Inconveniences. They happen often. Let me tell you of something that happened to me today. In fear of missing the bus to work I ran out of my house in a hurry only to realize once on the bus that I had forgotten my headphones. Oh, the horrible gut wrenching feeling I experienced upon realized that I had an hour and a half bus ride ahead of me and nothing to distract me from it, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
It hit me then and there that I was addicted to my headphones, or at least the convenience of headphones. I wear my headphones everywhere; the bus, at work, while eating, working out and sometimes when I sleep. The convenient thing about headphones isn’t that they are small, light, or that they have great sound quality, no but rather their real convenience is distraction.
Headphones are a really easy way to distract us. We can wear them anywhere, at any time and use them with almost any type of technology. Talk about convenient!
It’s convenient to be distracted. If we become distracted, we have something to blame for not achieving the goals we want. The golfer that misses the final putt can blame it on how he was “distracted” by the kid sneezing 100 yards away, we all know that this isn’t the reason he missed, but it’s a convenient way for him to shift blame. The real reason the golfer missed the shot was because they weren’t focused.
It’s convenient to be distracted and inconvenient to be focused.
Without any distractions we can get work done, we have nowhere to hide. Without distractions we can put an end to procrastination, hesitation, and eliminate excuses. We can build businesses, write, paint, get in shape, we can do literally anything you want. Once you can identify that you are using distractions as a convenient crutch you can break free and unleash your inner power. By why don’t we break away from distractions and become and do all that great stuff? According to one of my favorite books The War of Art, the reason is our inner Resistance.
The resistance is our inner naysayer, the voice telling you it’s dangerous to ask that question, the reason you postpone writing that play, It’s a dark force and one that is in everyone one of us. Resistance is holding you back for one and one reason only, survival. Resistance lives in the Lizard Brain “Fight or flight”, when we go to ask “that question” our brain immediately runs through the worst case scenario. “What if I ask a dumb question” “what if I get fired for it” “what if I can’t make any money because I’m fired” “what if I starve”, all of this in less than a millisecond, all because of our lizard brain! Seth Godin has a ton of amazing Blog posts and Talks on this subject. I will link his Blog here and his videos here. If you want to learn more about the resistance read my previous article here, or go purchase The War of Art by Steven Pressfield here.
Take off your Headphones
Once we take off our “headphones” we have to focus on ourselves. Our inner thoughts, emotions and desires. Without the distraction of having on headphones I was able to listen to things, things like the rumble on the bus, the sirens in the city, and my own breath. We all should take off our headphones, I mean this both figuratively and literally, and experience what life is like being with yourself, distraction free and with the ability to focus on your goals, dreams and inner thoughts. Originally the fact that I left my headphones at home seemed like a huge inconvenience, when in reality it turned out to be one great convenience.