The Allure of the Quick Fix Distraction

A Problem free life does not exist.  If your life has not problems, you are not truly alive, and that’s a big Problem.”  Unknown.

OK, I admit it.  I’m lazy.  The way I see it there’s nothing like meandering down memory lane without a thing on my mind.

One of my favorite asides comes from Australian Journalist/Poet William Wentworth who seems to have lionized the lackadaisical with this brilliant summation: “A day spent in a round of strenuous idleness.”  Beautiful!

Sure, every now and then, we all need to get away, charge up the batteries and bask in the hot sun.

But as a career kick start mechanism, it is not viewed as a fast track gateway to the corner office.   I don’t know why. (:

But, we all need a break.  We’ll get away, take a drink or two, have a nap, enjoy a get together with friends, go to a movie, etc.  But these palliatives lack the capacity of permanence.  They come and go.

So, when in pain, unsure of how best to proceed, distracted or just burned out, we indulge in the quick fix antidotes.  The problem is after a while, these placebos lose their kick and then there’s need for even more quick fixes.  Then, we wind up in worse shape than beforehand.

Let me tell you, I’ve been fighting myself whether to write this piece or go see a flick.  What’s more important to me?

Honestly, I’d say the movie.  Now, come on, what’s more appealing to you? Writing an article or rushing to the cineplex, devouring a bag of popcorn and gulping down a large size soda while taking in the all time action-packed thriller, “Celery Stalks at Midnight”?

Let’s face it, that’s a tough call 🙂

Unfortunately, the distraction is only a quick fix.

By any stretch of the imagination, writing an article for my blog-site does not offer me a “high.”  It’s a struggle.  However, when I get through writing and re-writing, I experience a greater level of satisfaction.  I invested time and effort in completing something that I crafted.

It might not be perfect.  Some may think it’s a piece of garbage.  Maybe when re-reading this piece in retrospect, I might agree and find fault with spelling, punctuation, the whole idea of the article, but this is my creation.  It is an extension of me at this moment.

And, the satisfaction component has a greater shelf-life than any “quick fix distraction.”

More importantly, it acts as a building block for more accomplishment.  Who wants to get rusty?

Life is tough.  If only there were one answer, one way or key to achieving success.  There ain’t none.  It’s all about experience, chemistry, timing and a dozen other factors.

But doing nothing is the fast track solution to going nowhere.  Let’s face it, a day at the beach can be fabulous.  The sun, the sand, the surf.  It’s all mesmerizing.  As good as it is, I would not want to live there. Why? Because It becomes the status quo. It loses its special appeal and value and becomes the same old, same old.

If you are reading this, there is a good probability that you are over the age of 50.  If so, like me, you’ve probably had more than your share of triumphs and turn downs. And, odds are the ledger is weighted more to the latter side than the former.

Recently, you might have seen actor Matthey McConaughey on one of those endless award shows.  In his award acceptance remarks, he saluted and thanked his Mother.

As a kid, his Mom would kick him out of the house.  She did not want him watching TV all day(the quick fix).  She had him go outside and play, create and learn.

Daytime was playtime.  For McConaughey, that meant experiencing and discovering life first hand; not through the contrivance of others.

It has certainly paid off well for him.

Quick fixes become addiction gateways.  It’s going from one distracting anodyne to the next escape mechanism. It’s life avoidance.  All that is left is the hollowness of virtual existence.

Recently, I gave a talk out here in Los Angeles.  It was to a group of people who, in one form or another, are in transition.  They were either “in between success” or considering a career course change.

This was a great group.  I really liked them and gave them my all.  Glad to say the feeling was mutual. One of my greatest satisfactions is connecting with people and seeing them succeed and achieve the success they want.

There was one young woman who raised her hand.  She thanked me and said she got a lot out of my presentation but…….   But, she felt I was not specific enough in helping her make a successful transition.

She wanted to know “the one key” to getting job.  Honestly, it broke my heart. Maybe it was due to her age.  Maybe it was me.  I don’t know.  It just goes to show you can’t help everyone.

It just takes time, experience, chemistry and the will to abandon the allure of the quick fix distraction.

What I’ve learned is no matter what we see, hear and learn, there is a gestation period of acceptance.  None of us learn or accept at the same time or level.

What makes slowing down,  practice and acceptance more challenging is the fact that we live in a world moving at warp speed with quick turnarounds, fast food and instant decisions.  So the very thought of contemplation, digestion and consideration are dismissed as an abomination; inconsistent and antiquated in today’s “quick fix” climate.  .

Without getting too much into the political realm, all too many of us bought into the rosy spin and narrative of Obama Care.  The Media, Hollywood and Politicians painted glorious visions of joy, happiness and Tinkerbell for one and all.

The promise was quick sign ups, no hassles.  Don’t sweat the details,  we’d all know more about the ACA when the bill became law.  .

Imagine, free medical care, no costs, no worries.  Right?  Nirvana!

Not every solution to life’s problems is settled in the 22 minute sitcom time frame.

And yes, haste really does makes waste.

We all know that’s right but, who has the time.

So, we suffer the “quick fix” consequence while meandering down Memory Lane without a thing on our mind.