BelieveDo (ch 21) – How to Handle Distractions

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 21

Handling distractions when you’re trying to focus on a goal or when you’re making a positive change in your life can be a challenge, especially if you are easily sidetracked.

We’ve found that the best approach to handling distractions is to face them head-on – by doing what we call “self-inventory.”  Self-inventory starts with assessing the situation and follows with asking yourself a series of questions.

Identify the Distraction
The first thing to do is honestly identify the distraction:  Is it a thing?  A hobby?  A television show?  A person?  The Internet?  A bad habit?  An addiction?  Gossip?

Place a Value
Next, place a value on the distraction and the effect it is having on you or your situation.  Is it important to you?
If so, how important?  How much is the distraction worth (time-wise, financially, emotionally, etc)?

3 Big Questions
Then, ask yourself three big questions:

1. “Can this distraction help me reach my goal faster?”

2. “Will this distraction keep me from reaching my goal within the milestones I set when I planned my goals?”

…and the biggest question…
3. “Will this distraction ultimately keep me from reaching my goal?”

The answers you discover will reveal a lot.  When you answer all your questions, you should a have a pretty good idea of what to do about the distraction.

There are all types of distractions: things, people, worries, good intentions, regrets, anger, or even the pursuit of perfection.  Two of the biggest ones can be material things and family issues.

Material Things
You can have fun with some really cool stuff in life, but when you use them to hide behind, you’re no longer pursuing your goals – you’re wasting time.  Unless the gadgets and doodads you’re messing with are directly helping you achieve your goals, they’re distractions and time-stealers.

Somebody once said that the more stuff you have, the more time and money it takes to maintain it.  Some people even try to fill voids in their lives with material things, instead of developing healthy relationships.

Family Issues
Family issues can be a distraction.  We’re not saying you need to ignore your family to reach your goals – far from it!  But you have to find a balance and decide how your family situation is going to impact you in reaching your goals.

This is a very tough topic to address, but so many people hide behind family obligations as a reason for not reaching their goals.  To reach your goals or make positive changes in your life, you have to find a balance that addresses your family needs and concerns, while pursuing goals that they will also benefit from.
Distractions are always going to come and go.  The key is how you handle them.  Are you going to let them turn into excuses?  Will you be honest with your self-inventory and deal with the distractions appropriately?

As a Test
Distractions can also be used in a positive manner to test your plans for achieving your goals.  People may simply be trying to see how serious you are about reaching your goals.  If you bragged about goals in the past but did little to achieve them, then your spouse, kids, friends, or co-workers may be trying to see if you really are going to “rock the world” this time.  Inside, they truly do want you to succeed, because every time you do, you raise the level of life around you.

Lastly, no plan ever makes it through without getting modified in some way.  That’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to reaching goals and making positive changes in your life.  So, what to do?  Let it be modified; be flexible; and keep going!

Face distractions head-on!


BelieveDo (ch 20) – Live Out Your Purpose in Life

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 20

There’s an excitement in the air when you start living the life that you were meant to live.  People around you will sense it, and hopefully it will inspire them to realize that their lives count, too.

But even if some of them don’t, you still have the obligation to the universe and to humanity to fulfill your purpose in life and to achieve your full potential.

Once you see that, you can’t walk away.  You have to live out that purpose, no matter what.  Oh, you can try to walk away from it, but it’ll tear you up inside.

If you try to run away from the words that go through your head every day, it will be hell on earth.  But, when you submit to the greater purposes in your life, then all will be well.

It may seem that some things aren’t working out the way you want them to.  If that’s the case, it’s usually because you don’t see the things that are happening “behind the scenes.”

Take gardeners, for example: when they plant seeds, they typically put them in rows or in some part of their yard, on purpose.  Then at the appointed time, the seeds break forth into song and pop up out of the ground as beautiful flowers or vegetables. However, a few of the seeds don’t come up.  It’s as if they disappear from the face of the earth, but in reality, they don’t.  Birds eat some of them; a few get choked out by weeds; and others get put in bad soil, by mistake, and die.

Although you might be in bad soil right now, you are not a mistake. You were not born by accident.  You are here for a reason.  When you realize that wonderful truth, you will begin to do amazing things.  You are valuable, important, and incredible.  Allow God to work in your life, and He will show you how to unleash the greatness that He put inside you when He knit you together.

When we waltz into the days of life that allow us to easily do what we are meant to do, we are operating in the God-given talents and abilities that we are strongest in.  No matter what the world says, when we are where we are supposed to be, there is no denying that we are definitely driven by the right forces.

Time will show that determination pays off.  It gets stronger with time, allowing us to see deeper into the realms of life – moments ticking away on the clock and counting for something greater than ourselves.

Here are some questions to keep in mind, as you progress in your successes:

•    What is your life’s work?
•    What are you dedicated to?
•    What are you committed to?
•    What are you willing to do, no matter what?
•    What are you not willing to do, no matter what?
•    What are you most excited about during the day?
•    Being here?
•    Going there?
•    Working in this realm?
•    Standing where no one will see you?
•    Standing in the spotlight?
•    What are your immovable core values and beliefs?

How you answer each of those will determine where you invest your life’s energy.

Live out your purpose!

Electric Fences and Your Tongue (poetry)

Some things go together
And some things don’t:

Creamed corn and tennis shoes?
Applesauce and mayonnaise?
Chocolate pudding and lima beans?
Rabbit fur and axle grease?
Turtles and tire tracks?
Piano keys and my friend?
Leather and thumb tacks?
Green beans and light bulbs?
Brains and my cousin?
Splinters and teeth?
Cow manure and bare feet?
Chuck and up?
Sandpaper and bottoms?
Tartar sauce and jelly?
Root beer and refried beans?
Lemonade and sauerkraut?
Greasy hair and a hot date?
Electric fences and your tongue?
Marshmallows and microwave ovens?

Like I said,
Some things go together,
And some things don’t.

— — — — — — — — —
Published online at

BelieveDo (ch 19) – Living Through Expectations

…adapted from Believe. Do. And Follow Through!

Chapter 19

So often we get so caught up in living up to expectations that others set for us.  We get so accustomed to this type of living that we eventually lose touch with reality.  This is “living the BIG lie” – not being in touch with yourself and being dishonest to your own beliefs.

There are people reading these words, right now, that have lost their grasp on reality and just need to look within to break this vicious cycle.

A WARNING to those who break the cycle:
…You might find yourself alone drinking a cup of coffee, instead of with the normal morning gathering of fans…

The best part about this, though, is you get the opportunity to regain yourself.  Everyone – at some point – feels like they’ve lost touch with reality.  This isn’t hard to do, because we all want to be accepted by our peers or to obtain some certain social status.

“One of my personal challenges in living through expectations was trying to live up to the standards my parents set for my sister and me.  Getting a college education was not optional.  I felt this was something I had to achieve, just to exist in this world we live in.  That was a lot of pressure I carried around with me, because I had no idea what I wanted to do in this giant world that we are all supposed to go out into and just start living in.  I think early on I lacked discipline and dedication to committing to selecting a career or pursuing a degree in a certain discipline.

Now, I look back and I realize I made a choice to live up to those expectations.  Not once did I ask why getting a college education was so important in my parents’ eyes.  The examples they set for me seemed very normal, and I thought that they were the same expectations everybody else my age was living with.”    – Isaiah

Are you living up to expectations set by some outside force? Have you lost touch with your own personal reality?  Stop – and take time to evaluate how you are truly living.  Stop letting others determine what your expectations in life should be.  Get in touch with your own reality.

Live through the expectations,
and keep on living!