I started today like I do every day: exercise, breakfast, coffee, news and reading, all intermixed with a healthy dose of distractions. I usually let my mind wander in the early morning, going between books, Twitter/Facebook and Angry Birds, but this morning all I could think about was the impact of those distractions.
While at times it may seem necessary to be distracted, what happens when I let my guard down, momentarily forgetting what I do and who I am?
I like to think that because I work hard, I can play hard, but there is a difference between achieving 3-star status on every level of Angry Birds: Seasons and doing something that I value, like writing a new blog post or finishing a book I have been reading. There is a difference between “seeing” what is going on in the SocialSphere (Twitter/Facebook) versus calling up a friend or colleague and asking how they are doing and what I can do to help them today.
The ultimate difference between distraction and focus is found in the reality that they are polar opposites from each other. I won’t value the importance of focus without understanding how distractions remove my ability to focus. This view of focus and distraction leads me to ask a very simple question:
How long will I allow things and circumstances to distract me and take away my focus from my life’s work?
I can only go for a few days before a spiritual lethargy creeps in and I become depressed. I long for what I don’t have, lust for what others have and are doing, and forget what it is that I have, what I am doing and what I’m working towards. The truth is that distractions allow fear to enter my mind and grip my heart. I become complacent and forgetful. Mediocre.
Like a constant drip that erodes a rock over time, so does my soul as I entertain the constant drip of distraction and lack of focus.
I find hope in the greater truth that a determined will can only be distracted long enough until the soul’s purpose and glory bursts forth and demands to be heard, focused and acted upon. By this very action, distraction is exposed for what it is and burns away in a single moment.