Mindful Minute: Distraction

Distraction: a person or an object that directs one’s attention away from something or someone else. Mental confusion driven to distraction by their endless chatter

In the 2009 movie “Up,” we watched the humorous side of distraction. The movie introduced us to cranky Carl, Russell, the very talkative Wilderness Explorer scout, Dug, the golden retriever whose special collar enables him to talk, and the word “squirrel” became synonymous with “look over there.”  Which successfully distracted every dog, no matter how many times it was used.

We live in a world full of distractions.  Social media, advertisers, talk shows, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and newscasts are shouting “squirrel” a hundred thousand times every day.  Each is trying to be more distractive than the other. 

Which makes me ask; Why are they constantly trying to distract us?  Moreover, why are some of us so easily or eager to be distracted?

Perhaps it’s to compel us to buy something.  Advertisers have been using misleading imagery to drive their product sales, promising increased prestige or popularity once you own their product.  Sound familiar?

Perhaps it’s meant to entertain us.  There is nothing wrong with healthy entertainment distractions, a movie, video game, hobby, hiking, or a weekend getaway.  The keyword here is healthy.

Perhaps it’s meant to inform us.  However, the seemingly relentless news, social media experts, talk shows create a deafening den of endless chatter, making it difficult for anyone to make sense of it all.  Maybe that’s the plan?   Create such an overwhelming amount of good, bad, or ugly distractions, resulting in more confusion than clarity.  Incapacitated by this confusion, we become fearful of making the wrong decision; therefore, no decision is made, leaving the decisions of others the loudest voice or the law of the land. They are transforming distraction into deceit, which perhaps was their intention in the first place.

How well do you deal with distraction?  Does distraction drive your day, continually checking your social media pages, passing pictures or talking points to family and friends, and adding to their distraction? 

Be mindful that constant, persistent distraction to redirect your focus on someone else’s agenda.  Harmless distractions like entertainment or purchasing products can become harmful habits if not mindfully managed.  The key questions here are who or what is distracting you, and why are they so successfully intruding into your life?

More importantly, distraction is often deceit’s trap door.  We’ll discuss deceit in upcoming blogs.

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1 comment on “Mindful Minute: Distraction

  1. Scott Merryman

    Hi Randy,
    Thanks for this thought-provoking post. I am reminded of something one of my first mentors used to say, “Quiet is under a spiritual attack in our modern society.” He meant to highlight that which distraction promotes. And it’s exactly what you pointed to… confusion. In this state of overwhelming input, we can become weakened. This is what marketers, advertisers, and propagandists are counting on, and it’s no mistake that such professionals are required to learn certain psychological principles during their education. They learn the way human minds work so that they can successfully manipulate them. We desperately need to develop a practice of quietude, in order to strengthen the resolve needed to navigate distraction. Otherwise, we miss the subtle choices that need to be made… subtle choices that add up to huge course corrections on our moral compass.
    Scott Merryman

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