Solomon recognized the enemy of distraction when he instructed in Proverbs 4:25: Let your eyes look directly forward and your gaze be straight before you.
In the following two verses, we are further instructed to: Keep straight the path of your feet, and all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
If you receive my emails, I wrote about temporal landmarks. The New Year is probably one of the biggest, meaning it’s a date where psychologically, you are more inclined to make a fresh start. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular. You may decide this is the year you are going to lose weight, get healthy, find a new job or start a business, write your book, grow closer to God : ), fill in the blank.
But as we all know, those resolutions can easily fade by the first week in February as we drift back into old habits. Drifting and distractions are the enemies to our growth.
Squirrel! A Dog’s Distraction
In Disney’s movie UP, there is an adorable golden Retriever named Doug that talks with the aid of a special collar. He will be talking when he is immediately distracted and mid-sentence will shout, “squirrel!”
Like Dug, we are confronted with dings and pings through texts, breaking news alerts, and any number of distractions. Nobel Prize winner in Economic Science, Herbert Simon said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” This was in 1977 – prior to the Internet!
The Devil’s Chief Means of Distraction
If you have followed my writing for a while, you know that I rarely talk about the Devil. But there is a very interesting book called Outwitting the Devil – The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill (his name may sound familiar as the author of Think and Grow Rich).
(The link goes to the book of the same title. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases through product links that I share. I only recommend books that I’ve personally read or products that I’ve personally used.)
The book is a dialogue, a Q & A between the author and the Devil. I found Chapter 6 to be particularly interesting. Its title is Hypnotic Rhythm.
The Devil says: Rhythm is the last stage of habit. Any thought or physical movement which is repeated over and over through the principle of habit finally reaches the proportion of rhythm. Then the habit cannot be broken because nature takes it over and makes it permanent.
All I have to do to gain control over any mind is to induce its owner to drift. Those who control and use their own minds escape my web. I get all the others as naturally as the sun sets in the west.
It is so easy to drift, isn’t it? Society provides us with endless distractions and ways to be entertained (squirrels), to drift away from any noble intentions.
If there is a dream or goal that you are pursuing, this blog series called 21 Days of Focus was designed to block out those distractions.
Set Your Intention to Beat Distraction with a Word
What would you like to aspire to this year? What I find helpful is to choose a word for the year. It’s a word that can continuously set your intention.
Last year my word was Surrender. This year I have chosen the word Listen. I want to make sure I listen to God, listen to my heart and what brings me joy, and listen to the hearts of others.
Will you choose a word? If so, I’d love for you to share it here with me. You can also share it in the comment section below.
It’s been a rather tough two years! But God is faithful. May you keep your eyes and feet straight on the path that you feel God is leading you so that you can be faithful in return.
Be mindful that by doing so and taking little steps forward you will avoid drifting. You will be caught up in the hypnotic rhythm of positive habits, honoring God with a healthy mind and body, and using the gifts that God has given to you. You will experience what I describe as FLOW. : ) It’s the flow of living your life in oneness with God.
If you enjoyed this post, I send an email each Monday with a Scripture and applying that in a practical way to your life. I also have an ebook called Four Steps to FLOW where I share my story of the circumstances that led to living life in flow. Click here to find out more and to receive these resources to help you live with joy and flow too.