Distraction has been an ever-present bane for humanity. However, the present age is one of mass distraction. With technology and social media, news, updates and notifications from anywhere and everywhere pop up on our devices and spike up into our minds.
And the nature of distraction is that it is often endlessly distracting. That is, once we start getting distracted by one thing and the next, we become conditioned to distraction. That aggravates within us a mentality of distractibility, wherein the specific distraction alluring us doesn’t matter – we just get distracted because that’s what we have become conditioned to. Sometimes, we may just jolt out of our stupor of distraction when we miss out on something important because of our distractibility and then wonder, “Why did I waste my time reading or watching that? It wasn’t even interesting, leave alone irresistible.” We fall for anything, even something utterly unworthy and unpleasing, because we haven’t committed ourselves to anything.
To resist distractions, we need to focus on a positive attraction, an affirmative engagement that inspires us to connect with it and contribute therein.
The Bhagavad-gita (02.41) recommends a one-pointed commitment to higher spiritual values as a means to overcome the manifold distractions that bog our mind and our world. Spiritual wisdom helps us understand what is truly important for us and why – it gives us an overall framework, an inspiring context and a stimulating aspiration for our life. That understanding helps us see how by succumbing to distractions, we are pathetically underselling ourselves, achieving next-to-zero pleasure when eternal happiness could be ours.
In contrast, if we put our spiritual commitment first, then we get the supreme grace of the topmost spiritual reality Krishna. That grace infuses us with higher wisdom and higher taste, thereby making resisting distractions much easier.