“A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it.” —Anonymous
Distractions. Our world has become a constant feed of information and entertainment. Each message enters our mind with one goal: Gain control of our attention and resources.
Additionally, we live in a world of unparalleled opportunity. Most of us live in environments where we are free to pursue an infinite number of possibilities with our lives.
And in a world of constant distraction and ever-increasing opportunity, the need for focus becomes even more significant.
Those who accomplish the most good and realize the greatest influence with their lives understand this importance. As a result, they are committed to refining their focus and living intentional lives because of it. They know the good they can bring to this world. And they seek desperately to remove the distractions that keep them from achieving it.
Focused, intentional living requires three important steps, none of which can be forgotten or neglected:
1. Those who live intentional lives define what they most desire to accomplish. They recognize there is not enough time to accomplish everything. Instead, they have learned to develop a clear picture of their greatest possible accomplishment/s. For example, one of my goals is to significantly change the world by promoting minimalism in a world of consumerism. This passion provides the framework upon which I make decisions. It impacts my pursuits. And it directs the resources (time, energy, finances) I have available to me.
2. Those who live intentional lives recognize the importance of removing distraction. Distractions, by their very definition, cause harm by stealing our resources. They adversely impact our potential to achieve our most-desired accomplishments outlined above. But unfortunately, far too often, they go unnoticed. Our lives go unevaluated. We are subtly lured away from true significance in our lives. As a result, our greatest goals often go unmet. One of the greatest benefits of minimalism is that it forces us to define our values. And it helps us better define and remove distractions—at least, in physical terms.
3. Those who live intentional lives act upon their understanding of the world. The true potential of wisdom is found in its implementation. Simply knowing we are a distracted people accomplishes little, the solution must also be implemented. The specific steps to remove distraction and gain greater focus vary from person-to-person and passion-to-passion. What distracts me may be an essential piece of your life’s purpose and vice versa. While the specific solutions may vary, the importance of finding one does not.
There is little doubt our world is filled with constant distraction. And there is little doubt that those who achieve the greatest significance in life learn to manage them effectively. Influence may, at times, find us by chance. But those who create it for themselves are entirely committed to intentional living.