So many things in this world are fighting for our attention.
Every thought that pops into our minds we feel the need to gravitate towards it. The fact that information is readily available to us by way of our phones and the internet doesn’t make it any easier to avoid distractions.
If that isn’t enough, we’re often faced with something bigger called, “Life Distractions.”
Many of the things in our lives that often distract us from a greater purpose or sometimes fulfilling our purpose all together are the things that disturb our mental state or disrupt our peace.
Obstacles are those frightening things we see when we take our eyes off of the goal. -Henry Ford
In fact, the very definition of “distract” means to stir up or confuse with conflicting emotions or motives (as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary).
I would be lying if I said I didn’t get distracted by the things I’m faced with on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s hard to look away or to turn your head in the opposite direction and that’s mainly due to what we feel.
Emotions are strong… and real. Real in the sense that it’s almost as if someone walked up to us and physically inflicted a wound upon us.
We feel hurt. We feel pain. We feel sadness. We feel despair. All of which are very uncomfortable emotions that make us extremely eager to want to get out of.
Now, of course, if you’re in a physical, abusive or unhealthy situation you should definitely get out of it. Emotions come to send us signals when things are wrong, but they can also be very confusing.
There are times in our lives when things happen to us unexpectedly such as calamity or misfortune that cause us to feel some of those things. They make us feel like we can’t persist or that we can’t go on doing the thing that we were doing before any of that stuff (calamity and misfortune) came along.
But the thing about calamity and misfortune and often times the emotions that come along with them is that they don’t have the power to redirect your purpose. These things can make your purpose stronger or make you feel stronger about your purpose (or even the opposite), but they cannot physically change the original intent of your purpose.
Your purpose stays the same. The intent for your life, the reason you were born, the reason you were brought here to live in this Earth is and always will be the same. You, however, depending on what you choose to focus on, whether you choose to focus on the calamity or “distraction” or not, are the only one that can redirect your purpose.
It all lies in the power of choice.
While your purpose is still the same, whether it is fulfilled or not depends on you.
As I said before, emotions are real, confusing even, strong…but they aren’t reliable.
If we trusted our emotions to dictate to us the decisions that we should make in our everyday lives, we would not get very far.
There are plenty of times that I don’t feel like going to work. If I decided to respond to what I felt and made decisions based upon my emotions, I would not have a job.
So, in other words, just because I feel something does not mean that it is a good indicator of what should be done (or not).
Just because life distractions come and make you feel that you should give up, that does not mean that you should yield to those emotions.
We feel like cursing people out. We feel like putting our hands on people. We feel like telling people where they can go. But if we yield to those emotions and how we feel, we know that there will be severe consequences to follow. Thus, we rely on something more powerful than our feelings. We rely on the truth about what we know would happen in that given situation to prevent us from going that route. We know it’s the truth because we’ve seen it play out many times before.
That’s how our faith should work, but often times it doesn’t. I am guilty of this–relying too much on my feelings to dictate to me what a certain outcome will be.
Things come my way and sometimes I instantly feel defeated. I forget about what I believe God told me would be the outcome and I start believing what I feel because of what I see.
What I’m learning though is that overcoming emotions begin in the mind.
But even more important than that is that emotions can actually be overcome.
What I mean by that is that we can actually learn to live beyond our emotions–the negative ones. The doubt that tells us that we can’t and that things will never get better. The fear that traps us and keeps us bound. The discouragement that makes us feel like, ‘why bother.’
I would imagine that overcoming emotions would take a lot of mental preparation.
We can’t predict when things will come our way, but we can prepare our minds to fight against negative thoughts that don’t coincide with our purpose.
We must begin to take a proactive approach if we want to learn how to stay focused on where we’re going or what we’re to accomplish.
The way we can do that is by building ourselves up with truth…in advance.
In my experience, I find it to be much more difficult to fight negative thoughts and emotions when I have nothing to fight with. It’s like knowing someone is coming to fight you, but waiting until they arrive to get ready for the fight. The person will not wait for you to get ready. You will be attacked.
So we must do as much mental preparation beforehand if we ever want to reach our destination.
We have to find our source of truth. We have to build ourselves up in that truth as it pertains to who we are and our purpose so that we can adequately stand upon that truth when adversity, challenges, and life distractions come.
Then and only then will we be able to remain and stay focused.