Blog #469 Blinders

Coaching for Success:  Blinders


As cars became available over a century ago, horses frequently had blinders.  Blinders are basically flaps near the eyes to keep the horse from seeing things (such as cars).  In those days of early cars, horses would spook and throw their riders and this was an attempt to control that.  Modern racehorses do this as well to keep the horse from seeing the crowd, from seeing other horses, from getting spooked.

There might be times when humans need blinders as well  (Aside, my wife accuses me of being a ‘looky-loo’ when we drive as I notice businesses, fields, and other things outside the window.).  If we are working towards a goal, we don’t want distractions to come in our way. And, sometimes one distraction leads to two and to more and soon we are not working towards our goals. (Another aside – for seniors – there are times I may go to the closet for something (let’s say shoes), but as I walk through the bedroom I see the bed is unmade, so I make the bed, straighten the pillows and do some other minor things in the bedroom – and find that I never get what I went after – the shoes).

If you are working on a goal, you need a laser focus – disregarding all distractions around us.  Too many students say they are studying – but have their iPhones open and are texting friends; they have music playing and they can be singing around; they might be daydreaming and not really working.  So, in a period of three hours of study, they really only get a small amount done. The suggestion is to close the door, get rid of the distractions, no music, no phone, no video games, no television – a good desk with the papers and materials you need.  (And, make sure you use the restroom first – to cut that distraction out).

Of course, there are jobs where distractions have to be observed.  Mothers have to know where their toddlers are – are they climbing the stairs, touching the stove, or some other dangerous act?  Drivers need to anticipate (and watch for) distractions – such as cars running a red light, or cars swerving in-and-out (maybe a drunk driver?).  And jockeys need to know where the other horses are in a race – but the horse doesn’t need to know that!!

Can you keep your focus on your task at hand?  Can you focus on what needs to be done and ignore the distractions?  (I heard a friend talking about his prayer time – and how quickly and easily he can become distracted).

Can you really focus?  

What do you think?


Posted by Bruce White

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