Are you suffering from distraction due to discontentment in life? Have you given up on your ideal life and given in to actions that will subconsciously keep you from thinking about your failures? Like the average American, maybe you are spending over 5 hours a day distracting yourself on various electronic devices.
Take a moment and think back through the hours today, how many times did you engage in any of the following?
-Checked and answered your email
-Read an online news article or blog post
-Checked your social media accounts
-Watched TV or movies
-Used your personal computer
-Played video games
-Talked on the phone
-Read a book on your eReader
How many times were you doing those things when you had the opportunity to instead-
-Have a face-to-face conversation
-Enjoy a quiet moment
-Have a sit down meal with the whole family
-Smile at someone
-Ask someone if they need help
-Give a compliment
-Ask your child how their day was
-Send a card
-Cook a healthy meal
With honest self-reflection, you may be alarmed at the amount of time you are spending to check social media, play online games or text people about minute details of your day. You may realize you are using your life energy to engage in activities that do not really coincide with your personal values, or what you pictured your life would be like.
Why do we do this? Why aren’t we more focused on using our time for those things that we know deep down really matter to us? Why are we stuck scrolling through the latest tweets instead of asking our spouse how their meeting at work went?
The answer is discontent and distraction.
We all have an ideal image of what we would like our lives to look like, to be. Most of us will never reach this ideal life, because it’s just that, an ideal. The problem is we become discontent when we realize how our reality differs from our ideal, which causes us to stop trying to come even close to the ideal life we envision.
When we give up, we need distraction. With distraction we don’t have to think about our lives not measuring up or the things we could be doing to come closer to our ideal, but are too discontent to even attempt. Electronic devices offer that distraction to us.
>Ideal: Exercising five days a week and losing 10 pounds.
Distraction: You are too tired to exercise after work, so you opt to text your friends instead.
>Ideal: Eating a home cooked meal every night of the week.
Distraction: It’s easier to order takeout on your mobile app instead of plan and cook a meal, you’re on the phone tweeting anyway.
>Ideal: Getting eight hours of sleep a night.
Distraction: You stay up late to ‘unwind’ by watching TV.
>Ideal: Working 40 hours a week and not bringing work home on the weekends.
Distraction: You always have work to complete, but you find yourself surfing the web on your laptop instead.
Do you see any of this pattern of thought in your own life? Maybe you think if you can’t have the ideal picture, why try at all?
But, what if you could be wonderfully happy with a ‘less than ideal’ life? What if your ideal life isn’t the ideal you have been picturing after all?
There is one way to find out. End the distraction and face the quiet, the relationships, the dinners, the exercising and anything else you want in your ideal life, but are too distracted to even reach for.
Thank you to my good friend, Laura Fox at InTheLoupePhotography for the beautiful photo.