Listen up. I’m about to give some ancient (but wise) advice. Yes, I came across something old and still applicable on the interweb. Although published in 2008, I am compelled to share Derek Sivers’ speech, “6 Things I Wish I Knew the Day I Started at Berklee [College of Music].”
Out of the 6, my favorite piece of advice is
#1: Focus. Disconnect. Do not be distracted.
This resonates with me because I’ve been distracted by all the fun activities summer brings and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Derek Sivers elaborates,
“My favorite part of the movies is the training sequence, where a young Bruce Wayne, Neo or Kung-Fu Panda goes to a remote location to be trained relentlessly, nonstop, past all breaking points, until they emerge as a master.
The next few years can be your training sequence, if you focus.
Unfortunately you’re not in Siberia. You’re surrounded by distractions.
You’re surrounded by cool tempting people, hanging out casually, telling you to relax. But the casual ones end up having casual talent and merely casual lives.
Looking back, my only Berklee classmates that got successful were the ones who were fiercely focused, determined, and undistractable.
While you’re here, presidents will change, the world will change, and the media will try to convince you how important it all is. But it’s not. None of it matters to you now.
You are being tested. Your enemy is distraction. Stay offline. Shut off your computer. Stay in the shed.
When you emerge in a few years, you can ask someone what you missed, and you’ll find it can be summed up in a few minutes. The rest was noise you’ll be proud you avoided.
Focus. Disconnect. Do not be distracted.
This is your #1 most important challenge. If you master focus, you will be in control of your world. If you don’t, it will control you.”
Well said, Derek!