Growing up, I saw distractions jump into my face to announce themselves. It was pretty easy to say no comfortably or respond with a yes intentionally. The story is quite different today. The older I get, the more I realise distractions are neither black nor white but grey. I learn each day that distractions are clad as great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, camouflaged as the next big thing your good friend wants a collaboration on and all the supposedly life-changing ideas to pursue now which is not in line with your current plan. Distractions will delay you or make you change your path altogether. Hence, the need to identify and handle them appropriately.
Know Your Vision
It is important for you to know what you want in life. The only way to identify a counterfeit product is to know the original product inside out. You will be able to tell a distraction from an opportunity when you know exactly what you want. Work on getting clarity of your vision or plan. Get to know it thoroughly. Note that knowing your vision doesn’t mean you will know all the steps to take to achieve it. But at least, it will serve as a compass on your journey.
Now that you know what you want to achieve, seek counsel. There’s nothing new under the sun. Spend time reading books on the topic, ask someone in that field or search on Google. When you are contemplating taking on a role, opportunity or task ask questions, find out how they fit in your vision for your life. Do this often. When you seek counsel you will;
- Get a fresh perspective
- Confirm your doubts
- Get more knowledge of the topic
- Understand the odds.
Say No and say it often
Choose your battles. You cannot be everything for everybody at all times. You cannot keep saying yes to things you do not like or want to do. Learn to say no politely and respectfully to any form of distraction. If you know you will eventually say no to a request, don’t procrastinate, say it early. Be honest with yourself and own up to your decision. Understand that your decision could backfire and be ready for the outcome. Saying no will prevent you from being frustrated and make room for opportunities in line with your vision.
Stay focused on your vision. Be so engrossed in building your vision that you have no time to distract yourself. Progress comes with consistency. Don’t give up. Surround yourself with people who challenge you and remind you of why you started. Think. Spend lots of time thinking about what you want and ways to achieve it. Identify what it will take to get you there and put in the work. Root for yourself just because you can.
Settling is easy and safe. Settling will give you an ‘okay’ life. Unfortunately, okay is boring. Why settle for good when you can be the best? Waiting for the right opportunity takes determination and patience. But that’s the right thing to do. Work on your craft while you wait for the breakthroughs. Don’t settle. You won’t be fulfilled. You know you can do more. You know you can be better. Don’t choose the easy way out. Don’t say yes to a distraction because it’s comfortable.
Your journey to greatness will be plagued with several distractions. Some obvious, others subtle. Have enough insight to acknowledge them and courage to defeat them. Don’t be blinded by anything. Remain focused and stay true to yourself.