As the long, lazy days of summer come to an end and we resume our busy lives, going back to school and work, we thrust ourselves back into a world where we are in a constant state of information overload.
More than ever before, we are perpetually distracted by technology at our fingertips; with a multitude of devices always in our faces, we are easily accessible to anyone who wants to reach us and are able to connect to the internet from almost anywhere.
We are bombarded with texts, emails, social media, 24-hour news cycles, constant updates about anything and everything that is going on all over the world. And even without technology, we all have distractions such as our jobs, our finances, our family, friends, colleagues, our own stories about ourselves, our own lives.
All of this information comes at us hard and fast and forces us to make endless decisions without any time for critical thinking.
We are presented with so much information coming from so many different sources, colored by people’s opinions and differing perceptions, that it is hard to know which parts are true and valid and which parts are not.
It can be overwhelming; cluttering up our thoughts and making it difficult to put them in order. This distraction keeps us moving in circles and even regresses us, preventing us from moving forward in our lives and knowing our true capabilities.
In order to fulfill our potential, to realize our dreams and accomplish everything that we need and want to do, we must learn how to focus and use the power of discernment to provide ourselves with clarity.
Discernment is the ability to see differences, to know what is true and right and separate it from what is false and wrong. It is the ability to see things clearly, borne from instinct.
Once we are able to focus, we can process all of the information given to us and discern what is useful so we can focus on one possibility, deciding which path is the right one for us to take.
With focus and discernment, we can rid ourselves of all the misinformation and empower ourselves with real knowledge and sense true opportunities. This gives us the power to fully express ourselves and become our best selves.
But, how can we achieve focus when there is so much going on in our lives?
The first thing to do is to minimize physical distractions. Declutter your home; get rid of the things you’d don’t like or no longer use to free up space in your life and your mind.
Set specific times and limits for updating your social media accounts and browsing your favorite websites so they don’t cloud your focus and suck the time out of your day.
Delete apps you don’t need and old emails cluttering up your inbox.
Minimize unnecessary texting – put the phone down!
Find a quiet, calming space to work or think, and organize your workspace so that you’re not distracted by projects you’re not currently working on.
The second thing, which is the biggest and also the most difficult, is to minimize mental distractions. Reduce all of the chatter, the million thoughts that are constantly flying around your head.
In order to quiet our minds, it is important to get in the habit of taking a few minutes each day to sit in a quiet place and simply breathe.
Concentrate solely on the task of breathing.
Let the chaotic thoughts swirl around in your head at the beginning; they will soon vanish as you continue to concentrate. Once your mind has calmed down, reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Here you begin the process of discernment, listening to your body, your heart, your gut. Without the distractions you will uncover how you really feel, accessing your true self.
You can manage your own thoughts, casting out those which are unhelpful, negative, self-sabotaging, wasteful. As you listen to yourself and utilise this powerful tool, you will achieve clarity of thought and new knowledge about who you are. You will unlock your values and your purpose.
Focus keeps us grounded, keeps our intentions pure and sacred to their purpose.