How to get back our focus and overcome distractions? This was the conversation which sparked on my Facebook page and I shall offer here some methods of overcoming these issues.
Let us understand why we get distracted first. The main culprits in distraction are our senses. We are drawn towards any object by our senses alone. Take the case of a beautiful woman or a juicy fruit, a snide comment or a praise. People who are involved with the advertising industry know this defects very well. They use it to trap our attention. Look at all the advertisements with beautiful women or six pack men on it. Our senses are dragged towards them.
We have five senses which fall prey to the stimulus from outside. The eyes and the vision, the ears and the sounds, the nose and the smells, the tongue and the taste and lastly the skin and the touch. We get attracted towards colorful or enticing objects, sounds which engulf us or anger us, tasty or putrid and stale food, smells which attract or repel and finally sensitive touch.
Next the mind comes into play and we create a communication between the sense organs to organs of action. Here is an example. A smell wafts towards you of a delicious dish like French Fries, the eyes wander over to that counter, seeing the wonderful yellow color and smell, it reaches inside the mind which commands the organs of action to act. With our hands we clasp them and eat with our mouth while tasting them. The idea called satiation of the desire or hunger for food happens then. That ends the cycle of the senses.
The root cause of falling prey to certain things is desires. It arises in the mind, fueled by the senses. We have to cut these out of our minds and we need to destroy them. It is not so easy for a human being to control the desires.
So desire is the root cause of your problems. I wouldn’t say that you will overcome your desires. You have to be a Buddha or a yogi to cut off your desires. So let it be. Someday you have to fulfill them. So you can relax and wait for things to go in your favor and then fulfill the desires. Patience is the key to hold on to that hope of achieving triumph over desires.
Whatever I write over here in these blogs, the one thing that is common is called Self Efforts. Without your self efforts nothing will change. The spiritual call it “sadhana” or practice. You gotta practice and follow some rigorous methods of cutting off your desires.
There are some methods of overcoming distractions.
I shall tell you a joke here. In a movie the hero Mel Brooks comes inside an asylum wearing white overalls like a doctor. He examines a new admission. The new patient says that his leg hurts continuously and so he catches it and cringes. He asks Mel for the solution. Mel goes round the patient and whacks him hard on the head. The man howls in pain and starts to hold his head instead. Mel then tells him that he is cured of the pain in the leg since he now is holding the head. He forgot his leg pain when the pain elsewhere is more, in the head.
So to get out of distractions we need greater or still stronger distractions. Suppose you are fascinated with a new Toyota, get a Ferrari and you will stop admiring the Toyota. In spiritual, God and focussing on Him is the only way in which you can drop your other distractions. He is the greatest attraction so all other distractions pale before Him.
Single pointed devotion on God is the only way and offering everything to Him alone is the singular path of achieving Him. All distractions melt away before Him. Get focussed on Him alone.
In our life everyone disappoints us. There is no one who can give us everlasting peace, happiness and unending bliss except God. He can never let us down even though we don’t know anything about Him and He doesn’t take anything from us. So He is a good friend of ours. God is satchitananda. He is knowledge, truth and eternal bliss.
When we talk of focus or single pointed devotion, it can apply even to purely material minded people also. If they could pinpoint one thing where their passion is the highest and work towards that singularly, they will achieve that too. So not only the religious or spiritual but even the downright material minded folks to atheists, the formula is the same.
1. Overcome your senses. Don’t overindulge in anything. Do in moderation. No excesses.
2. Clean up your mind. Meditate if need be. Don’t go into the past as it will give you anger. Don’t think about the future or you will get anxious. Remove useless thoughts.
3. Fix on to one single object. You have to be extremely passionate about it. No second thoughts.
4. Create a game plan to win. Go and play for winning only. No thoughts of losing or procrastination. The “here and the now” strategy.
5. Don’t stop after the big win. Carry on to the next bigger one. Never stop.
6. Don’t get attached to the fruits. Even the means are to be discarded once you achieve it. Once you become the knowledge, you don’t need the books.
7. Remain blissful permanently. Here the material minded fail because they only run after tangibles. Only the spiritual get here since they are with the intangible divine.
So focus and hold on to God with one hand and do your material worldly jobs with the other hand.
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