How can we battle the killer of our purpose and fight distraction with everything we’ve got?
This is a big, important topic and I can’t give you every strategy I’ve learned over the years. But I will provide you with three that have most helped me conquer my distractions and fast-track my pursuit of purpose.
Time is fear’s favorite food. If you want to cut off your distractions at the knees, then don’t feed them by delaying the actions you know you need to take.
Make firm, fast decisions. Vocalize your goals and commitments. Find ambitious Christians who can keep you accountable.
Your life is going to be difficult one way or the other. It can either be difficult because you’ve decided to do the hard, right things. Or it can be difficult because you’ve spent all your energy avoiding trouble and leaving the decisions up to others.
Why was Jesus able to remain so focused? I think Hebrews 12:2 says it perfectly, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” Jesus wasn’t caught up in the current pain. He was focused on the future glory.
He had a fundamentally different stance than we do. When we are struggling in some area in our lives, we usually hear the advice “just push through it.” When we “push” we are relying on our own strength and means.
Jesus never pushed; he was pulled.
The “joy set before him” was so strong, so clear in his mind, that it tied a rope around his waist and pulled him through the most terrible of circumstances.
We need something to pull us. A joy that lies out in front of us, pulling us through every challenge and roadblock. All of this begins by getting into God’s Word.
We don’t need to create the joy, God already has one for us. He has an ultimate joy we will one day experience, AND a specific joy He has crafted for you to accomplish and experience on this Earth.
Cultivate it by reading what He says and believing the truths He says about you. Before long, the old distractions that used to pierce you will become like arrows bouncing off a metal shield.
Reactive habits, like picking up the phone when it vibrates or waking up when the alarm rings, are necessary and enable us to function. But reactivity will never get us to where we truly want to be.
Proactive habits begin with the end in mind and work backward. If I want to make myself run before work, I would proactively lay out my clothes and shoes so that they were physically in my path.
If I wanted to read the Bible more consistently, I would print out a reading plan and place it in a visible location.
If I wanted more time for prayer, I would schedule a block in my calendar and treat it like any other meeting.
Proactive habits don’t wait for the opportunity to make a good decision – they create an environment which makes the right choice easy.
In the end, distraction is a choice. So the question is:
What will we do today (like starting right now!) to eliminate our distractions and make fulfilling our purpose inevitable?
Lord God, I confess that I often let distractions and busyness keep me from doing the things I should do. Help me to take steps today that will create the environment for healthy habits in my life and let that my time with You always come first. Connect me with others who will encourage me and hold me accountable to these commitments. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
David Ramos is the creator of the Modern Publishing Model, a leading digital authorship training program, and the author of over 20 books. His educational background in both Classical History (Cleveland State University) and Religious Studies (Princeton Theological Seminary) has aided him in writing works his audience reviews as “eye-opening,” “deeply researched,” and “extremely well-written.” To date, his books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. David lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, Breahna.