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Part 5 - No More Distractions, Please! - Creating the World You Yearn For

How come there are so many distractions on my path to success?! Every time I start to gain traction in making a difference something seems to pull me off track! I often feel like I am wandering in a billboard jungle with distractions tugging at me in every direction. My vision of the world I yearn for rests firmly on the horizon - but I'm not sure how to get there from here.

I have a clear vision of what I can bring to the table to create a world that I yearn for - for myself and my kids. I can line up the steps to achieve my simple solution - first this,..than that - and I have talked to many about my ideas to make sure my perceptions are on target. I feel good about it; right direction, right perception.

Then I turn on the news to tune into the latest Administration gossip, then notice that Homeland is now airing Season 6. I call a good friend to share my updates and before you know it, my evening is over. Distracted!

This article is Part 5 of the blog series Creating the World You Yearn For intended to help us collectively build a world we are proud of, worthy of our children and based on integrity of spirit and creative innovation. In Part 4 - Can You Succeed? we acknowledged that our vision of a better world left us standing on a ledge overlooking the abyss between life today and the world we yearn for. Armed with right perception and right direction we set out now on our journey.

3 Types of Distraction

Having affirmed your decision to create the world you yearn for - you would have turned back by now if you didn't - you will encounter distractions at every turn along your journey. Distractions, which are everywhere, can be difficult to identify because they often disguise themselves as important things we must to first; and the things we yearn for most we move to the back burner. Sound familiar? We each have our own list we can create. Here are a few of mine:

  • "I have to organize my emails before I finish my blog"

  • "I need to pay my bills"

  • "My kid is sick"

  • "Homeland is on"

  • "I need to clean the kitchen"

  • "I'm too tired"

To this I say B.S.! Yes, we need to keep a healthy eye on our everyday lives, but there is a lot of flotsam that can removed. If your pleas and excuses doesn't quite pass the "smell test" consider looking at some of the distractions in your path. Once we clear the mental or physical 'debris' from our path, our efforts can begin to root and gain traction.

Below are the three biggest distractions we all have that will pose serious roadblocks to making an impact on the world if, that is, they are left unattended.

Deposited Debris

Many distractions are deposited in our paths from other people or events. These deposited distractions are challenges posed by people or situations coming from outside ourselves. For example, when you meet a committed pessimist who sees the worst in situations, those pessimistic thoughts become deposited inside you. Hurtful negativity in relationships, as well as office or family politics yields an abundance of deposited debris - other peoples' problems that get put onto you.

Consider an insecure boss, a habitually angry partner or a friend that is a constant critic. Sensitive people can easily feel the negative energy suppressing their optimism and desire. Other's criticism and anger are terrible underminers of good will and inspiration - yet persistent mood or personality negativity in others can shut down the best of us.

Certainly, we all have friends and relatives, including ourselves at times, that are having very real problems. and who benefit greatly from gentle care and compassion. They are not debris depositors, they are friends and loved ones. It is the people who's habitual negativity can squelch your inspiration that you need to recognize.

One important skill in assisting with deposited debris from others is to walk away and continue on your quest to create a better world.. Know yourself - recognize how you feel internally as an inspired visionary, and return quickly to your own path. Don't stop long absorb habitual negativity, make a direct beeline towards creating the world you yearn for.

A key to managing the deposited debris of others is to understand that their habitual behaviors are their concern - not yours. Draw the boundary between their negative energy and your enthusiasm lest they zap your energy and inspiration. Recognize the distraction and walk away; return to your own journey.

Habitual Debris

All of us have habitual debris - the type of distraction which comes from within us. Habitual Debris are our “go-to” reactions when we are under stress such as rising quickly to irritation, guilt, depression, helplessness or confusion. We have learned to react to bottlenecks in our lives by retreating into a behavioral pattern that shifts our attention away from our desires and bogs us down into countless potholes.

Do one of these sound like a familiar pattern that you often repeat? If you could peel back the layers of your emotion, what would lay underneath your habitual reaction? Would you find fear beneath your anger, or frustration beneath irritation. Do you find fear at the base of confusion? These automatic responses are protective devices that cushion us from our own anxieties and thwart inspired progress and joy.

Habitual debris is so automatic we often don't notice it - or worse, we blame the feelings on someone else (I am always annoyed at my partner!). A pernicious problem, we impose our own internal distractions on our deepest desires and begin to lose clarity and vision. When sudden emotion arises, take a step back, look under your own automatic reaction and discover what it is that you are wanting right now. How would a change of direction get you back on track; perhaps a mid-course correction.?

Sometimes we are the source of our own stumbling!

Sorrowful Debris

Often, when genuine pain or grief is overwhelming, we are experiencing sorrowful debris. Real pain and sorrow needs time and attention to heal our very real wounds. The loss of a partner, a job, or an illness are very difficult life events and require our compassion and tenderness to heal properly. They are not tactics to distract, but very clear messages that emotional healing is needed.

Like habitual debris, we often substitute coping behavior, such as anger, sadness or fear, to protect ourselves emotionally until we are ready to bear witness to our own pain and sort through our deeper feelings and experience. For example, someone who has recently lost a spouse, their health, or a dear companion may display anger, depression, or withdrawal as they struggle to heal internally.

Sorrowful debris happens to all of us at one time or another in our lives, but when we are emotionally ready to heal from our loss, we will gradually be able to come back into our dreams and-day by-day return to a fully inspired life.


Creating the world you yearn for lies directly at your feet and just across the abyss. Pat yourself on the back for going in the right direction and with the right perception to support your progress. Stay keenly alert to the subtle distractions and debris that will, from time to time, block your path: deposited debris and your own habitual debris.

Along your journey, should you encounter sorrowful debris, acknowledge that sometimes hard reality causes very real pain. Give yourself time to hurt and heal, make what progress you can, then spend time on your own compassionate healing. With self-care, sorrowful debris will eventually resolve and will likely add a deeper, more textured richness to life that you didn't expect in the world you yearn for.

Travel lightly,

Jenifer Zetlan

Before you read the next installment of Creating the World You Yearn For, Part 5 of the series, take some time to define for yourself the following:

  • Your personal Grand Mystery

  • Your Big Questions

  • Your Vision for a better world

  • The Simple Solution

  • The Abyss

  • Assess the Abyss

  • Right Perception vs 'Fauxpinion'

  • Right Direction

  • Deposited and Habitual Debris

  • Sorrowful Debris

Find Parts 1-4 at;


Jenifer Zetlan, author of The Incredible Power of Inspiration: Creating the Life You Yearn For, is a behavioral scientist and motivational speaker who is committed to helping people live inspired lives. With advanced degrees in psychology and behavioral sciences, she has led numerous seminars and classes in psychology, leadership and organization in University settings and throughout many Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations. She has also enjoyed successful careers in psychology, aerospace, and heath care.

Jenifer has been reading, studying and speaking in the areas of psychology, philosophy and spirituality for over 30 years. She is an ardent yoga practitioner and instructor in the Bay Area.

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