Five Things That Will Distract You From Following Your Dreams

I’ve been going through a lot these past few weeks, and it has made me realise just how much things in our modern life distract you from achieving your goals. Most people have dreams but never manage to translate them into achievable goals. And many of us who do manage to set achievable goals for ourselves end up getting side-tracked.

Below is a list of five things that I have realised can distract you from achieving goals and following your dreams. Keep in mind that I’m not saying these things should be completely removed from your life while you’re on you grind, but a little too much of each is enough to put you off course. Moderation is key!

a couple on a date

Girls (opposite sex): This one is so obvious I had to put it first. There I was minding my own business, focused on my goals for the day. When all of a sudden a girl tells me she wants to see me, and then BAM! She puts a sledgehammer right through my wall of focus. Leaving me to scramble together the pieces.

We all need some attention from the opposite sex at some point, but you have to be able to balance it out if you have set out goals for yourself. All it took was for one girl to show me attention for me to break my 500 words a day objective. Do that a good few times and you are setting yourself behind.

Of course, I’m speaking as a single man at the time of writing this. If you’re in a relationship then things are different and you have to make sure you fit your relationship into your life.

Entrepreneurs and working full time jobs

Work: Firstly, when you quit your day job and get called a bum, don’t you dare say “Gary Swaby told me to do it.” That’s not what I’m trying to say here. We all need to work, no doubt about it. It keeps us disciplined, allows us to experience things and helps with timekeeping. However, if you’ve set a big goal for yourself that will at some point include you setting up your own business or working for yourself, then trapping yourself in a career job is just going to create a lot of conflicts.

Look at ways to fit your work into your journey. Perhaps a career job isn’t what you need if you want to be an entrepreneur and start something from scratch. Everyone needs money to stay afloat, but just make sure you’re comfortable with your work, hustle, and life balance.

Friends: It’s Saturday. You tell yourself that today you are going to set aside a few hours of your time to work on that goal. The phone rings, it’s John Doe. He tells you that he’s ready for “a sick night out” with some of the other lads. You look at your watch and see it’s only 2 o’ clock, so you’ll still have a few hours to get some work in. You agree to John’s invitation. Then he mentions he wants to go to a bar before the club to get some drinks down first, but before that he wants to go to the mall to buy some fresh garments, and you should join him. The pressure is on, and since John is on the line you think “No biggie, I’ll work tomorrow” – Knowing that Sunday is the day you watch the F1, wash all your clothes for work and cook dinner.

The point is – sometimes you need to go out with your friends and enjoy life. But sometimes you don’t.

Hobbies: I’m a geek, so my hobbies include playing video games, watching movies, TV shows, reading comics and more. Occasionally I get into this trance where I load up iTunes and Spotify and just lose myself in the music (word to Eminem) and do nothing but listen to every one of my favourite songs at that moment in time. Your hobbies may be different. We all need hobbies though; they’re the activities that help us to escape from the harsh realities of life.

Sometimes I let my hobbies take up every single second of my free time, and although I go to bed in a slightly good mood, at the back of my mind I know I wasted some time that could have been spent doing productive things.

Home life can be a distraction from work

Home life: If you plan on achieving goals from the comfort of your home, then be aware that the comfort of your home can be your worst enemy. Example: I’m sitting in my room with Scrivener open. I scratch my head and my eyes catch sight of my shiny PlayStation 3. I remember that I have about three missions left on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, so I could probably complete it today and get it out the way. Thankfully I’m able to tell myself “no, maybe later.”

I look back at Scrivener and try to collect my thoughts once again, but then I look down at the carpet and realise it’s due a good vacuum. I tell myself “after I write some words.” I put my fingers on the keyboard, then the phone rings. I answer thinking it could be important. It’s a marketing call, somebody wants me to do a five minute survey. I say okay because I used to work for a telemarketing company. The survey ends up being fifteen minutes because the interviewer can barely speak English and the phone line was rubbish. I hang up the phone and feel my stomach roar and remember I should have eaten. There’s a tin of Tuna in the cupboard, maybe I’ll cook it with some rice. I cook and eat; then my phone rings, it’s John Doe and he wants to go out.

I’m pretty sure you get the picture. Sometimes you may be better off working from another location other than home.

Let me know what you think of this list below, and maybe you know of something more that can be distracting.

  • Hollis Bush

    True, true, true
    I just recently left a tech school to go to college to follow my dreams of being a producer, and actor but with all these other things going on on the side it’s very distracting. You lose focus, and that can set a person back. The best thing that I learned to do is tell myself I want to be a such and such everyday and keep at it till it becomes second nature then act upon it. Chanting works and it makes things important.
    By the way I play guitar and a little piano and am going to be a model this year on my bday.

    • Indeed. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life. But as long as you keep your goals in focus and continue to work on them you’ll be free to enjoy life like you want to. Thanks for the comment.

  • Bardia

    Thank you. they are damn true.

    • Thanks, I’m glad you liked the article. I wrote this some time ago, so I made a few small amends today thanks to your comment.