You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead.

You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead. –  George Lucas

A pair of horses with blinders and bug screens for their eyes. The blinders keep them focused on what is ahead of them, and not distracted by anything else.

What does that mean?
Life is an interesting thing. By that, I mean that there is always something interesting going on. Plenty of distractions. “Ooooh! Something Shiny!” and “Squirrel!” they are all around us. It is easy to lose our direction if we are not paying attention.

This quote reminds to keep going, by simply taking one step after the next, until we get to where we are going. But it can take a long time if you lose your way. Getting distracted could cause you to take many steps in a direction other than your desired destination.

That’s were the blinders come in. Blinders were designed to keep horses from being distracted. As cities became larger, and the distractions became more numerous, the blinders kept the horses plowing straight ahead, one hoof in front of the other. [The eyesight of a horse covers nearly 360 degrees, so blinders were used to limit what they could see, and to keep them focused on what was ahead of them]

Why is knowing your direction important?  
Well, if you don’t know where you’re going, I guess you don’t have any direction, right? But once you have an idea as to where you want to go, you have to pick a route. Even the route to “the top” (of whatever field of endeavor you are pursuing) has many routes.

Once you have chosen your path, it is time to get busy. It’s time to embark on your journey, and put one foot in front of the other until you get to where you are going. While there will be mistakes made along the path, if you allow yourself to be distracted, those mistakes will multiply.

Distractions will turn a trip of months into a journey of a lifetime, or more. Yes, it can be interesting and fun to entertain a distraction from time to time, but one must be careful that it does not keep you from your journey. Have a little fun now and again, but keep your eyes on the prize. Never forget what direction you are headed.

Where can I apply this in my life?
That sounded kind of ominous, didn’t it? “Never forget what direction you are headed!” I just want to make sure you remember to stop from time to time and examine your progress. Sometimes it is a wiser course of action to change your approach, and therefore your direction, when facing a rough road.

What I am getting at is that the blinders are to help with distractions, not to prevent you from seeing that you have taken a wrong turn, or that events have changed the terrain, and a new course is needed. Always be aware of these things, lest your dedication to your path become your undoing.

For those of you, like me, with ADD or ADHD, or are otherwise easily distracted, those blinders are pretty much mandatory. Something as simple as a stray thought can cost me an hour or more, as happened earlier in the day today. The question then becomes what do you use for blinders?

When writing, I try to find a time when the house is quiet, when I’m not being referee for the kids, not trying to think while the TV or radio is blasting. I have just moved, as the kids are watching the TV and it is sucking my brain out. That’s why I usually wait until they are in bed before I do my blog.

What are your distractions? Have you ever considered what pulls your attention away from the task at hand? I try to have a small snack handy, some water or other beverage near by so that if I get hungry or thirsty, the distraction is minimal, and I can get back on task in moments. I’ve already discussed some of the environmental distractions.

Grab some paper and start a list. If you’re having trouble thinking of the things that distract you, try keeping the paper handy for the next day or two. When you catch yourself having strayed from your defined direction, write down what started the distraction. Also, what might help keep you from being distracted, what kind of blinders you need to stay on track.

Once you have a list of the things that distract you, and what you think might help, you can formulate plans for trying to prevent distractions in the most important tasks in your life (whatever they may be). For me, that includes noisy kids and a case of munchies while writing the blog. What is it for you?

Life is full of shiny objects, it is up to us to develop either the discipline or to find techniques that limit or prevent distractions while we are on our path. If we do not, we may have an interesting life, but we may not accomplish our goals, and our dreams may end up unfulfilled.

It’s your life, only you can make those choices. But I believe it is better to make a choice than to drift without thought of consequence. Examine your life and chose how you will live it. And then put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

From: Twitter, @ShawnOHolmes
confirmed at :
Photo by beketchai

Happy Birthday to George Lucas, born 14 May, 1944.


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in action, direction, discipline, focus, obstacles, perseverance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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