Purpose Block #3: The Distraction Vortex
Now it’s time to explore the third of the 3 Purpose Blocks. Purpose Block #3 is The Distraction Vortex.
In our modern, media-saturated and technology-driven culture we have a never-ending list of things we can do in our daily lives to keep us busy and our schedules extremely full.
The daily choices are mind-boggling … TV shows, books, internet surfing, sports, phone calls, porn, email, movies, hobbies — and on and on and on. And all of this is in addition to our daily work (that hopefully pays the bills).
All these possible activities make up the Distraction Vortex: a swirling pool of constant and seemingly endless things TO DO … that can suck up all of our precious time.
None of these activities, in and of themselves, are inherently “good” or “bad.” However, if we are spending much of our time in the Distraction Vortex — there is a good chance that we are also distracting ourselves from what we might want most in our lives: deeper connection, greater joy, more meaning, and a clearer sense of purpose.
And because the journey into these states can be more subtle and unclear, it’s frankly easier and likely more soothing to numb-out or check-out with a juicy distraction like a TV show, a series of YouTube videos, or a trashy novel.
The challenge and question is, “How do I consciously navigate this Distraction Vortex, so it doesn’t suck up all of my time — and instead frees up my time for focusing on living more fully into my purpose?”
Here are three steps you can take to help set you free from the Distraction Vortex.
1. Slow Down and Observe Your Activity
The first step is to use whatever stillness practice you have, like meditation or mindfulness, to slow yourself down each day (and if you don’t have one, then start one), and begin to observe what pulls your attention toward what you would consider unhealthy distractions.
Then take on a one week “distraction awareness practice” by tracking where you are spending your time in the activities that you consider distractions. This brings to conscious awareness what activities YOU use as distractions to not face something else in your life.
2. Notice What You’re Avoiding
The second step is to notice what you may be avoiding in your life that the distractions helps you not have to face. It is typically something you don’t want to look at, and which makes you uncomfortable… something that you struggle with in your life.
Being more conscious of the activity, feeling or the energy that you’re avoiding helps to burst the bubble on your distraction patterns. Now you have the awareness to make a new choice about whether to engage the specific distractions or not.
3. Recommit with Support
As you see more clearly how your particular distractions don’t serve you, you can now recommit yourself to the actions and activities that truly support and serve you — your own growth and your purpose.
By declaring your commitment to the activities that feed your passions and purpose to another person close to you helps you stay accountable to not slipping back into the unhealthy distractions. This support is key to breaking out of the Distraction Vortex.