We are all surrounded by distractions that keep us from accomplishing tasks, goals and fulfilling our true purpose in life. Instead of controlling our response to these distractions, we let them control us. As a result, we create excuses as to why we can’t get our homework done. We create excuses as to why we can’t pass that test. We create excuses as to why we can’t keep up with the goals that we set in the beginning of the year. We use every excuse under the sun to explain to our parents, teachers and friends as to why we fall short. We feel good when these individuals accept these excuses. However, we must understand that we are only hurting ourselves in the end.
While in Cape Town, South Africa, I met a woman who went by the name of Mama Nuk. Mama Nuk lived in a Township where most of the students could only dream of pursuing a college education. Despite not having a college degree or much money, she was determined to do everything in her power to ensure her daughter would. Mama Nuk wanted her daughter to think of life beyond the township and pursue her dreams. Therefore, she put aside the money she earned working extra jobs and surrounded her daughter with positive role models. Most of all, she ensured that her daughter minded her studies.
The last time I ever saw or spoke to Mama Nuk was eight years ago, however, I know that the outcome of her hard work paid off. Mama Nuk had goals she set for herself and believed her purpose was to give her daughter a better life. Believe me, she had plenty of distractions. She probably doubted herself and looked at her situation and said it was impossible. But Mama Nuk had the one thing that separates successful people from the rest. She had focused intensity. Focused intensity is the ability to stay on-task when faced with distractions. Focused intensity occurs when your desire to succeed is far greater than your desire to partake in activities and habits that prevent you from succeeding. If you look at any successful person in history: activists, athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, educators, the list is endless, you will find that those individuals had a high level of focused intensity. Sure, they might’ve had situations where they let distractions throw them off course, however the number of times that their distractions won, was far less than when their will to succeed did.
Educators, Parents and Students – discuss what focused intensity looks like for you. Discuss what you do when faced with distractions. And finally, help each other come up with creative ways to limit these distractions from winning.
Stay Educated. Stay Empowered. Stay WellTraveled.