When I was a young child my parents would take me hiking a few times. I remember me being super awesome at it. My parents remember me whining and complaining the whole way. Anyway, I think during one of these treks my mom was tired of me asking if we were there yet. She told me a trick that she would use to get her motivated to get to the next leg of the journey. She would focus on a distant object and set a small goal to get to that object. Then she would feel a sense of accomplishment by getting there and then find a new object to set her sights on.
That concept stuck with me over the years. This morning, I was feeling very dog tired and my son and I were running. Now normally, I am dragging him along, but today I was the one that was struggling. Just felt like every step was like going through mud. Rather than quit, I decided to do my mom’s trick. I would focus on a distant object. Sure enough, I was able to break the run into smaller parts and was able to get through it.
So we can learn from this concept in life as well. I have a lot of little problems plaguing me at my job right now. Nothing huge, just ticky tack stuff. Small little battles that just start to eat at you. My tendency is to get engrossed into trying to solve for and win every little skirmish. This causes me to get bogged down in little fights and I forget what I am really supposed to be doing here. What I need to do is pick a distant object and stay focused on that instead of allowing myself to get distracted by the daily distractions.
I remember a video game that my kids played a few years ago. I do not remember the name. The video game was the kind where you fight some big boss and win a level. We got to this level where you had to get to the big boss and defeat him to move on. However as you were charging up to him there were all these little monsters that would attack you. Our first few attempts we stopped to take these little monsters out, remove them first. However, this did not work. You would waste all your health and strength on the little micro skirmishes. The answer to this level was to find a way to quickly dodge the little monsters, engage with and defeat the big boss as fast as possible.
That is sort of the same thing. We need to focus on the big prize and not let the trivial little ankle biters from getting in our way. If you let the small issues distract you then you will never get to where you are going.