William James said, “Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Ed Tseng says, “Do one thing every day that is distracting to you, to improve your focus.”

Recently, I practiced yoga, while my girlfriend, Sarah was doing a pilates video. It was yoga that I was doing, but it was really mental cross-training. I knew that it would test my focus, and it certainly was challenging. I caught myself a few times listening to the pilates video, but I accepted it and re-focused on my yoga practice. I felt an inner calm and didn’t let the external factors affect me.

When we’re on the tennis court, at work, in school or in line at the grocery store, there will be distractions. They may be spectators, co-workers, friends or an annoying stranger.

We can’t control those things.

We can only control our reactions to those challenges.

So the next time you feel yourself getting distracted, do the following exercise:

Take a deep diaphragmatic breath (from the stomach vs the chest), in through the nose for four seconds, then exhale out through your nose for four seconds. Continue for several breaths. This will bring you back to the present moment and help you re-gain your focus.

What will you do today (intentionally) that will distract you?

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