When does distraction work to your benefit? And how can you use it to create lasting value? This week’s video will help you avoid the pitfalls and gain the gifts of distraction.
How often are we operating in a stream of distraction? And when is that a good thing?
Recently in Rome, our family enjoyed a tour of the Colosseum, led by a fantastic guide. We learned a ton, including that the primary purpose of the battles and shows held there was to keep the population in a perpetual state of distraction. Obsessed by the events, they were less likely to advance their own thinking or grow dissatisfied with their current conditions.
It’s easy to see how much of our modern world functions as distraction. News cycles, entertainment, social media streams. Ever advanced, algorithmically attuned ways to direct your thinking or derail a purposeful intent.
Whether as a creator or a consumer, when we operate primarily in the stream of distraction, we’re always busy, have plenty to think about, and yet may struggle to get ahead. Create for quick consumption, and you’re never done. The endless parade always demands more. And if distractions are your primary inputs, you’re going to get endless quick hits of ideas and images which satisfy briefly, until something else comes along.
Now distraction has its purpose, as an escape, amusement, or inspiration. You can spend your whole life there, which is a choice many make. But that may keep you from gaining deep understanding or meaningful relationships. To improve over time, instead of what’s trending, follow what’s enduring. For your work to matter and last, develop skills, perspective, and contributions that provide value and distinction.
Use distractions as a tool when you need a diversion or a flash of insight. Test ideas in the stream to see what resonates. And then bring them to the realm of enduring meaning by incorporating them into your life and offerings in a way that, like the Colosseum, leaves a lasting impact.
So, either I’ve distracted you for two minutes or delivered something more meaningful. Maybe both. Time will tell. So, until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.