Personal Development

What’s A Distraction REALLY Look Like?

businessman pointing earth
Written by Adel Refai

When I committed to a new life of being an Entrepreneur, a strange thing happened.  This one weird distraction started popping up ALL THE TIME.  New opportunities were constantly popping up everywhere.  I know that at first glance, this doesn’t sound like a problem.  But take a look again:

One of the most important components of success is dedication.  If you have your sight set on a goal – especially an amazing goal that you really want – you’re not going to get there without committing to it.

businessman pointing earthThe Appalachian Trail is a trail that stretches 2,200 miles from Maine all the way to Georgia. Ranging from 124 ft at it’s lowest point to 6,643 ft at its highest point.  Every year, many people set out with the goal of hiking the entire trail.  Most don’t finish and some do.

Think of yourself as one of these hikers.  Imagine your goal being the entire 2,200 mile trail.  Lucky for you, you have a map of the trail.  That’s one part most people struggle with in life.  Finding or creating a map that will get them to where they want to be…

So you’re lucky.  You have a map.  All you have to do is follow it.

It’s going to be hard, no doubt.  But if you commit to it everyday when you wake up, you will succeed.  Others have, so there’s no reason you can’t.  As long as you follow the map.

Now, if you start wondering about all the other side trails that pop up…  And from Maine to Georgia, you’re bound to see a lot.  Different trails.  Different towns you might want to stop at. Maybe someone even offers you a free plane ticket home to forget about the whole thing.

Those other trails might look real cool.  It would be fun to check it out, sure.  But does it take you closer or further from your goal?

It would be great to hang out in a town for a while.  Just one night.  Maybe longer.

And at some point, a plane ticket home will sound great.  Especially when things are getting really tough.

These are all the weird distractions I’m talking about.  A new product to promote. A friend with a new business idea. They just kept popping up everywhere.  And for a while, I would spend my time jumping from great new opportunity to great new opportunity.

And after a while, I found myself exactly where I was a few years earlier.  Which was about a month into a new opportunity, trying to make it work.  And the excitement was starting to die down.  Without a clear goal and unwavering dedication, I spend my time chasing the excitement of starting something.  And I lost sight of the true fulfillment of working, finishing and accomplishing something.

No matter what we’re all aspiring for in life, one thing is for sure.  We’ll never get there if we take every detour that presents itself.  No matter how attractive.  We have to get that goal in our sites.  Figure out what needs to be done.  And do it.  Every day.  And we need to ignore and say ‘no, thank you’ to everything to pops up that will move us away from that goal.

To Your Success,


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About the author

Adel Refai

Adel (‘Oddle’) has spent years as an online marketer and marketing coach. He realized very quickly that mindset, attitude and approach to life and business were always part of success. How you go about achieving your goals – your successes – are just as important as what you want to achieve.

Everybody needs help and guidance. He feels it's part of his mission to offer that guidance.

If something is holding you back. If there's a life out there that you want to reach for. Visit to unleash it.


  • The way you used the life map idea was very powerful!

    Thank you for this great post! I really need to read this today!


  • Hi Adel,

    Really enjoyed your article. The analogy to the Appalachian Trail is something I will remember. I have also had the new opportunity get me off track. next time it happens I’ll think of the trail.

  • Great explanation with the Appalachian Trail. This reminded me of something I read before on constantly evaluating your daily goals and seeing if they line up with you’re longer term goals.

  • Hi Adel,
    You’re so right about being focussed about your effort,and not going astray with a plethora of distractions.
    This calls for tremendous diligence.
    BTW “Focus” stands for follow one course until successful as per Robert Kiyosaki.And that is so apt really.
    .In the words of Seth Godin In his famous book LINCHPIN it’s the resistance that is at work inside us that causes us to leave things incomplete.
    Besides,we tend to give up too soon too frequently.Giving up is a weakness that crawls upon us.We dont go the extra mile often.
    You pause and ask yourself in that moment ,that ‘womb of decision-making” whether there is still an extra mile that you could traverse..That is the stamina of conviction most eminent people have .Thank heavens for the stamina of conviction Edison possessed otherwise, for sure candlelight dinners wouldn’t have been a novelty today!

  • Del,

    I absolutely LOVE your article, it is spot on! The large majority of people believe that entrepreneurs have it all, doing what they want, working whenever they wish. This is so not the case, because being an entrepreneur means all the responsibility is on YOU. YOU have to make the best use of your time, the best use of the upcoming opportunities, and distractions really are a huge problem. Your allegory with the 2,200 mile trail is fantastic! Very motivating indeed :)

  • Distractions come in all sorts of forms. The important thing is that you recognize them and don’t let them get in the way too much.

  • This is a good and easy to miss point. I have heard of this before, where people are such natural “idea people” that they keep having new inspirations and product, business or other ideas that they never focus to do all the necessary steps to make one happen. If it’s really not your personality type you need to at least set up a team or work with others who can handle those logistical parts.

    • CJ, I recently read an article talking about just that – the great ‘idea people’ that never get traction on any one thing. It’s such a simple but powerful point. And you brought up another great point – to surround yourself with a good team, so everyone can focus on their strengths. This is what I’m currently working on.

      Thanks for making that point, it helped me refocus!


  • Hi Adel, you are so right, distractions are subtle and can give you that deja vu feeling, always at the starting line. Focus Focus Focus and use discernment. I was talking to myself there!!
    Thanks for you article.

    • Karen, isn’t it funny how distractions can disguise themselves so well? They really are subtle – focus is key, as you said! And being clear on what you want, too!

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