I think it would be true to say that there has never been a generation more distracted than our own.
The constant pull to jump from our focus point to some other fascination is ever-present in our pocket.
A perfect and curious example would be the following page. Click the link now to see what I mean…
(you’ll be surprised, I promise you!)
Read this carefully and remember the following statement.
The most expensive currency in today’s society is ATTENTION.
Everyone is bidding for that most precious thing; your time and your attention.
The highest bidder has a barrage of offers sitting behind their bait, but it is your attention they need at the outset, and your attention they want to retain after you bite.
Remember this solemn warning from Solomon:
Your attention will run from distraction to distraction until it is so exhausted that you have no energy remaining for the projects that are of significance to you.
Learning to place value on what you are called to create and bring to the world, instead of being consumed by what everyone else is saying, doing, and selling, is an essential skill and one you must master.
Productivity and progress are the result of exercising consistent pressure in one direction over time.
We all know, we don’t necessarily like it, but it is true nevertheless.
WE must EXERCISE our will, our skill, and our courage to create.
Overnight success is generally preceded by many, many days of effort and learning. It takes work to win.
Be sure your efforts are not spilling in every direction. Exercise your best reserves to create something of value, rather than pouring them into a Facebook or Instagram hole.
Daily habits and established disciplines will have a far greater impact on your success than short, scattered, inspired spasms of activity. There is a well of wisdom within you that is springing up with inspired thoughts every single day. Discipline will tap that fountain.
Push through. Do you honestly think I want to sit down every day and write? Is it my utmost joy to do the same thing day after day? Give me break! The pressure to back off, give upon, press pause, make excuses, blame someone or something for my inactivity and lack of production, is ever present.
Some days I’m hot to trot, others I’m dragging may feet.
The surprising thing is, pushing through the pressure to produce despite how I feel, often yields the most surprising and rich results.
In one direction
It need not be highlighted that if you push in too many directions at once your results are going to be limited. Staying the course according to your convictions is a key part to breaking through. Who knows when the final blow will crack the vein of gold and open up the well. Keep pressing in one direction if you know in your heart it is the right one. One of the pressures that seek to stop our tracks is disappointed expectations. I see them as par for the course in the creative life. Some projects and dreams just take time. Keep on keeping on.
I listened recently to some interesting training that spoke about the motivation curve. We begin a project or new venture with a high level of uninformed optimism. It feels fabulous! You are excited and hopeful.
Then comes the decline in to the valley of informed pessimism. Ouch! It is not as easy, cheap, or quick as you expected. This is the place you are tempted to look back. There up above you is another opportunity inviting you to experience the heady intoxication of another shot of uninformed optimism. Another offer. Another promise. Another shiny object. You turn around and head back to where you began.
Few venture through the pain and disillusion so evidently present in the valley, and press through to enjoy the rewards of informed optimism. It is an optimism tempered by experience, and bolstered against disappointment. It has overcome the challenges, made course corrections, enrolled help, learned new skills, and leaned hard in to prayer. Here on the high side of the other side of the valley you can build something remarkable.
Energy and time are the chief ingredients required for successful production. Time is required, whether yours or that of someone you hire. And every impactful project or publication will require more time than you generally expected at the outset. Time to think, time to implement, time to outsource, time to assess, time to improve, time to maintain. Make sure that your time is spent well, and poured into projects that are significant to you and the people you serve. Don’t pour your years into black holes of endless distraction. Direct your days with purposeful intention.