Written by Beau DeCourcy
Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing what some would call writer’s block or the resistance. No matter how long I sat trying to get ideas down on “paper” nothing would bare any substance. I know this is a problem when this happens. It’s usually a symptom that I’ve become hopelessly distracted again. But most frightening of all it means I’ve stopped evolving as a being. It is as though I had been plagued and infected with the sickness of distraction.
Maybe that last sentence was a little too deep for some to take serious, but please bare with me for a few moments. All I ask is you avoid Facebook notifications and texts, while I explain just how nefarious these distractions can be.
Simply put, when you live a distracted existence, you do yourself and the world a disservice. Allow me to explain…
It’s a frustrating experience when you know there is so much that requires your attention but you can’t get out of your own way to even ponder these important ideas because you have, for the last ten years, been walking yourself deep into a mental mine field. With these mines of distraction, any step can set off a mind numbing explosion leaving you hopelessly side tracked. Step incorrectly (and for some, willingly) and the next thing you know three years has passed you by and nothing has changed.
My last few weeks of writers block (infection) have made me aware just how dangerous these mental mines are to a conscience and purposeful existence.
It’s too damn easy to get lost in waves of bullshit today. Even when we really make it a point to sit and think, all it takes is a text alarm, phone call or the ever enticing red number one hovering over the right upper corner of the infamous blue F. In fact, it seems there may really be something to “viral” videos! Unfortunately these are all traps we have set for ourselves.
Distraction: the enemy of evolution
What got us to this (once) sophisticated and evolved existence was deep, undistracted thought; philosophy, science and silence.
Our relatively recent point-and-click lifestyle is robbing us of the emotional and mental austerity and clarity it requires to collect creative thoughts. Thoughts that are genuine “game-changers” to our existence.
If necessity is the mother of invention then silence is the harbinger of creativity. And as I have written before: creativity is the mother of freedom.
Who’s to blame?
So how did we get here? To so intentionally trade in our powerful creative minds to become mental masturbating consumerists? Maybe it’s because it’s too painful to be in silence and alone with our thoughts.
That voice in our head is a brutally honest voice. It will call you out if you let it speak. It will point out stagnation of the mind and soul. It will shame you for your unethical and superficial desires-IF you allow it to speak.
These are voices that up until recent technological advancements, could not be drown-out by our ancestors. They existed in sobering silence, darkness and austerity. This sobering silence laid the environment for deep and honest thought. Deep thought leads to change, growth and evolution. And most of us fall asleep to the sound of re-runs, rehearsing the drama of artificial struggle; the most prolific chimera.
Time to inoculate yourself!
So how do we escape and boost our mental immunity to the mind-numbing and socially malignant plague of distraction? To be honest, I’m not completely sure. First, you need to believe it is a problem to be lost in the superficial void of careerism and social media. Once you see this, then comes the hard part: forgiveness.
It’s a tough pill to swallow when you start to fathom the amount of time you have spent diluting your existence with bullshit. But if you can begin to forgive yourself you can then ask yourself for permission to check-out for a time. To disconnect and let go of your anxieties of what you may miss in the accelerating ether of inconsequence. And only then can you ponder the purpose of our existence and in doing so may you be humbled, frightened and aware we are all our own worst enemy to growth.
Edmund Burke once wrote: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
To this I add: all that is necessary for good men to do nothing is for all of us to become distracted.
Remove yourself from your self-imposed distractions as often as possible. Disconnect and think deep. Reacquaint your mind with silence and austerity. Do this because you need it, your family needs it and the world needs it!