Master Class

Deep Focus

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Lesson

Day 3. Typical Life Distractions

Understanding how distractions work and where some of the most common ones can creep into sabotage you is only half the battle.

The more typical distractions can be quite insidious. In fact, some are things which might look good on the outside.

It’s when you realize how these things hold you back from the goals that you recognize they’re distractions at all.

Why are some distractions so hard to spot? Mostly because the most significant problems will sometimes stem from the smallest sources.

A few minutes on social media doesn’t seem like a problem at first glance.

But what about when those minutes add up?

At other times, the distraction we can’t see is too large to take in all at once.

You can just as easily miss the forest for the trees. This happens when you become blind to the big picture, such as when you find yourself striving for perfection or getting lost in a storm of events from long ago.

Day 3:

In today’s lesson, we’re going to be taking a look at life’s distractions in more detail.

You’re Focused on the Future

Making goals and visualizing a better tomorrow is healthy but obsessing about it isn’t. When you spend too much time daydreaming, it’s impossible to get things done.

So, dream first, but follow up with action.

What are you doing at the moment?

Where are you now?

If you’re not savoring the journey so much as staring at the destination, you’re distracting yourself from what’s essential in this moment.

You Need this to be Perfect

Here’s where living in the moment goes wrong. If we find that we’re stalled out, trying to arrange something until it becomes perfect before moving forward again, we’re only hurting ourselves.

Perfection is one of the most common distractions and takes on many forms. To some, it’s the act of needing to do something over just one more time until they have it right.

To others, it becomes the relentless polishing of the process or the product, keeping them from taking the next step.

You’re Looking at the Past

Regret gets under your skin in a way nothing else can.

When you start focusing on yesterday’s mistakes, rehashing your failures over and over, you’ve gone beyond looking for the lesson and into the world of regret.

Some people never get past this stage, allowing yesterday’s mistakes to dictate their future to the point where they never move forward again.

You’ve Got Too Much Stuff

Whether it’s ideas, projects, commitments, or possessions, your stuff becomes a distraction by keeping your focus off of what’s truly important.

To keep from having too many balls in the air, ask yourself what the importance is of what you’re trying to hold onto.

Are you trying to please others or yourself?

How do these things serve you and your goals?

The answers might surprise you.

You Want More Money

Wealth becomes a distraction when you’re using it to keep score.

If you’re trying to accumulate wealth only for the impact it has on other people, or because you somehow think it shows you’ve made it to the top, you’re allowing money to become a distraction.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be well-off financially. It’s when the reason for wealth becomes selfish that this really becomes a problem.

You Want to Make a Name for Yourself

Much like wealth, fame has a way of being the manifestation of more selfish motivation.

People who want to be famous generally don’t have noble motives, nor do they typically show much regard for the goals of those around them.

This ‘be the best’ mentality is one of the worst distractions because it puts your focus on the wrong place. It also puts down the people around you.

You’re Trying to Keep Up with the Joneses

Nothing is more distracting than what happens when you see what someone else has that you don’t.

Suddenly whatever you’re doing doesn’t seem important anymore as you break off in wild pursuit of the latest gadget, the newest toy. You need to keep up, and everything you’re doing toward your own goals feels like you’re being left out, left behind, left out of the fun.

If you’re not careful, this one leads you right down the road to regret and can stall you out completely.

You Want to Have a Good Time

We all need to recharge. After all, a body that never rests soon wears out. It’s when you spend all your time in pursuit of pleasure where you start to lose out.

It’s impossible to keep your head in the game when you’re feeling like everything has gone stale and dull in comparison to something more fun and entertaining.

This is why boredom is such a problem when you’re trying to reach your goals. If you lose your motivation, you fall into the chase after pleasure very easily.

You’re Lost in the Clutter

If you can’t find what you need, when you need it, you’ll become distracted just by looking for the missing object.

Now imagine what happens if you live in a cluttered situation with so much stuff that you can never lay hands on an object without a prolonged search first. Not to mention how mentally distracting it is to be surrounded by clutter all the time!

If you can’t focus, look around the room. Is the answer perhaps staring you in the face in all the stuff you have around you?

You’re Surrounded by Negative Voices

Negativity distracts in that it tells you there’s no point in what you’re doing.

