Distractions, distractions. We spend a lot of time trying to rid ourselves of distractions in our life, like turning down the radio when we’re reversing the car or looking for a house number in a street. Sometimes we need silence when we think and we usually always need quiet when we sleep. What happens if we have distractions pop up at these inconvenient times? Well, we can’t do what we need to do. We can’t sleep, think properly or find our friend’s house. The distractions get in the way.

But are we taking the time to identify and reduce the other distractions in our lives? Are silly things getting in the way and tying up our time and energy and distracting us from achieving the things that make us happy?

There are a lot of things you can use to distract yourself, trust me, I’ve used most of them. You can buy houses and throw yourself into painting, renovating, replacing and fixing things. You can buy pets and commit yourself to the love and care those lovely little creatures require. You can also distract yourself from a crappy job by focusing on holidays, weekends and catching up with friends.

But is focusing on distractions really the way to live? I mean, you can definitely do it. It’s possible to go along like that. I was doing it for a long time and for the most part, the distractions helped. Booking holidays, spending a few nights away, seeing a girlfriend for breakfast or going to the beach. But, really, there’s only so long you can do that before it all comes up and starts to weigh on your mind.

If we’re so willing to turn down the volume on our car radio to ensure we don’t reverse into a brick wall, why aren’t we willing to turn down the noise of the distractions in our lives, when doing so could help us live a full and happy existence?

How to recover from Jet Lag sleep hotel bed
Image credit: Jay Mantri

For me, I think part of it was the fear of facing unhappiness. What is going to happen to me if I strip away those things that are filling in the gaps and all I’m left with is the realisation that I’ve made a whole bunch of decisions that have led me to a place where I’m not totally happy? I could feel embarrassed, sad, angry, lonely, ashamed and really, really upset. Even worse, I could feel totally helpless. Maybe it’s better just to hold onto these little safety blankets keeping me warm, just focus on my distractions and be happy with what I’ve got.

Yea, sure, that is one way to go about it and you’ll live a life where you have happiness and love and all those things. But…. it could be better. You could feel wonderful all the time (barring the odd occasion where you eat a dodgy prawn vindaloo and get an upset stomach).

I guess it’s about packing quality over quantity in your life. No, that’s not right. It’s about packing a large quantity of quality into your life. As much as you can carry, then some more on top! You should be overflowing with quality in your life.

So, instead of focusing on the distractions that bring snippets of joy into our lives, like house renovations, pets and breakfast dates, why not face the crappy things head on? Would it be so bad if we took a moment to acknowledge that our relationship isn’t what we want it to be, our job isn’t giving us satisfaction or our University degree isn’t leading us where we want it to?

The fears that come with these things can be completely and totally overwhelming. They can be paralysing. But, if you can work through them and take those first few precious steps toward making a change, they can also be really liberating. Overcoming a fear is unlike anything else you can do in life. It empowers you and makes you feel like the King of the universe!

Are there distractions in your life you can turn the volume down on? For me, I had to turn the volume down on ‘fluff’ I was packing into my weekends to distract me from my old job and help me get through each week. Instead of focusing my time and energy on planning these distractions, I put that effort into making a change and getting out of my job. This meant spending more time on my blog, building it up, so I could escape.

Now that I’m free of my old job, my distractions aren’t distractions anymore; they’re more like icing on my life cake.

I whole-heartedly believe our sole purpose in life is to be happy. If something isn’t making you happy, take the time to analyse and evaluate it and if it can’t be changed to make you feel happy, let it go. Surround yourself constantly with people, places and things that make you feel happy. Anything less is a distraction or detracting from your happiness.

You are always entitled to feel wonderful; every moment of every single day for the rest of your life.

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Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through InstagramFacebook and YouTube.

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