We think of distractions as someone interrupting you as you’re watching a TV show or reading. But really, distractions run at all levels of everyday experience. You distract yourself by breaking focus for fear of missing out (FOMO).
You go to the FB postings, turn on the hourly news, you follow stories and people that have nothing to do with you. We all do this to varying degrees.
We follow people who are doing things, and making the news, vicariously empathizing with their joy in their wins and their pain in failure.
But we are all together distracted by owning things that make us feel powerful, by doing things that get social status, by keeping busy to avoid facing the fact that you don’t know what you’re doing in the longer term. More is not always better.
Life has never been so good. Our grandparents could never have instructed us on how to live the good life in an age of such abundance. What’s next?
These distractions keep us from a greater purpose. I believe a growing number of us are in fact value generators without a cause. We were designed by evolution to serve up our diverse natural talents for the common good. That is key to our species’ survival strategy.
What do we give the people who have everything? Another hat, tie, puppy? We have to get better at stretching our imaginations. Everyone wants to be somehow special. But if one person on the planet makes something unique we are all surprised. Wait a couple years and you can get for a couple bucks at Dollarama. We are becoming accustomed to being surprised. Eventually nothing surprises us. Maybe we need to give to those who don’t have everything (an after-thought?!).
Nevertheless, we should not be distracted from our instinctive purpose — to generate value! Beyond generating value, we should not be distracted from the joy of merely being and becoming… something better.