How to Stay Focused – Even When Distractions Are All Over the Place
Distractions always present themselves throughout the day. How we respond to them will separate those who stay focused on their goals from those who don’t. We must consciously choose how to spend our time and where to place our energy. Life is full of surprises and moment-to-moment teachings. As such, it is also important to assess whether they support our goals, or distract us from them. When we see them clearly, we can increase our productivity and get more done, while finding fulfilment in our lives.
Here is an example to illustrate what I mean. A while back, I was in a focused creative flow in my studio, working on new musical material. I felt as though I was in heaven. The project was time-sensitive and was due for submission the following day. I was totally committed to that success—I thought.
While I was in the thick of the creative process, a friend spontaneously dropped by unannounced with someone he really wanted me to meet. Rather than making the visit short and saying it was not an ideal time for me, I offered them tea, then dinner and even a long visit in my studio. The new friend was a music producer, so I was even further tempted and sidetracked by shop talk and the exchange of technical tips.
One could argue that the visit was useful in terms of keeping me on path, because we did share information that could have helped my project. But why then, once they left, did I feel so depleted?
Be honest – with yourself and others
When we follow our path and do what is in alignment with our highest good, we feel rooted, vital and expansive, no matter what our mind may think or our emotional self may feel. Truth is always clear like a sharp sword. If I had a true commitment to the success of my goals and my deepest joy, I would have been more honest with my needs and kept the visit short.
I got confused in thinking that perhaps the spontaneous appearance was grace, helping me to fulfill my goals. But here, the grace was not in saying yes to the visit. Rather, it was an opportunity to learn to say no.
Set boundaries by thinking like a pro athlete
At a basketball game, fans in the stands wave coloured wands and do their best to distract players from the opposing team as they take a foul shot. Obviously, the player taking a shot needs to keep his eye on his target and not get distracted by the scene in the stands. Could you imagine if he stopped the game, closed his eyes, and asked himself if the waving pool noodles or dancing mascot were a sign from God that he was supposed to miss his shot and instead serve dinner to everyone? We see that the idea is clearly ridiculous. But that is what we may be doing to ourselves, many times each day.
Every moment is filled with possibility, which is part of the magnificence and divine beauty of being alive. On our path, we must learn to clearly see the difference between an opportunity that moves us towards our desired goals and a distraction that pulls us away from our true joy.
Stay focused on your joy
We each have our own way to remain focused on our goals. Some will meditate. Others will journal, visualize or engage in self-talk. Others may do a combination of these. Whatever works for you, put that first in your day, every day. Make sure your goals are right up front and central in your life. Every day, give your life to yourself fully and completely, so you may serve the world. A closed hand cannot receive and an empty heart cannot give.
Take a moment every morning to review your goals for your life, your goals for this year and your goals for this day. Know what brings you joy. Imagine the day fully supporting your heart’s desire.
You will be tested, but that is part of life. The distractions will show up in the most unsuspected ways, like spontaneous knocks at your door that pull you away from your truest joy. Be your own world-class athlete and focus on shooting to score, in whatever way fills you with inspired grace.
Parvati is an award-winning musician (“I Am Light”, “Electro Yog”, “Yoga In The Nightclub”), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (“The Grace Mindset”, “Aonani of Avalon”, “The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness”) and founder and CEO of the nonprofit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.