Why It Is So Hard to Focus in Life

Do you want to know why it’s so hard to focus on your own life and stay on your own zen wavelength? Well, I re-discovered the answer today. Wait for it…

It’s because everyone around you is so DARN LOUD!

The Setting

I am writing this post during a fit of frustration on a plane to what I hope is a rejuvenating vacation. While attempting to enjoy my book, I find myself amidst the cackles of inebriated passengers on a mission to win the who can talk the loudest competition. It is extremely hard to focus on my book.

The Story:


I am all for freedom of friendliness and libations but why do these people have to be so LOUD on this plane? Then again, this is a country that has freedom of speech, so who am I to tell the newfound besties to sacrifice their hyperactivity for my peace. I mentally rummage through the safety manual to see if there is some rule they were breaking. However, there is just information about oxygen masks, life vests, and “in the event of an emergency” situations. There is nothing about being courteous to your neighbors.

But wait, isn’t this an emergency? I am being forced to sacrifice my page-turning enjoyment to listen to the loudest passengers on this plane. Doesn’t that warrant some kind of rescue? With no way to politely ask them to pipe down, I might as well find a lesson in this experience.

I take a deep breath and hope for some annoyed passenger to ask the noisy neighbors to quiet down. More and more frustrated by each screech and shout, I think about the moments in my life when I’ve felt trapped, frustrated, limited, and a victim of other people inserting noise into my life. Right now, I would do anything to turn up the selective attention dial to “I can’t hear you” mode, but nothing is a match for these voices of Godzilla.

The lesson

I had a plan for this plane ride that included me, God, reflection, and a book. It did not include writing a blog post about my frustration with this noise. Typically, I would be oblivious to the loudmouths around me as I drown them out with my music or a movie. However, I forgot my headphones this time!

I keep asking myself over and over, “Why is it so hard to focus? Is it really that hard to tune them out?” As I wait for the answer from the universe, I realize a similarity between my ability to focus in life and other people’s voices in my head. These noises are the external opinions and beliefs we allow in our heads that make it hard to focus on our own life and journey.

Some noises are louder than others—fears, other people’s opinions, societal and family expectations, and our internal self-talk. At times, it is so loud, confusing, overwhelming, and tiring to combat.

Today, I have learned a few things:

  1. I understand why people invest in quality noise-canceling headphones
  2. It’s hard to focus in life when our fears, other people’s opinions, and negative self-talk drown out own our inner voice.
  3. It’s necessary to clear your head of the noise in order to find your inner voice.

The good news is that my neighbors are now quietly resting. Maybe now I can get back to focusing on my book and the amazing view in peace and quiet.

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