further you walk the path the more you commitment to your journey will validate those tough decisions. What are the distractions you need to minimize in your life? How are you potentially acting as a distraction in the lives of others? Now that you’ve pondered those questions the main question is what are you going to do about it? Your life can be completely different a year from now just from making the hard decisions to be committed to something greater than yourself. Making this commitment has the ability to trickle into all aspects of your life. People say you can’t have it all, I’m here to tell you otherwise. It’s about your focus, discipline, and willingness to grow beyond distractions. What kind of person do you desire to be? What dream is in your heart to fulfill? What kind of relationships do you wish to have? It all starts with calculated decision making and the confidence to curve and dismiss the distractions in your life. There is no right time, waiting will give you the same pains tomorrow as they would today but who knows the places you could be tomorrow if you purge your life today….and often.