April 18, 2024

Are You Familiar with Shiny Object Syndrome?


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I found myself immersed in a workshop, where the concept of Shiny Object Syndrome (S.O.S.) was being discussed.

It was one of those moments when you feel like the speaker is speaking directly to you, shining a spotlight on your inner struggles. Yep, that was me—the embodiment of S.O.S.

It usually starts innocently enough. One moment, I’m determined to write a captivating blog post. The next, I’m tempted by the idea of creating a short, snappy Instagram reel. Oh, but then a brilliant website content idea pops into my head. And let’s not forget about the rumbling in my stomach, signalling it’s snack time and scrolling through my phone. Before I know it, the day has vanished, and not a single word has been written.

Sound familiar?

In recent weeks, after numerous conversations with parents during workshops and coaching sessions, I’ve realised that S.O.S. isn’t just my personal struggle—it’s a shared challenge for many individuals, especially those who aspire to make a meaningful impact in the world.

We’re driven. We’re talented. But when it comes to focus and direction? Well, that’s a different story.

I’ll admit, I’ve been down that road. At one point, I proudly wore the badge of a “professional amateur,” convincing myself that being a multitalented, multitasker was somehow superior. But deep down, I knew I was just masking my lack of focus.

The good news? I’ve cracked the code on S.O.S. and gained valuable insights along the way. I understand the frustration and pain it can cause—and more importantly, I know how crucial it is to overcome it.

So, let’s dive in.

Here are the top two causes and cures for S.O.S.:

The Causes:

1. You lean toward comfort and steer away from discomfort.

We all have a subconscious mind that operates without our active thinking. It’s driven by the desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain. While this instinct serves us well in keeping us safe, it often leads us astray when it comes to pursuing growth and fulfilment.

When a shiny new object catches our attention, our subconscious mind focuses solely on the potential benefits, overlooking any potential drawbacks. But as Newton’s Third Law reminds us, every benefit is accompanied by an equal drawback. When challenges arise with that shiny object, our subconscious urges us to flee and seek out something new, perpetuating the cycle.

But if you take a moment to reflect on past experiences, you’ll likely realise that the allure of those shiny objects quickly fades, leaving you chasing after something that was never as enticing as it seemed.

2. You don’t know why you’re here on the rock.

“Discovering your purpose is like finding the missing piece of a puzzle; it completes you and gives meaning to your existence.” ~ Unknown

If you find yourself suffering from S.O.S., chances are you haven’t discovered your purpose yet.

Discovering your purpose isn’t a lightbulb moment for most people. It requires introspection and reflection to uncover the true meaning behind your existence. Without a clear sense of purpose, you’re left adrift, easily swayed by the allure of shiny distractions.

The Cures:

1. Equalise how you view things.

Take a step back and assess both the benefits and drawbacks of your current situation, as well as any new opportunities that catch your eye. By gaining a balanced perspective, you can make more informed decisions aligned with your values and purpose.

2. Find your purpose.

Dive deep into self-reflection and ask yourself probing questions about what drives you, what inspires you, and what impact you want to make on the world. By uncovering your purpose, you’ll gain clarity and direction, freeing yourself from the endless cycle of chasing shiny objects.

Before embarking on your journey of self-reflection, approach it with an open mind and a willingness to explore deeper. List your top answers to each question and ask “why?” at least three times to uncover the root of your desires. Keep digging until you gain clarity and your purpose becomes clear.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What do you do most of the time?

2. What do you spend your money on the most?

3. What makes you feel energized and excited?

4. Where are you best at staying focused and disciplined?

5. What’s usually on your mind?

6. Who or what inspires you the most?

7. What are your biggest goals in life?

8. What message do you want to share with the world?

This journey isn’t quick or easy, but it’s worth every moment of introspection. Remember, the fulfilment that comes from living a life aligned with your purpose far outweighs the temporary pleasures of shiny distractions.

So, take a deep breath, look within, and let’s embark on this journey together.

Oh, and would you look at that—I actually finished an article!


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