Anything that is preventing one from concentrating, paying attention, focusing or making progress is regarded as distraction. It is a situation that can happen to anybody at any time either as an individual or as a group. It is often referred to as when one lacks concentration and his/her attraction is on something else other than the object of attention. Distraction had made many people to lose out of some important things that would have been of benefit to them. It is not restricted to any particular object; anything can be an object of distraction. It depends on the scenario. Individually, we are attracted to a particular thing, and pay full attention to it so that we can get what we really wanted from what is attracting us. Some persons prefer a particular brand of car, a particular way of life or a particular type of food among others.
However, if as an individual you prefer a particular brand of car, you will try as much as possible to save and get the money you need to purchase your dream car. When saving, one need to stay focus and concentrate because there are a hundred and one reasons that would prevent you from purchasing the car of your choice, if you are not focused, being focused would enable you overcome every obstacle that may prevent you from purchasing the car of your choice. Once your attention is divided; buying the car of choice is no longer a reality, but history. In the same vein some people who have decided to live a particular life style can only achieve this by being focus and paying attention to the things that really matter in achieving the kind of life-style that they desire, determination is a form of discipline that one has to imbibe, in achieving a particular goal in life. When you are discipline, it will help you to curtail your behaviour. In achieving your goal, lack of determination is a gate way to distraction that would prevent one’s desire from coming true. In every stage in life the element of distraction always surface, what we need do is for us to be aware when it eventually comes. Many a time it comes in a trickish way before you realise it you are already off the track. Many who are distracted do not even know all because it comes in a way that you cannot explain, it is only those who are wise that will realise it on time and quickly rectify it.
In an educational setting, distraction comes to play when students who were supposed to be in the class for lectures turn out to be doing something else, by following their peers and also doing things outside their studies, not everyone has the power to be assertive. Once a student is distracted, graduation becomes a history due to the fact that you cannot eat your cake and have it. Distraction is the enemy of success; it can make a journey of four (4) years to be eight (8) years or even more. It takes one off the track and places you where you never wanted to be. One of the most distractive object is hard drugs, those who engage in it, are totally distracted, their lifestyle is the opposite of what they should have been, it is only few among them who are lucky that will come out but I must tell you their lives can never remain the same. Those who cannot trace or locate their track will die in the process. They are like that servant in the Gospel of Luke 19:11-27, who told his master that he was afraid of him and he hid the talent given to him in the ground, everyone on earth has a particular mission to carry out if we are not working towards performing our mission; it is just a waste of time. This is the more reason why we need to focus and run away from any form of distraction and concentrate on the things that really matter to us.
Furthermore, distraction is like cancer, to our journey of success just like cancer that eat up the body until it is lifeless likewise, when on the road to success we should be very vigilant not to allow anything to distract us or else we may not reach our goal.
A typical example of distraction can be seen in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 24: 13-35 where the two disciples of Jesus Christ after the resurrection of Jesus were discouraged, distracted and even confused about the whole situation. These were the disciples that were supposed to preach to the people about the kingdom of God, but after the resurrection of Jesus, and nothing was seen again they decided to go back to where they had come from because they have lost all hope. Since according to them nothing is remaining, they decided to walk away quietly from their goal which was to proclaim the good news. They deviated from their track because they were distracted and the only solution they could think of was to walk away from the work they were called to do. Many of us are like that, when as an individual you are faced with discouragement or distracted all we can only think of oftentimes is to abandon or quit, and quickly look for another means. In the Gospel we saw how downcast they were, when Jesus was among them, they were unable to see him because their minds were closed and they were equally distracted. This is to show how dangerous distraction could be, it covered their eyes to reality all they could behold was the shadow of themselves.
Distraction can be compared to when one is blindfolded, you are no longer interested. Once you are distracted your mind will be closed, it takes the grace of God to remain focused. We should always remember that life is not fair to anyone; if you succeed they will congratulate you because it is not easy. More often than not, distraction also surface in the area of prayers, during prayer sometimes we are faced with distraction where our lips are saying a particular thing and our minds are somewhere else. Once distraction set in when praying it is a big problem because the heart that supposed to be focused on God is now divided, you cannot pray well with a divided heart. What God require from us is our attention and not distraction. During prayer, distraction should be one of the prayer points we should put before God so that we can get God’s attention and our prayers answered. Another thing is that if you are praying and you discovered that you are distracted, put that distraction into prayers by so doing God will help you to take care of it, because left for ourselves we can do nothing well.
Distraction in marriage is another serious problem, when the father or the mother is the object of distraction it will be difficult for the family to stand. All because a family divided against its self cannot stand. In such family the children will suffer because one party is distracted. If it is the mother, it is even the worse because there will be a lot of decadence, no moral, discipline or value that will be inculcated, it is believed that it is the duty of the mother to teach her children all they need to know since she is the first teacher and the home is the first school that the child will attend. When such a child has no example to follow there is going to be problem. Many a time we discover that a child is the carbon copy of the father or mother and as well as that of the home. If the object of distraction is found in those who are supposed to tutor them, it means there is a big problem. Children from these kinds of families will never do well academically and morally due to the fact that the object distracting them is always around.
To be focused is to be disciplined, the attainment of success is found on the road to discipline work hard and success is at your reach. Remember distraction is an enemy of success.
Sr Margret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun, working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of St Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected]