Dealing With Distractions To Claim The Prize:
Dec 23, 2010Posted by james

Do you remember the card game “Concentration” from your childhood, or the television version of the same game that first appeared during 1958?

The children’s game matches cards. All cards are laid face down on a surface and two cards are flipped face up during each turn. The object of the game is to turn over pairs of matching cards that lead to solving a puzzle that mixes letters with symbols. The TV adaptation featured a board consisting of three-sided motorized boxes. Numbers appeared on the first of the three sides, prizes for matching and winning were on the second, and the puzzle clues appeared on the third.

Life seemed so simple when we played our childhood games or watched TV contestants solve puzzles. Sometimes we weren’t totally aware that distractions, even of the smallest kind, could change the course of the game, or, for those on TV, that valuable prizes were replaced with the dreaded “parting gifts.”

But distractions do have the potential to alter our ability to remain focused during a game, on a school or business project, during an important conversation, or even while driving. Distractions can create roadblocks to success — if we let them.

Since everything I have learned about life and to achieve success in business has come from playing competitive sports, I offer Tiger Woods as an example of a person who once had exceptional concentration but now continues to suffer from the burden of various distractions.

Since he was a young boy, Tiger’s success was honed from constant analysis of his game that he perfected with rigorous practice. When on the golf course, Tiger blocked out everything that did not pertain to golf. He always remained in the moment, whether driving the ball or sinking a long putt that no one else could ever place in the cup. His game plan and focus led to countless championships, huge financial prizes, worldwide recognition and admiration, and even more rewards as a corporate and brand spokesman.

That all came to a screeching halt the day his car hit the tree. Quickly bogged down in a sand trap that seemed to be composed of quicksand, Tiger’s professional game and image suffered right along with his personal life. Now, more than a year later, with personal issues still a huge part of each day, Tiger has not been able to regain his mastery in the game he once dominated for so many years. Whether or not he has found the proper balance in his personal and family life is an issue that only he can address.

No matter who we are or what we do for a living, distractions always will pop up to grab us and push us off course. A family issue, a souring relationship, financial problems, loosing a client, or even a health matter can hit us on any day at any time. The best response, as many people have shown, is to turn these distractions into positive actions.

By remaining focused on the personal and professional goals that truly matter, each of us can find ways to address distractions and become a returning champion in business and life. A solid strategy will help solve the puzzle. The prizes will be those we value and not just parting gifts.



  • By Lou D'Agostino, December 28, 2010 @ 7:54 am

    Another great blog Jim!! I hope you are doing ok with all of the snow!! Speak to you soon! Best, LD

  • By Peter J. Lee, January 1, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    I was distracted by that guy walking across my computer screen! What was I going to say?! ;-)

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