How many times in your life, you failed to move forward because you were distracted by something……Something that on second thought…..you wish you had respond to it differently? Have you ever spent some time to think about this?
I do think about it frequently…..and I believe everyone has his or her own similar experience. In light of personal honesty, there are several occasions in my life where I wish I had done things differently. Most people call them moments of regrets. However, I also see this as moments of truth. Why? Simply because those moments of regrets tell us more about what we don’t know about ourselves. Sometimes, it also informs us about what are the things that had distracted us from what really matters.
When I recall the last time I found myself in the midst of this situation of distraction, it reminds me about Felicia’s bunny rabbit. Her name is Milky Jr, by the way. She always has her ears moving all the time, and her nose sniffing even when she is asleep. She looks very cautious, indeed. Every time she hear something, see something and smell something; she’ll be alert. Being alert all the time, in my eyes…..she often also looks like panic bunny 😉 Why? Because she behaves in a way that always distract her. Sometimes, I think she is a self-distracting bunny. Her cautious and alert behavior often makes her move here and there without any lucid direction. All the plants in her surrounding and her inadvertently Well, I don’t speak bunny language, so no way I could have verified my interpretation about she was really doing.
I’m not discussing about good and evil, angels and devils, heaven and hell….. or other kind of battling figures in the realm of moral and religion. I’m just using metaphors for what really cost us our energy because of distraction. Those metaphors are the Devil’s Eardrum, the Eye of Jealousy and the Self-distracting Bunny 😉
Here’s my opinion. There are times that we mistake distraction as something positive. At work, gossips are mostly fall into our amusement, but rarely it is useful. For certain jobs, gossips are exceptionally beneficial; but for most jobs, gossips are effective distraction to derail anything we should focus on. But, gossip is just piece of cakes, compare with inadvertently distraction we have everyday. Many people I know and met were distracted by things we don’t normally see them as distractions. Let’s name few examples! Surprises, angers, feeling shocks, or TV news. Those are things we usually take for granted as parts of our daily life. But, do we ever reflect on how those things distracted us from what we were doing?
So many things most people are going through everyday, and some of them are perceived as constraints. For these constraining things, obviously we will easily spot them as distraction. The same case is not commonly applied with fun or interesting things, though. When we were working, it is very natural for us to feel bore. It is not easy to be fully focus on one thing and stay that way for a long time without any refreshing things, such as couple of minutes chat over the phone with friends or colleagues. This is fun distraction, and we know it, and we are willingly to be distracted.
But, those are not the kind of distraction we need to discuss now. Constraints and fun distractions are things most people are cognizant of, and therefore, we will be able to anticipate. The tricky ones are what we seldom aware of them as distraction; I called as the Devil’s Eardrum and the Eye of Jealousy.
The Devil’s Eardrum is the kind of news and information that reach us in ways that makes us think those information are valuable and worth our direct attention. It push us to shift our attention from what we need to work on; it makes us feel that we need to react to them immediately. It makes us reactive. The Devil”s Eardrum usually absorbs our energy by making ourselves response to information that appear urgent at first; and turns out to be insignificant. Because we think it’s important, we choose to listen to it; not knowing that it may as well derail us from our course.
What about the Eye of Jealousy?
It’s my way of naming our unwitting jealousy. Personally, it is a feel of lacking we had experienced, combine with our awareness to compensate it. It is natural, really. But sometimes, we put more energy in the feeling of lacking and not on the strategy of acquiring. My favorite verbal expression to elaborate this is “The more you want to grab it, the more likely you will lose it”. Sometime, when we crave for something badly, that feeling clouds our sensibility to find ways in actually getting those things. What we see about what we want makes us fail to see how we can get what we want. The Eye of Jealousy……..it makes us think in ways that blind us from possibilities.
Nonetheless, information that deceits us is not the real villain. The feeling of lacking of what we needs is not the actual culprit. Response to insignificant information is a result of being unmindful to what really matters to listen to. That’s when we were listening through the Devil’s Eardrum. Clouded by our dire needs is a consequence of inattentive attitude about ourselves. This kind of attitude will unleash the Eye of Jealousy within ourselves.
Ourselves? Yes! The Devil’s Eardrum and the Eye of Jealousy will never drive us if we don’t let them to. Being unmindful of what really matters and clouded by our dire needs of something is depend to ourselves. When we let them taking ourselves into distraction, we let the Self-distracting Bunny inside us to reign. Yes, we all have the Self-distracting Bunny within ourselves. It is fun indeed to be playful like bunnies, but we are not bunnies.
Sometime we just need to step aside and think, are we filling ourselves with useful things?
The world we live in is fully occupied with excessive information. It is a necessity to choose and filter them. The only note is that we need to practice, so we can choose and filter more accurately from time to time. That way we can make sure that we don’t get distracted by listening through the Devil’s Eardrum. It is also necessary to be sensible of what we want and need. That way we will remain mindful about the Eye of Jealousy.
Find the Devil’s Eardrum and the Eye of Jealousy in our surrounding……and especially, in ourselves! Jump as frequent as you want to, but not as Self-distracting Bunny!