Staying Focused

By Elaine Cercado


“Choosing a path means having to miss out on others.”
~Brida, Paulo Coelho

I’ve been advocating finding one’s purpose or mission, and pursuing it with passion. To pursue and focus on attaining one path means abandoning other paths and ways.

This doesn’t necessarily involve big overnight changes. Oftentimes, what counts most are the day-to-day choices we make about how and with whom we spend most of our time. These are the choices and actions that lead to progress and that truly impact our pursuits and mission in life.

Our habits and activities are the outward manifestations of ourselves. When we change our habits and activities, we change our path. We gravitate toward our dominant thoughts and actions.

Detaching from Distractions

Detachment usually has a negative connotation. In simple terms, detachment means separation, disconnection or disengagement. These words often give a sense of uneasiness.

Detachment also involves pruning or freeing, which gives it a different meaning. I tend to look at detachment from this perspective. To stay focused on a path, we have to be freed from the unnecessary distractions and noises.

More than ten years ago, I chose to stop taking soft drinks, and this has actually made me feel healthier. About five years ago, I detached from eating some of my favorite food and drinks, and did not lose anything. In fact, I gained better control over my fitness and health.

I have many other personal examples of seemingly simple day-to-day choices and detachments, such as limiting TV time or discontinuing some hobbies.

Some detachments and changes are easier said than done. As a professional, I had to experience burnout before I learned to manage my priorities and re-discover my mission. As a mother, I had to let go, stop over-protecting my son, and let him become accountable and grow from his own decisions and experiences.

From these choices, I gained invaluable time, balance and simple joys. I began to carve more time for nurturing my relationships, for continuous learning and growth, or for enriching my spiritual life. I began to stride into my chosen path and enjoy the journey.

Indeed, choosing a path means having to miss out on others. But in the process, I gained self-awareness, self-control and discipline. I gained inner strength from knowing I can change, do it consistently and become a better person from there. By detaching from distractions, I simplified, enjoyed and stayed focused on my chosen path.

This article was also posted in LinkedIn.

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