This can come in external forms when people around you begin to naysay your dreams, or in internal forms when you start to doubt yourself or worse, you listen to the voice in your head telling you you’re foolish to dream, to begin with.

Negativity encourages you to give up and go do something else. It especially likes a pity party, where feeling sorry for yourself becomes a way of life.

You Don’t Care Anymore

Goals mean nothing when you become indifferent to what you’re doing. Now any distraction will do, so long as it takes your mind off the drudgery of what you’re supposed to be doing.

You’re Holding a Grudge

Like resentment, a grudge holds you into a past event and keeps you there.

Grudges though, typically involve people and so are much easier to keep alive.

All it takes is an interaction with the person who wronged you, or even a trigger pushing you right back into the memory of the interaction for you to spiral down into a session of remembrance coupled with all the emotions and bad feelings associated with the past event.

You’re Worried

We’ve touched on this topic before, but it bears repeating.

Anxiety about the project, the future, or even just about the task right in front of you will stall you out very quickly into the distraction that comes of picking at the worry.

If you’re falling into analyzing all the ways things can go wrong, then you’re worrying. Again, this can be useful when it helps you to spot potential flaws in the plan as this guides you toward solutions you might very well need.

It’s when you obsess about things going wrong where you stall out completely, and worry becomes a distraction.

You’re Looking for Rescue

Anytime you start wanting someone else to swoop in and make your dreams come true, you’re allowing yourself to be distracted from two things.

First, this keeps you from working because you believe if you wait long enough, you won’t have to.

Second, you’re focusing on what the outside world can do for you, not what you can do for yourself. Rescue fantasies are extremely unhealthy.

This is especially true when you start coupling them with strategies designed to rescue you, such as engaging in relationships for the sole purpose of what you can get out of them, or in pursuing schemes such as buying lottery tickets as your ‘way out.’

You’re Doing it the Old Way

Following the rules, and the path everyone else took doesn’t always guarantee success. In fact, this can become a deep distraction, especially when you become so caught up in doing things ‘right’ you no longer see other options which might work better for you.

There is nothing more distracting—or limiting—than a closed mind.

You’re on a Treasure Hunt

When it turns out you lack the knowledge to continue, falling into the trap of the research distraction is very common.

What starts as hunting for an answer to a single question breeds diversion and sends you down rabbit trails which keep you from ever returning to the project if you’re not careful.

You’re Listening to What Other People Say

There will always be someone else ready to distract you with a negative prognosis about what you’re striving to accomplish. Allowing others to pull you away from your goal is not only foolish but intensely harmful.

Why would you allow someone else to live your life for you?

Of course, there are other distractions not on this list.

The ones listed here are only meant as a guide to get you thinking about the types of distractions in your life.

It’s up to you to identify which ones are holding you back.

Now, let’s take some time to discover how life’s distractions affect you personally.


Exercise 3: How to Know When You’re Becoming Distracted

Distractions can be tricky to recognize and understand.

Most of the time, becoming distracted isn’t a conscious decision, which makes it that much more difficult to catch in the act. In Lesson 3, we discussed distractions in many forms, from obvious to slight.

Now, we’re going to be taking the time to investigate how distractions have implemented themselves into your life.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: There’s a fine line between learning a lesson from past mistakes and regretting said mistakes.

Using your own experience and information from Lesson 3, list 3 signs that indicate you’ve gone past healthy reflection and into the world of regret.

·       Sign 1:


·       Sign 2:


·       Sign 3:


Step 2: Think of three major events or projects happening in your life right now.

Below, list these three things and their importance.

In doing this, you will verify that all of these things actually have meaning to you, and aren’t simply distractions.

·       Project/Event 1:

     Importance 1:


·       Project/Event 2:

     Importance 2:


·       Project/Event 3:

     Importance 3:


Step 3: The pursuit of wealth is all good and well until it becomes a distraction.

Why do you think that money can be such a distraction?

Brainstorm Your Ideas Here:






Step 4: It’s easy to get caught up in wanting what someone else has.

Below, list five qualities of your life that you’re grateful for.

They can be anything from your family to material objects.

·       Quality 1:


·       Quality 2:


·       Quality 3:


·       Quality 4:


·       Quality 5: