Struggling to stay focused in the Youtube age

Snoopy the beagle sitting on top of his red doghouse typing on a typewriter with his yellow friend Woodstock flying beside him

The writer


Staying Focused in the Youtube Age

I always thought I was a decent writer. I graduated with honours from the Public Relations program at Algonquin College. Writing was a huge piece of the PR puzzle. I liked that part and did really well in it.

I still like to write. I am actually writing a book as we speak. Finally. It has been over 20 years in the making and it is finally coming to fruition. I started many – probably over 15 books over the past 20 years. I would write a page or two, or maybe even a chapter. But that was it. I would just let it wither away and die. My laptop is filled with the remnants of the dreams of books that perished throughout my life time.

In 2013 I committed myself to writing my book. What is the difference between now and then? Why now and not any of the previous times? What has changed? A few things:

1) My level of self-awareness. I am mindful. I am not necessarily happy all of the time. That would be kind of weird. But I am content. I am filled with gratitude. I live according to my values. I speak more kindly to myself.

2) I have a coach. Bill from Leadership Heart Coaching keeps me accountable, my goals realistic and asks me the really important questions. He gets me thinking and focusing on the stuff that I need to complete. If I don’t send him the next few chapters he will ask me what happened and why wasn’t I able to get it finished. It is creating that sense of awareness combined with accountability that is really making the difference.

3) Bruce Springsteen. From the time I was 14 Springsteen has played an enormous role in my life. I know that many people feel the same way ( I am a Bruce Bud on Twitter and have watched Springsteen and I. Heck, I am IN Springsteen and I!). They can relate to me when I say that Bruce and his music have played an integral role in my life.

But why now? Because he inspires me and always has. He has a work ethic that most people (myself included) can only aspire to. Whenever I get distracted or tired or if I am not motivated to write my book (or do a status update on social media or write a blog post), I think of him. I think of his legendarily epic concerts. I think back to the times I have seen him perform: April 18th and 19th 2003, Oct. 14th 20007, March 2nd 2008, August 24th 2012 and The Best Night of My Life – October 19th 2012. The fact that I can remember each and every one of these experiences. Springsteen and the E Street Band in whatever formation consistently deliver to their audiences.

Knowing that he does this and knowing the feeling that I get when I think of/listen to/dream of/watch his music gives me the courage and the energy to go on.

But I struggle. I struggle to stop watching youtube videos that people so thoughtfully post. I need to stop watching interviews of him and to stop writing my Facebook status updates about him.

So I know how hard it is to stay focused and not get distracted by other more appealing things – especially online.

But what I don’t struggle with is my desire to write the book and make a positive difference in just one person’s life. It feels like self-esteem is the key to creating a life of happiness and fulfillment, and that is my mission. Because it is an important value of mine, I am committed to it.

And with Bruce and Bill’s help, I know it is going to happen.

I am looking forward to what comes next -and I am not just talking about a new Springsteen youtube video!

What about you? Is there something you are struggling with finishing? What can you do to truly commit yourself? And what is YOUR distraction?

Wishing you a focused life,


P.S. This post was written two years ago. I did finish writing a book – Unlock Your Future: The 7 Keys to Success.  The one I was talking about in the post is about 95% finished..and I saw Springsteen in concert again on February 2nd, 2016. The struggle continues!



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