Pursuing Life’s Dreams, Second Star to the Right and Straight On With No Distractions
And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
– Ian Thomas
What we all need to realize, is that the lights of the passing ships are mere distractions preventing you from living your life to the fullest. They are the battles that you fight each day, but which do not lead us anywhere. When we honestly realize how asleep we are in our lives, those are the moments when you can begin to challenge the ongoing distractions and bring focus back to the stars – the lights of our true destination.
In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.
– Yuval Noah Harari
It’s like someone has set up a circus tent in front of us. You hear the chaos of the music and the shouting barkers telling you about what’s happening in their tents. You hear the shouts and screams of people as they spin and circle and go up and down on the rides. You smell the funnel cakes and cotton candy and popcorn. Bright lights spin on the games as they encourage you to step up and try your luck. So many distractions that you can’t hear yourself think. All of the bright shiny objects promising you the moon, if you just come nearer and pay attention to them. It is a constant battle for your attention. Who wins? The one you pay attention to.
It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.
– Og Mandino
I love to ride the roller coaster. To watch the performers with the animals. To see the daring artist high up on the trapeze dancing across the wire. There are lots of fun and exciting things that we can do in our life. What we have to decide is are they part of our goals and dreams, or are they just fun distractions that keep us occupied, distracted. Are they keeping us occupied so that we are not making the changes and transformations that we need to make in order to achieve the life of our dreams? Are they fun things that we should be saying “no” to?
The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.
– Bruce Lee
Are we living our life with laser-like focus? I always think of Bruce Lee when he is in his stance about to engage with someone in battle. He doesn’t hear the sounds around him. He doesn’t see the bright shiny objects trying to distract him. He see’s only one thing – the man in front of him that he’s about to engage in battle with.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust
Remember the movie City Slickers? Remember Curly, Jack Palance’s character? I love his famous line –
“Curly : Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly : This.
Mitch : Your finger?
Curly : One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Mitch : But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly : [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.”
When you are pursuit of the “that one thing”, then the rest of the world fades away. We don’t see the lights of the passing ships – we are laser focused on that star – that bright shining light in the night sky. We no longer wander through the circus seeking distractions. Now we are traveling for fulfillment. We are seeing the world with new eyes. New eyes that are open for the first time to the many doors of potential and opportunity that we missed when we were being distracted by the circus.
But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything
– Alan Watts
That is kind of what the movie City Slickers was about – those men had gone asleep to what was important in their lives. They were living by distraction, not laser-like focus. The meaning of life can be found in many things if we are awake and looking for it. It tends to show up when we are out of our normal element. Going off on a day trip to the mountains, the beach, the desert. Away from the day to day of our life. Away from the distractions that follow us around.
Be addicted to your passions, not your distractions.
It is when we can get quiet that a connection is possible. We finally see the truths we have been avoiding with the distractions. We discover that the thread of destiny in our life, is where the laser-like focus really begins to take shape. That “thing” that we not so much latch on to, as it latches on to us. We are pushed, pulled, and prodded until finally we realize that we have no choice – we have to live the life that brings our destiny into fulfillment.
Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now!
– Tim Ferriss
If like the character in City Slickers you don’t know what that “one thing” is, go find it. Go somewhere quiet without any of the normal distractions in your life. Sit and think about your life. Dig up all of your old dreams that you abandoned as not being possible when you failed the first time. Reconnect with your passion, the thing that liberates your energy and your spirit. The thing that inspires hope in you again. When you find it, do everything in your power to stay connected.
In life, people tend to wait for the good things to come to them. And by waiting, they miss out.
– Neil Strauss
Let the circus roll on by. Don’t stop for the Carmel Corn or the Hot Dog. Don’t go on the rides, or play the games, or watch the circus clowns climb in and out of the clown car. Keep your eyes on the stars, and not the passing ships lights. Clarity, focus, making things happen. That’s how you keep your eyes on your stars. Ignore the circus as it shouts to you about what it thinks is so important. Once you understand your own destiny, your secret of life, don’t let that connection go. Remember that the best view comes after the hardest climb.