Fight for Focus
There is a battle going on and one of the prizes is your mind. (I’ll get to the second prize in a bit.) The war is cultural and the weapon is distraction. Why can’t you finish a thought, complete a project or track with a conversation? Because you are being lured away by a zillion other flashing options.
Be clear, I’m not talking about mental illness or brain health that might require medical care. I’m talking about the majority of people who struggle with the overload of information and entertainment slung at us every waking minute.
For instance, I can’t seem to simply relax and enjoy a bit of mindless TV like I did back in the day (pre-google). I want to check things out as I watch… Who is that actor married to? What was that old movie called? Where can I buy the top she’s wearing? I’m doing research instead of focusing on the silly story in front of my face. Distraction!
It only begins with TV viewing. It ramps up when we work online. You may have six windows open at once, toggling all around between social media, news updates, email and game scores. Forget productivity. Focus, HA!
I mentioned a second prize in this cultural war, and it is … your soul. In addition to the myriad of digital and real-time distractions fighting for your attention, there are emotional rewards attempting to distract you from what truly matters: Loved ones, serving others, being generous, good health and most importantly, God.
When you’re dedicated to winning the prize of the moment, your focus can be pulled from the One True God to all the little gods we erect in our lives. Things like wealth, fame, success, a glorious physique, an Honor Student bumper sticker. With the promise of fulfillment, any of those can win the war for your soul, at least for a time.
In his book, Gods at War, Kyle Idleman says we’re all wired for worship, and our choices are a strong indication of what “gods” we are worshiping. Below are some things he says reveal where your focus is landing and what matters most to you:
- What I choose to do for a living.
- How I choose to manage my money.
- What I choose to watch on TV.
- The people I choose to have as friends.
- The websites I choose to visit.
- The clothes I choose to wear.
- The way I choose to spend my day off.
- The food I choose to eat.
- What I choose to think about.
If you’re nodding your head because you realize your focus is being pulled from what’s honestly significant to things that don’t have lasting value or add to your contentment, maybe it’s time to make some changes. Make a list of what distracts you most and identify two realistic things you can do to alter your course. You have to fight for focus or you’ll lose the battle.
Remember, I’m here to help!