I had always imagined myself to be a very focused young lady, who knew where she was going everytime. Until last year. From the beginning of the year to when it ended, I struggled with one form of distraction or the other. In November, I wrote something about it here. While some of the distractions were subtle and BENIGN, others were “full-blown” MALIGNANT distractions. I never thought I could be that distracted in my life. Now I know better.
Distractions are a part of everyday life. From the moment you hit your feet on the floor and grab your toothbrush to rush into the bathroom, with the hope of beating the early morning traffic on your way to work; your phone starts to blink calling your attention to a new BBM notification. “I’ll just quickly check this one” you say, next thing you’re 5 minutes behind your schedule. Or that moment you’re so glued to the Tv screen watching your favorite soap late into the night, that you can only squeeze 3 minutes to read your bible before you doze off, or you ignore reading it altogether. Obviously you wake up an hour later than expected the next morning, feeling groggy. Then there are all those juicy stuffs on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram about one celebrity or the other that you can’t seem to have enough of. You spend hours upon hours, mindlessly drooling over them. Thanks to the social media, the list is endless. I know what it’s like, cos I’ve been there.
Sometimes we are so caught up with daily random stuffs pertaining to other people, that we momentarily forget all about ourselves. We practically stop living our own lives, and become spectators in other people’s affairs. And it gets worse. We go on to start replicating some of their ideas and ideals, transforming ourselves into copy-cats. More often than not we end up frustrated, because we are not them.
Perhaps the highlight of this is when our close friends decide to go on trails we’d rather not. But for the sake of maintaining such relationships, we begin to compromise our “uniqueness” just so that we can have a sense of belonging. I’ve experienced this to a great extent and I can tell you how intimidating/frustrating it is. It takes a lot of stubbornness to go along an unpopular route, especially when members of your close circle are not heading in the same direction.
How do I cope with distractions? Here’s one SECRET. When 2015 started, I had this Primary Goal: To be DECISIVE, DELIBERATE AND DETERMINED about everything I did. And by God’s grace, the year was largely successful because of that. I’ve learnt to shut distractions down with such brute force, that I can almost applaud myself now. Ofcourse I still have some lapses, but God is taking me to a higher level. I remind myself everytime; why I’m doing this and not that, why I’m going there and not somewhere else, why I shouldn’t get into the MAD RUSH for Gold like some folks would suggest; because THE LORD maintains My LOT (Psalm 16:5). Hallelujah!
That’s why I readily recommend that you practice daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goal-setting. Whichever works for you. And when necessary, do self-appraisals and be accountable to others too. Many People fail to achieve their dreams because they get lost somewhere in the crowd, exchanging their Passions for what is more Popular.
Learn to manage the distractions around you. Take a break from the Social media if you must, you won’t DIE! Turn the TV off! Switch your DATA/WIFI off too! Don’t follow your friends’ opinions mindlessly! Discover yourself in light of God’s WORD. Remind yourself of the Goals you’ve set!
Make sure everything you do takes you a step closer to the place you want to be. The best time to INVEST in yourself is NOW. Your future self will thank you for it.