What happens when we are distracted? Mostly we end up missing things. Lately, I have had first hand experience with the need to minimize distractions. I had to have a tooth pulled (yipes!) and, as a result, ended up with a cast in my mouth. It was sort of like this giant wad of silly putty over half of my lower jaw. And wouldn’t you know it, I had a talk to do three days later.
I knew that I had to address this big glob in my mouth. If I didn’t, no one would actually hear anything I said. Instead, they’d be wondering about the wad of white over my teeth.
I learned about this years ago. I was taking a philosophy class. The professor, let’s call her Marjorie, had this thing going on that totally distracted me. She had a piece of lint caught on the inside of her panty hose on her calf. Now in those days of pantyhose, that kind of thing happened to the best of us. The thing that got really distracting was that it was there, in the same spot for about 5 days. My mind just fixated on it. What was going on? Did she not wash them? Did she never take them off?
While in her class I just kept pondering this, and being distracted. I have no idea what philosophical things she talked about. I wasn’t actually present.
I used this story of Marjorie’s Lint as I busted my tooth thing so people could actually pay attention during my talk. It was an even better story than the ‘bar fight’ one I had been tempted to make up.
And then, as I often do, I started thinking about how we distract ourselves from looking at our money. Many of us let any little thing substitute as something to give our attention to.
It takes attention to do well with your money. It takes focus. It takes actually noticing.
More and more credit card companies do their best to keep us distracted. One of the more recent techniques is to go ‘paper free’. I’m all for not cutting down trees and conserving…but when I choose to not get a receipt, I’m also choosing to not register in my brain, or anywhere else, the purchase I just made.
There is a cost we incur when we are distracted. We miss stuff. Around money, what we miss the most is allowing money to do what I think is its most important job: Telling us what we are doing with our assets. Money’s main job is to show us what we are up to. Are we spending on things we care about, or just spending? Are we truly honoring ourselves through our money, or not?
Money has all sorts of information to give us…AND…it won’t chase us to do it. It will only give you the information if you ask for it, look at it, demand it. So money information is even more prone to being missed by our being distracted than other things are.
How do you distract yourself from looking at or managing your money? What would it take for you to actually look? What do you make up would happen if you did? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org