Are Distractions Keeping You From Your Goals?


We live in a world where distractions abound, where the internet, entertainment and consumerism seduce us to self medicate in seemingly benign and socially acceptable ways. For each of us the hook may be different: work, shopping, sports, sex, gambling, alcohol, drugs, television, cell phones, or hobbies. But the result is the same: procrastination, justification, and not honoring our commitments to ourselves. Patterns and protocols are formed and embedded in our daily routine. Before we know it we are living only a fragment of our potential. It is our mandate to discover our longings and express our talents, gifts, and purpose on the planet. Most people feel frustrated and incomplete when distractions keep them from achieving a goal.

The key to cultivating an organized mind and living our potential is understanding it does not happen on its own. The amount of discipline required to avoid distractions is greater than ever especially with cyber-world poking at us all the time.

Rather than take individual responsibility our cultural conditioning encourages us to engage in blame on circumstances and things outside of ourselves, as in: “I’m so busy that…

Whatever it is that keeps us from focusing on a goal and sticking to it is evidence of the power of distraction. Add to this the ego’s resistance to change, and the fear of being uncomfortable in the change and it’s easy to see how we avoid self-reflection and the possibility for change.

Whatever we have done we can undo. Healthy new habits can be formed. We can change the old tapes we play in our minds and cut a new groove in our habit patterns, beginning with the thoughts that form them. We can navigate through the labyrinth of the things that tend to sidetrack our attention away from fulfilling our intentions. When thoughts of lack, limitation, and doubt are lodged in our subconscious mind a pattern is formed. The point is to consciously, wisely set our aspirations and set those forces in motion that support us in moving our lives forward and fulfilling them.

The following is a five step practice to “re-groove” thought patterns lodged in consciousness and become effective at making positive change leading to a successful outcome.

Step One: Break It Down

In this first step, think of a specific, highly charged situation that really pushes your buttons, that causes a “fight or flight” reaction within you. Or bring into your awareness any goal that you yearn to fulfill but from which you hold back. Next, identify the top three emotions you feel at the height of your anxiety or fear.

Step Two: Observe Your Mind-Set

Become an impartial, nonjudgmental witness to the three emotions you have identified. View your emotions from a third-person perspective, as if you were watching your scenario projected onto a big screen while remaining unattached to what you observe. Ask yourself, “What is underneath this?” Stay open and receptive, gently repeating the question and inviting the answer to emerge.

Step Three: State the Opposites

Identify the opposite quality of the three emotions you recognized in Step One. For example, in place of fear, trust; in place of rejecting your emotions, acceptance; in place of anxiety, calmness.

Step Four: Re-groove Your Emotional Patterns

Remember, all of the opposite qualities you just identified already exist within you. Your work is to call them forth, to become acquainted with them through practice, practice, practice. It’s simply a matter of re-grooving the old thought patterns etched in your automatic response system until those that support and affirm the truth about your inner dignity and worthiness are in the forefront of your relationship with yourself. Habits can change with practice!

Step Five: Live Your Best Life, What Have You Got to Lose?

Order and organization arise from a decision. Once you make a decision the universe conspires to help make it happen. By taking action toward a goal, one decision at a time and elegantly keeping your promise to yourself by warding off distractions and staying one pointed, eventually things will fall into place. Remember the emotional foundation and re-groove the brain’s patterns.

For example, whenever fear arises in your mind you have chosen to replace it with trust and anxiety with peace,  Prior to going into a situation where fear or anxiety normally arises in your mind, prepare yourself by calling forth trust. The gift is always being given, but it depends upon your acceptance of it in order to be expressed through and as you.

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Check out my book: Spiritual Makeover: Ten Practices For Falling In Love With Your Life