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With self-discipline, we cultivate the ability to serve our own best interests by balancing competing or even contradictory impulses and priorities.

The lecturer has you spellbound. Their topic is highly relevant, their slides compelling, and their presentation style mesmerizing. You’re hanging on their every word, closely following their line of reasoning, frantically scribbling down each salient point in your notebook, when suddenly . . . squirrel!

Your mind flits away, zigzagging near and far until you notice the other attendees gathering up their notebooks and tablets as they head for the door. The lecture is over, and you’ve missed out on much of the wisdom that held you momentarily entranced.

We all want quick payoffs, but most endeavors are marathons and not sprints.  If you jump ship too soon, you might have abandoned the vessel that was carrying you to the promised land.

In our age of handheld devices and communicable ADHD, human beings are more distracted than ever. No matter how determined our efforts to keep focused, our eyes and our minds seem equally determined to ricochet hither and thither, drawn to any target that will eclipse what should be the object of our attention.

Read the complete Fast Company article BY YONASON GOLDSON:

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