I remember recognizing the significance of distractions early in my journey toward bettering myself.
Today, about a year later, I am starting to receive tangible external blessings for my toils. Yet once again, distractions seem to surround my tasks and work space. They are calling out to me. They are poised to test my resolve and ready limit my success.
Some distractions are small and far less difficult to recognize and overcome.
Video games, comic books, fiction literature, and of course the television are all examples of these. Today they still attempt to pull my attention away from all the things that are far more important and pressing.
These types of small material distractions are the easiest to ward off. Even if I allow myself a few moments (or hours) of mindless entertainment, peeling myself away and refocusing is less a challenge today than it was one year ago. I have broken down plenty of bad habits and reprogrammed myself with enough good ones to facilitate the transition back to the more crucial tasks at hand.
Other distractions are significantly more complicated to overcome. But that’s okay.
On one hand, challenges are what drive improvement. If everything is easy, than there is no hope for growth through struggle. On the other side of the coin, complex distractions cause intense cognitive dissonance. Formulating a plan and following through on it are major ingredients in the success I’ve grasped so far.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful break spent with people I love. We wore pajamas all day, overate, and did anything we wanted to, except for what we needed to do on any other day of the week.
I have no regrets about the reprieve. Putting my family first for the day was an important action.
Being all-in with my loved ones is another form of progress that cannot be understated. It won’t bring me traditional forms of financial and business prosperity. Yet it’s good for my soul. It’s probably the best action I can take and make me more the man I most desire to be.
Thanksgiving is a great example of the type of distraction that is okay to lean into.
Being there for family and friends is a necessary break from the monotonous but crucial other forms of self-work. Through this simple action I gain social and emotion musculature that I will need in most of my other life pursuits.
Additionally, nothing builds the all-powerful and all-knowing network like presence and connection. That same network provides sustainable well-being and opportunities when they’re least expected.
I will probably always feel the desire to stay on the path of personal self-development. I want to write, sell, work out, plan, and execute more, always. I want to become that best version of myself; not for my legacy, but for me.
I don’t worry about financial greatness, despite the necessity of monetary stability and the drive to leave my wife and daughter in a good position when I inevitably pass on to whatever’s next.
They do need that. However, while I’m here I know I can do that and much more. I can stay busy crushing and grinding AND allow myself the distraction of time spent with them.
Giving myself permission to be pulled in by the magnetic power of distractions is, for the most part, a wholly self-centered act. But allowing myself to be distracted by family, or some new adventure or endeavor, can be the spark that ignites the flame that fuels everything else I’m trying to achieve.
Sometimes I must resist distraction’s magnetic polarity, and other times I need to allow myself to get sucked in because I, and the others in my life, are worth it.
P.S. Writing this piece was in fact a distraction from more pressing and financially lucrative pieces I should be writing. It happens. If I tell myself this was just a warm-up for those, then I should be able to justify it. 😉