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Focus Part I: Distractions & Destruction

November 16, 2011

Peak Performance Formula

I have been reading and interesting book called the The Inner Game of Work by W. Timothy Gallwey.  He is the same guy who wrote the classic book The Inner Game of Tennis.  His books are about achieving peak performance in any facet of our lives. His premise is simple:  We reach our peak performance/potential when we have maximum focus.  This implies that distractions or interference have been eliminated. Whether you are a world class athlete, a corporate executive or a Dad trying to relate to his family, focus is the name of the game.  We lose focus when we become distracted.

Of course, this makes perfect sense, but we live in a world full of distractions.  I find myself getting distracted by my Iphone, emails, television, magazines and even books.  These are not evil things, but they can prevent me from doing the REALLY important things in my life.  That important conversation about school or about relationships or about spirituality with my kids can go by the wayside because there is an important game on or because I have to respond to an urgent email.  Just writing this makes it sound silly, but I know it happens to most of us everyday.

Sometimes distractions do not stop us from doing things completely, they just hurt our performance.  Watch the painful clip (this clip can no longer be downloaded, very interesting!) of presidential candidate Rick Perry and notice how he gets distracted when Ron Paul  says “five”.  Perry loses his concentration and blows the debate because he is distracted.  Distractions are real and they can severely alter our performance in all aspects of life.

What things distract you and keep your from peak performance as a father?  Write down your top three distractors and we will talk about dealing with them in my next post.

Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL.  Contact him at

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