The Wall Of Distraction–Welcome To March Madness!!!

A Critical Doer generates motion from “why” more than “what” 

Besides warmer temperatures and pollen, March brings madness…”March Madness” with conference basketball tournaments and the NCAA basketball tournament.  This sports spectacle has brought us many memorable moments…and I recently came across something that will be truly memorable for any team facing the Arizona State University Sun Devils.

The students at ASU have created a concept called “the wall of distraction.”  When an opposing team member steps to the free throw line, they see the wall right in front of them.

        the curtain

 As the player takes the ball and begins concentrating on the task of sinking the free throw, some form of oddity emerges from the wall to create a monumental distraction.  It could be this…

lady person

…or this…

ball and chain

…or this…


(Condolences to whoever is paying his tuition)

…or this…

Elvis celebrities B9316296887Z.1_20150218192012_000_GRVA08TQO.1-0animals

Shooting a free throw is a relatively simple task…but simple tasks can become incredibly complicated when we divert our attention away from our primary purpose.  ASU’s opponents have learned this the hard way…opposing team’s free throw percentage when playing at ASU is lower than any other venue in the country.

Critical Doers have an inherent advantage in dealing with distractions that can present themselves as a wall standing between us and our goals.  One of our traits is generating motion from “why” more than “what.”

A clear sense of why…or purpose…is an effective immunization against distraction.  Whenever we find ourselves expending energy on non-value added things, it is generally because we’ve lost sight of “why.”  An effective drill to prevent succumbing to the wall of distraction that extends far beyond an ASU basketball game, continuously revisit this simple progression:

Purpose (Why)  →  Priorities  →  Tasks

As long as we keep “why” as a fixed navigation point, constant as the North Star, our tasks will reflect our priorities which will lead to fulfilling our purpose.  If we spend energy chasing whatever catches our eye, or let others divert our energy for any of a number of reasons, our capacity for doing is diminished.

Make no mistake Critical Doers, the wall of distraction is around us every day.  It could be social media, it could be coworkers/subordinates/bosses/ who steal energy with non-value added tasks, it could be because you haven’t reconciled “why” in your own mind to illuminate the path you should follow.  Resolve today and every day going forward to ensure you are firmly connected to “why” in the major aspects of your life both personally and professionally.  You’ll be amazed at how effective you become at fighting through distraction and accomplishing deeds that are profitable and fulfilling.

Enjoy March Madness…and being more effective in all phases of your life.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!

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Updated: March 14, 2015 — 1:35 am