Every one of us have experience – of committing a silly but costly mistakes. It can be missing an important flight/train because of slight delay, committing a silly mistake and getting disqualified in an important exam, speaking wrong words and breaking a valuable relationship.
The two main causes for these mistakes are inattention and forgetfulness. These ultimately boil down to one issue – distraction. Distraction is the major cause of road accidents across the globe. In the current story, King Pandu also lost his life because of a slight distraction. Bhagavad Gita 2.41 points out that more the distraction, lesser will be our determination to succeed.
In order to decrease distraction in our life, let us study the mechanism of distraction. It has two parts – encountering the distraction and choosing to be distracted.
It is not practically possible in today’s day-and-age to make distraction zero. With the advent of social media and digital and internet advertising, the distraction levels soared up drastically. However it is still possible to minimize the distraction by regulating the use of social media and internet. We can also identify the areas of distraction that we encounter on daily basis and we can plan our day in such a way that we can avoid them as much as possible.
The second aspect – making the choice of not to be distracted is more in our hands than the first one. For King Pandu also the situation was not in his control, but he still had the choice to be distracted or not. For that we have to be fixed up and focused in our purpose of life. For this we need to strengthen our purpose of life.
This entails making our self regularly aware of the importance of the purpose of our life, the process of achieving the purpose of our life, the pitfalls that we encounter in the process. We also need to regularly associate with people sharing a similar purpose of life to keep us mutually inspired, encouraged and appreciated.
A strong purpose will make it easy for us to say ‘No’ to distractions. This makes our intelligence sharp to discriminate and save our self from distractions [ Bhagavad Gita 3.43].
Distractions are not just external but internal also. To detect and prevent internal distractions we need to go deep within by connecting to our inner self. This is possible by the process of yoga. Yoga will enable us to be aware of our thoughts and be alert to distractive thoughts [Bhagavad Gita 2.55].
Distractions defeat us often in our lives. It is possible to stand against the distractions by intensifying our purpose and consciously be aware of our external and internal self.