My Twitter Feed Looks Like that Spinning Ferris Wheel
Then I saw in my dream, that when they were got out of the wilderness, they presently saw a town before them, and the name of that town is Vanity; and at the town there is a fair kept, called Vanity Fair. It is kept all the year long.
– Pilgrims Progress
We’ve all heard the “wise advice” of maintaining focus. Achieving discipline. Moving the ball forward. I’ve been consuming that content for years…big names like Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard have built empires simply telling people they need to know their goal and then focus on achieving it.
Robert Brault has an amazing quote here: “We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
For me, these are the distractions, the “Vanity Fair of the mind,” where therein lies every distraction imaginable, which all seem good and right at the time. The characters:
Texting Clown – “Hey – quick question, gotta minute?“
Petting Zoo – “Let’s have a meeting just to check in“
Bearded lady – “#JoeBidenIsARacist? What is that all about?“
Carnival games – “Let me just see if they replied…this could be huge.”
If I was honest with myself, the vast majority of Vanity Fair characters I deal with are the ones at the bottom of the list…those within myself. It’s easy to immediately reach for the Texting Clown and Petting Zoo, because they are brought on by others and they instantly annoy me when they happen. However, these are a small percentage of the “lesser goals” that distract me. It’s the distractions that seem desirable and enticing that slither their way in and tell me this is actually good and interesting.
So what’s the solution to this? It’s simple (I’m saving myself the cost of a Tony Robbins seminar right now):
Set a goal
Time block to achieve that goal
I’m involved in a great many things (I might argue too many…), but I think that’s fine, again…as long as I take the time to plan and crisply define my next step to reach each goal that I have. Then…must. maintain. focus.