“Each week the enemy has picked an obstacle, and he had thrown it at me with everything he’s got. It’s likely you have plenty of things to distract you from your focus too. What are they?”
First, let me say thanks for letting THAT cat out of the bag. I had been kicking along in my day, stopped to read this email, and the floodgates kicked wide open.
I have obstacles most days. I also try to avoid waving a red flag in front of them.
But what is done is done.
I had to deal with a bill that needs to be paid by an insurance company. I had to deal with the insurance company which was waiting for some information from another office. I had to deal with the office that didn’t know anything about the insurance company. And that particular hamster wheel went around a couple of times. The real fun was that it was the tip of the iceberg.
By the time I was done, I had forgotten what day it was. I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing in that day.
Things happen – with our without the red flag waving. Things always happen. Things seem to happen most often when I am just settled into what I am supposed to be doing. What I do next will make all the difference.
Simple Steps to Deal When Things Happen
- Take a breath. Breathe in for a count of ten and then slowly let that breathe out to a count of fifteen. I can’t react to the things that come up if I am busy counting my breaths. The time out gives me time to make the best choice for responding.
- Expect the attack. The attacks are coming – maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow – but they will show up. If I expect them then I can position myself to handle them.
- Make a plan that is firm but flexible. When I set up my Scripture reading plan, I created a system that takes me through the whole Bible every two months. I look at the date and then I look at the corresponding reading. If I miss a day, it’s okay. I just pick up the next day and move forward. I am setting up a chore system that will work with the same regularity. I know when to do what needs to be done, but I don’t panic if it’s missed.
- Keep the focus near you at all times. When the distractions show up, I used to forget what I was doing. Sometimes I would start back on something completely unrelated to what I had planned to do. Now, I have my Focus Folder that is small enough to keep handy and handy enough to keep me focused.
- Refuse to let the emotions rule. This is the hardest for me. When the annoyance – or worse, the anger – begins to well up, it picks up steam . . . LITERALLY. I have to do something – smile, laugh, go for a walk and yell at the sky – anything to regain control of the emotions determine to run out of control.
I can let the things – and the people and the situations – drive the bus, but they will always drive it straight into a ditch. I have to make a purposeful choice to refuse to give them control so that I can get to where I want to go.
Share your thoughts in the comments before about how you keep things from gaining control of your journey.
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