For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I haven’t had a Facebook newsfeed for four or five years now.
I have to rely on Garrett to tell me what’s going on in people’s lives—which is sad because he goes on Facebook maybe twice a week.
But I don’t have a newsfeed. For the same reason I don’t even have push notifications on e-mail or text messages, and I often put my phone in a drawer after 6pm every evening.
It’s too distracting.
Today, with never-ending scrolling of beautiful Instagram photos, Facebook rants, and Netflix coming out with about 10 new shows a week, it’s nearly impossible to not be distracted.
We apparently process five times as much information on any given day as we did in 1986—just one generation ago.
We’re inundated with conditioning about how everyone else is living their lives. Whether it’s social media or “reality” shows, we’re constantly getting information that’s pulling us away from our own tasks at hand and toward what everyone else is doing.
It’s overwhelming for everyone. It’s crippling for us visionaries.
Because we have this vision. This tender, sensitive thing that wants to be born into the world. This nascent baby that isn’t fully formed yet.
I know, at least for me, that one negative comment can make me doubt how I’m doing everything. I can’t really defend something when I don’t know what it is yet. So I have to keep my early visions close to the chest.
And I can pretty much guarantee there will be doubts and challenges. Because this is a vision—some genius that has never been here before. Of course it’s going to be “too much.” It’s accessing a bigger possibility than the world currently has.
And it requires immense focus. It requires purity. To keep it intact as that genius and not some knock-off version of what everyone else is doing.
I can’t tell you how many times a Sacred Circler has said to me, “Oh my god—this is exactly what I wanted to create five years ago, but a course or person influenced me to change it.”
It happens all the time. It happens to me all the time.
In a world full of distractions, it’s challenging to be a visionary. Because our power lies in our ability to lock in on that vision. And ruthlessly pursue it, even when the fears and doubts begin to creep in.
And we know they will—even without anyone else’s input. We know we’ll face challenges just by the nature of it being a new vision—something the world has never seen.
So add on layers of distractions and others’ influences every day? And our vision doesn’t stand a chance.
In a world where we hardly ever watch TV without a phone in hand or eat lunch away from our computers, focus has become a rarity. Multi-tasking is a given—and, with it, our attention is never really focused on just one thing.
But our vision demands everything from us. It demands our genius. It demands the deepest, rawest parts of ourselves. It calls us to become the best versions of ourselves.
It’s the way that only we can contribute to the world. The thing that only we can do. It’s not something that can be half-assed while we’re idly scrolling Facebook. It’s what we want to share to make this world a better place.
That takes immense focus. And very few distractions.
And I know myself—my willpower isn’t exceptional. If I see chocolates on my counter for a few days, I’m going to eat them. No matter how much I may try to resist. So the variable reward dopamine hits of, say, a text message or a new Facebook post on my newsfeed are just too much for me to resist.
If they’re in front of me, I’ll check them. So I make sure they’re not in front of me.
And what amazes me more than anything is that after maybe an hour or two of doing really focused work, I actually want to do more focused work. Time flies by. And I get so much done. And there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.
But that rarely happens in the first 10 minutes of a project. And almost always happens when I’ve focused so much that I’ve forgotten about any other distractions.
So the absolute worst thing is if I get a text message that pulls me out of it before I ever really got to access my genius.
Genius isn’t the superficial, top-level thing. It’s the deeper part of ourselves. The thing that comes forward when we’re so in it.
I can hardly notice Garrett leaving when I start writing each day. So we often say goodbye before I start writing—even if he isn’t leaving for a bit. Because the second I’m here, I’m here. And, after five or so years of training at it, I probably won’t notice any distractions.
It’s the same reason I put my phone in the drawer in evenings. Because it’s way too easy to let work issues or mindless news articles spill into our evenings. And that’s actually time that I want to connect with my family. So I put myself in a situation where it’s more effort to get my phone back than it is to be present.
We create our lives through our focus—what we choose to focus our time and energy on. And, if we want to create our visions in the world, then all we have to do is focus on those. Focus on our genius. Focus on what’s actually important to us.
I’ve spent so much time living a life that wasn’t mine simply because I was influenced by everyone else’s thoughts and desires rather than tuning into my own. I was distracted. And constantly pulled away from my genius.
Now, when I jump on Facebook, it’s for a reason (like checking in on one of my groups). When I’m playing cards with Garrett, it’s for a reason (like connecting after a long day of work). And, when I’m focused on the task at hand, it’s for a reason (like sharing my genius with the world).
Because “the reason” is another way to say “purpose.” And we deepen into that purpose every single time we choose what actually matters to us. Our genius.
When you focus, you have agency over how you spend your time. And create the life you want. The one that allows the world to access your vision.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
What are you focusing on — and how does it relate to your vision?
— What are you focusing on? If you were to analyze your day, are you focusing on the things you really care about?
— Are there a lot of tasks, obligations, and information vying for your time? Do you feel like your vision always takes a backseat? Do you ever feel distracted or like you’re being pulled away from your vision?
— What if you chose to eliminate the distractions that pull you away from what’s most important to you? What if you knew you’d have to let some things drop and planned your day around what you cared about and what you’d be willing to drop? What if that’s the only way you could ever create your vision in the world?