What are the distractions and how best to remove these for better results?
Many a times we are not able to pay adequate attention to the work at hand due to one reason or another; this state is due to varieties of distractions which bedevil our path. These distractions could be due to internal state of mind (due to annoyance or distressed mentality owing to some untoward incident etc). Besides, these distractions could be extraneous conditions – like noise pollution or somebody wants our attention first etc. All these create a sort of mental block or confusion. These distractions come in the way of our job being fructified or our intractable problem cannot be solved because we are unable to pay undivided attention to the work at hand. Lack of full concentration is a condition of mental derangement wherein total focus is hard to attain. Edgy focus results in intangible results. This sort of a distraction is negative in nature as far as the result of our effort is concerned.
Other times, when we are confronted with intractable problem and that problem has made us puzzled/confused then distraction from that confused mentality in the form of some soothing music or some diversion as a total surrender to our Creator could take us away from that dreary predicament. This distraction could also afford us some leeway in the form of ‘time’ (a God sent opportunity) and calm our nerves so as to attack the problem afresh and with new found vigor and zeal and could take us away from improper traction and may deliver us of problem, provided we apply our mind well then. This sort of distraction is positive in nature.
Distractions or obstacles which come in the way for attainment of God’s connectivity
Desire for fame, over-indulgence in food and drink, greed for money, having friendship with people with negative traits, anger and jealousy, being vicious from inside is a great distracting factor, lust, greed, laziness/escapist attitude, lack of endurance/patience, being lethargic or negligent. Sincere prayer saves us from being: angry, fearful, quarrelsome, and many other vices. Prayer thus is a panacea which keep us away from these evils. Then ego also produces in us distraction of highest order and is self-destructive.
In Holy Quran ordains: Have you seen the one whose has taken his ego as his god? Will you be his trustee?” and God does not like the arrogant showoffs.
Steps to remove distractions.
Compassion, friendliness, humbleness, conduct as per scriptures, penance, purity in thought and action, repentance, boundless mercy, love and cordiality, living in sync with scriptural commandments, doing japa one can purify oneself. Everything detrimental to the bhakti marg onward march should be avoided and becoming avid follower of the religious preaching.
Our ego and arrogance
When we want to act in a particular way taking into account the sensitivities of the people around, our ego and arrogance put roadblocks in our path. Thus these are the impediments of highest order.
In Sikhism it has been mentioned: True Bliss is experienced when ego is non-existent. True Bliss fills the void created by the exit of ego, of total surrender of ego at the lotus feet of the Lord. With ego surrendered, there is no more seeking, all desires disappear, the Sweet Will and Bliss of the Lord takes over.
Doubt the mother of all distractions
I’ve observed, at least I feel it so, whenever I am in doubt about anything at any time then I am not able to focus on the topic I intend to do. So best course of action is to remove the gnawing doubt and then proceed on. This is also true in respect to prayer to our Lord – when in doubt of connectivity with Him, there is no positive results. The sum total of effort remains just negative with lingering skepticism.
Bhagwad Gita exhorts us: The one who is ignorant who does not have trust and who is a skeptic perish. They do not have this ordinary life or the higher life. There is no sense of well-being for the skeptic. Hence, efforts should be to introspect why doubt about something has arisen and what has to be done in order to remove that doubt. After having done that, half the problem is solved since only sincere execution is required.
Equanimity in happy and sad occasions
It is a skill which could be attained or developed over a period of time. Equanimity could come through experience of facing life’s realities head on and not by distancing ourselves from them. It is observed that we can get equanimity through meditation. There are things we have to espouse and there are things we have to let go because these are intractable ones. Thus ‘let go’ could help us in making our task easier and also could help us save from the headache of distractions. If need be, we can seek or explore alternatives for such things.
In Bible it has been said: To one who has so lived as to obtain the good name, ie dying day will be better than his birthday, quite downweighing all the vanity and misery of life in this world.
If we learn to rein in our mind then there is every possibility that we can focus ourselves on prayers. In actual practice, while meditating, we are confronted with the problem of distractions. We may try avoiding them but this problem barge in and do not let us get our intended connectivity with our Lord. But beginning has to be done by us. Initially, we may face several hurdles but with time and persistent practice our sincere efforts pay dividends and we are able to establish our connection with Him. His eternal peace will dawn if honest effort springs from the inner recesses of our heart. We can even imagine how we’ve to succeed and then make it happen practically through self effort. Finally success comes certainly if we have got unflagging faith that we’ve to have His eternal love. Distractions are like house flies which have to be shooed off with our efforts for getting that ETERNAL LOVE.
Putting off things to be avoided
It has rightly been said; a stitch in time saves nine. When a problem comes, it ought to be attended / tackled otherwise, it may be too late and we may miss the bus altogether. Putting off things or procrastinating is not a solution. It makes the matter still more complex and tardy thus becoming a cause of distraction.
We’ve to be realistic while setting goals. Expecting too much from a limited effort will hardly pay. Initially goal set ought to be easier to be solved and then graduated to difficult ones when one gets proficiency / experience in brainstorming / tackling problems. Then goals could be set for a single day, two days and then when we get experienced and success in our endevour, we can go ahead in our future planning as well. But in all this goal setting, we’ve to be realistic. We cannot ‘get moon’ simply by our imaginative thinking.
Setting priority pays in the long run. We ought to take in hand those things first, the solving of which involve our very existence or where our honour is at stake. After we’ve set ourselves on track, then, we would be able to take on anything that comes in our way with clarity and vision with ample grace of our Lord.
Conclusively, it is opined that our words remain hollow and paper oriented if these words are not altered into thoughts which could be tested through our action for tangible results on ground. While translating those thoughts into action, it is imperative that we keep our protective mechanism handy against any deviation or diversion or distractions which may just without warning.. When we nurture lurking skepticism on our own intentions then that thought cannot deliver wholesome results. For instance, if we want to ask forgiveness for an offence, we’ve to have cent per cent positivity that we shall not commit an offence again. That confession should spring from our heart. No distraction should come in our way for that then only our Creator’s graces would be forthcoming without even asking.