In the true fashion of this post title, I am very late to posting because I felt wholly distracted this week. To complete the post, I took many breaks that I rationalized in one way or another. My ability to be distracted is unmatched, and I think you will be able to tell the moments within the post where I walked away and struggled to regain my thoughts. I decided to post without additional consideration or adjustment. It shows how sometimes, as we work through topics and subjects that monopolize our mind, it isn’t always clear or coherent.
Without further delay, here is “Distractions.”
Every journey is like an obstacle course. There are always things that go as planned, elements you could never have planned for, and surprising finds that seem to get you off track. Distractions are inevitable, but the way we receive them is what makes or breaks a journey. In some rare cases, what feels like a distraction may be a course correction in disguise. It’s essential to keep that in mind along the way.
I’m a planner by nature, but a procrastinator with the execution part. Looking back on significant failure points in my life, they all had an element of procrastination. I can rationalize all those moments because the things that made me procrastinate were “beyond my control.” In reality, I had a hand in creating those scenarios from the beginning, and the fault was only my own.
Oddly enough, I always saw sleep and relaxation as distractions because they slowed me down, and after doing either, it would take me some time to get the momentum back. Since I never prioritized my health over any of my outputs, this would usually burn me out quickly and create a ripple effect that was unstoppable until I hit a wall, and then I was down for the count. Had I only realized sooner that both sleep and relaxation were keys to achieving what I always wanted, I may have structured them more into my day to day and avoided a lot of issues before they occurred.
The things that distracted me were not unique. In my youth, I was distracted by things that were bright and shiny, people who were dark and handsome, and any activity that felt like a release of some kind. Since I also think age is only a mindset, and that I am relatively youthful, I stand by that statement of what distracts me, even today.
My curiosity turned almost anything into a distraction, which made me have breadth in my knowledge of the world, but I lacked depth in any particular subject area. I often wondered if this had something to do with my obsession with Jeopardy at a young age and the need to know a little about every possible topic I would be asked if I was ever on the show. School was never a challenge for me, and I never felt like I needed to study much to pass any class. Thinking back, I don’t remember the times I spent studying in high school; I may not have, and this may have been because I had a good memory. If I read something once, I’d usually remember it. Now, getting me to read something I wasn’t interested in or was “over,” was a separate issue. This superpower gave me some freedom to continuously pursue learning a vast array of topics and engage in many activities after school, helping me avoid dealing with anything important or personal.
I think the constant learning, ping-ponging from topic to topic growing up, was a reflection that I wasn’t happy with what I already had in my life. It seems like I was seeking something that would hook and keep my attention, so I just started tasting all the chocolates in the chocolate box of life. I was always pulled away from what I was focusing on, regardless of the need for it in my life. In scenarios where I was frustrated with what I was working on in school or my professional life, I would get “distracted” and blame my inability to focus and achieve because of any number of curiosities I was eyeing at the time. I’m also conscious that being able to indulge in distractions is also a privilege many aren’t afforded and that freedom may have been part of the issue.
When clear goals are set, and you have a passion for achieving them, distractions have less of a magnetic pull to them. In my experience, the goals I was most passionate about were always met, and usually before I planned, regardless of the number of curiosities I encountered along the way. We assign our mental and physical resources to optimize the output when we desire an outcome to come to fruition. If we find ourselves getting distracted from our goals easily, we either need to adjust our goals because either they weren’t smart or maybe we lack the desire to achieve them, or we need to create new goals because the ones we had are unrealistic. Without investment and a passion for completing what we set out to do, the effort is a waste of time.
I will come back to this topic at a later time when I have more clarity. Of all the issues I have covered, this has been the most difficult to write. I don’t know if that’s because my subconscious is trying to prove the point, or that I need more time to come to terms about when I allowed excuses for my lack of investment into a life experience. It may be a bit of both.