Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Focus isn’t always an easy task. The less interesting the task, the more questionable the focus. Success usually depends on how important we view the task versus the amount of work that has to go into it. Too often, our long-term dreams aren’t important enough to influence us to make the difficult, but necessary short-term decisions. Instead, we turn to habitual distractions as a way to fill up the space we do not want to manage.
Fear and complacency weave a convoluted web from which it is hard to free ourselves. For better or worse, the truth we need to discover only happens when we remove the mental distractions. Only then can we focus our minds on what is happening around and more importantly, within us.
It’s why I sometimes avoid meditation. I’m not ready to face what it is I need to know. I’d prefer to get lost in the distractions, creating habits that are difficult to break. Without noticing it, I become a slave to avoidance. This presents a major problem however, as there is only so much avoiding one can do when trying to have a relationship with God. He’s going to help you gain clarity, even if you don’t like the methods… so my advice from experience is this, try your best to autocorrect.
These days, I’ve become a firm believer in figuring out if the goals I’ve set out to accomplish are actually the right ones, or just more distractions. I believe this is why I’ve started to experience the good. If life is continuously not getting where you want, it’s time to really question what it is you’re working towards. One of my greatest changes is where my spiritual life falls…it now comes first, everything else is secondary.
Managing the Not-So-Good Moments
To be clear though, I still make plenty of mistakes and I’ve created many distractions. I understand the not-so-good has a tenacious ability to hinder, paralyze, and frustrate. I’m aware that it blocks joy when you become lost in it. But mostly, I’m aware that distractions are an easy place to turn to in the times of not so good. I know because I’ve spent years actively distracting myself when I should’ve been more focused on being happy…and not the temporary, unhealthy kind… the permanent kind that leaves you at peace even as the world is in chaos around you. It’s the one that comes from God.
I’m learning it’s okay to put your phone away. It’s perfectly fine to keep some people in your life, and to remove others. There’s no need to feel guilty about shutting down your computer, stepping outside, and breathing fresh air. Live in the moment and choose who you want in those moments. They are the only one we have.
The Power in Finding Focus
I used to pride myself in multi-tasking; not so much anymore. Instead, I’m teaching myself to focus in on what’s important…and when the mind wanders…stop myself, and bring it back in. It’s a struggle. I want to maximize every minute, but that’s not necessarily to my benefit or anyone else’s. The more we try to cram in, the more people believe they can add. If you want more time, get rid of the distractions.
For the first time in a long time, I woke up this morning and I told myself, I will not accomplish everything that I want to get done, so instead, I’m going to choose what I need to get done… and that list needs to be attainable. I cannot do everything. There are not enough hours in the day, and that’s okay. What’s not okay, however, is to not achieve my goals because I’ve lost focus. It’s not okay to let fear be the reason I don’t accomplish what’s most important. It’s not okay to waste my time. It’s a gift from God. I should be more responsible with it.
Careers will come and go. Love may too. There will be moments that feel like forever and others that will make you want to fade into dark. In every moment of every day, don’t just settle for knowing what you need to do, but make sure you’re okay with the why. The sketchier the why, the more difficult it is to maintain focus. I’m often saddened when I watch people fighting for what they don’t truly need in life. Their dissatisfaction further distracts them to their potential to achieve peace. Be patient with these people…because they need you. They need your prayers, your support, and your love. No one needs your judgement.
As we create plans for our futures, I challenge each of us to spend some time thinking about our goals. Have we prioritized our mental well-being over our physical one? Have we accepted average because we don’t want to work for excellence? Has the material outweighed the spiritual? It’s okay to make a new list. When doing so, pray over it, revise it, question it, and confirm it. God never intended to keep good from us, but He also loves us enough to give us choice, so let’s make sure we aren’t choosing to keep good from ourselves. We only have one life. Let’s make it count.Print This Devotional