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Have you ever felt so hope­ful when­ev­er the year ends and anoth­er year is about to start? You start to won­der what are the things you want to achieve next year, list­ing it down and you start even shar­ing it with your friends and loved ones.

Well, that’s what I feel right now. There is no greater joy than the feel­ing of excite­ment when­ev­er I achieved or ful­filled the things I list­ed down at the start of the year. But also, it can accom­pa­ny with regret and frus­tra­tions as you go back to your list and most of them are not ful­filled — if you are a goal-ori­ent­ed per­son like me!

Goals excite me, unful­filled goals make me feel frus­trat­ed. Begin­ning of this year, 2018, I list­ed down 11 faith goals. To empha­size, 11 ambi­tious and auda­cious faith goals. And you know what? Only 3 of them were ful­filled, 3 of them par­tial­ly-ful­filled, 1 of them, I already gave up the idea of hav­ing or being it, and the rest remains unful­filled.

Why, Dhenn? Last year most of your goals ful­filled, but this year seems quite a busy year, but most of your goals remain unful­filled?

Well, to tell you the rea­son: I’m dis­tract­ed. I’m dis­tract­ed by the good things that will have a good impact on my life.

You see, some dis­trac­tions are good, some are not. Late­ly, I have been receiv­ing emails again from mar­keters send­ing me arti­cles that dis­trac­tions are bad for you, dis­trac­tions are evil, dis­trac­tions are an unnec­es­sary part of life and we need to get rid of it. But I DISAGREE.

I dis­agree because not all dis­trac­tions are cre­at­ed equal. Dis­trac­tions are nec­es­sary for life because:

1. Some distractions teach you to be spontaneous and enjoy life.

Being so focused on your goals some­how cre­ates anx­i­ety. Every­thing is planned accord­ing­ly some­times makes life hard­er than easy right? I remem­ber when I was in my under­grad­u­ate degree, my mind was so focused on fin­ish­ing my course with­in a 4 year peri­od. Did I enjoy it? Did I learn a lot? Hon­est­ly speak­ing, NO. I did­n’t learn a lot when I was in col­lege. I was so focused on school­ing and in my grades that I for­get to enjoy learn­ing.

Ralph Wal­do Emer­son once said, “I don’t let school­ing pre­vents my edu­ca­tion.”

School­ing is aim­ing for the high grades, for the dis­tinc­tion and hon­orary awards. Edu­ca­tion is learn­ing, releas­ing your cre­ativ­i­ty, tak­ing risks.

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This year has nev­er been that spon­ta­neous than the pre­vi­ous years I had. I went back to school to pur­sue Grad­u­ate Stud­ies because sur­pris­ing­ly, I have been admit­ted to the Mas­ters Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of the Philip­pines in the mid­dle of the year.

With that, I was­n’t able to fin­ish 12 books, only a half. I was­n’t able to give 12 talks because I reject some and I deliv­ered 3 talks only for this year and I was­n’t able to start writ­ing my 2nd book because of it.

But that’s okay. I enjoy study­ing now than before. It encour­ages me to step out of my com­fort zone and it gave me a new dream — a dream of teach­ing to Uni­ver­si­ty some­day.

2. Some distractions teach you a lesson.

Hon­est­ly, I have been into two heart­breaks this year. The pain of rejec­tion — an area that God still want­ed me to work into. An area that God uses to build up my con­fi­dence and faith in Him, an area where He usu­al­ly empha­siz­ing that I am not reject­ed, I am accept­ed and He has greater plans for me.

These are also a good dis­trac­tion. One of the rea­sons why I was able to achieve some hairy auda­cious goals I have before is that; rejec­tion plays a major role in it. Rejec­tion pulls me so hard that it push­es me hard as well to be bet­ter, to strive for more and to become the per­son God called me to be.

3. Some distractions are life-changing.

If you have been fol­low­ing me recent­ly in my social media accounts, I already gave up the idea of get­ting mar­ried. The dream of build­ing a fam­i­ly one day. All these dreams, I knelt down before the Lord, sur­ren­dered to Him and some­how I buried it 10 ft below the ground. I don’t want any hint of it, I don’t want to desire it any­more. I even asked God to remove this desire from me if it is not His will for me.

But God seems has anoth­er plan for me. He exhaust­ed every­thing of my gifts and tal­ents to serve His peo­ple. He let me use and give it to the min­istry where I served, He let me used it in the pub­lic places, He lev­eled up my lead­er­ship and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and after all of those exhaust­ing months and years, God made me real­ize that those are dis­trac­tions.

Dis­trac­tions that changes my life. Dis­trac­tions that trans­formed me into becom­ing more of the per­son He has called me. Dis­trac­tions that mold­ed me to become the right per­son.

After those dis­trac­tions that I believe God gave to me, my frus­tra­tions that my small group won’t sur­vive, we grew into 6 to 8 already just this year.

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Anoth­er one that gives me hope and inspires me that I believe God has already giv­en to me, well I can’t share it for now. Maybe soon­er or next year. I still don’t know and I don’t want to fill my hopes in it, I just want to remain faith­ful and let God do the rest.

Some­times dis­trac­tions are nec­es­sary not because it drifts us away from our pur­pose, but some­times it reminds us that we can­not do any­thing with our own pow­er and abil­i­ty. Life is meant to enjoy and to be pur­pose­ful at the same time. God allows some dis­trac­tions because He wants us to know that His plans and goals are bet­ter than ours.

While I am not encour­ag­ing you to be dis­tract­ed at all, but some dis­trac­tions some­how direct us to where we should be going instead of just going with the flow isn’t it? In all you do, remain pur­pose­ful, remain hope­ful, be focused but don’t for­get that there will be some dis­trac­tions.

How about you? What are the dis­trac­tions that you expe­ri­enced this year? Did they change your life for the bet­ter or worse?

As the year ends, start to rem­i­nisce every­thing you expe­ri­enced and achieve this year. And ask your­self, did it help me to become a bet­ter per­son? Did it increase my faith and con­fi­dence in God?

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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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