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Tiny Wisdom: Focusing in the Middle of Chaos

“Concentrate all your thoughts on the task at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” –Alexander Graham Bell

I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of chaos. There are half-packed boxes, plastic bags full of clothes, and an assortment of decorative items I’ve yet to pack scattered around my living room.

There’s a stack of random items on my kitchen table—toiletries, paint brushes, marbles, things that don’t belong. For some reason I can’t recall, I rested a number of soup cans on the floor in front of two beach chairs that now lean against my kitchen wall.

My moving process has not been organized, which is highly unlike me. Since I’m juggling quite a bit of work right now, I’ve only been able to pack in spurts. This means I’ve needed to surrender to disorder.

Though I’m sure I could have been more methodical, appeasing my Type-A tendencies, I’m actually glad I chose not to. My messy apartment is now a microcosm for life, and I have a chance to find focus within it.

That’s not always an easy thing to do.

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t think straight until you cleaned your house? Or you couldn’t fully listen to what your friend was saying until you completed a few more items on your to-do list? Or you couldn’t relax until you received responses to important emails you sent?

It’s tempting to want to fix and finish everything before being there, for yourself or someone else, but there are certain things that are never solved or done.

If people are living in your house, it will never be totally clean. If you have goals and responsibilities, your to-do list will likely never be completed. And as much as we may like to control what other people do, that’s just not an option.

Life is chaos. It’s messy. We can create order in different systems—I’m a huge proponent of that. Being organized certainly makes things simpler and easier. But sometimes the simplest and easiest way to focus is to accept that things will rarely be simple and easy.

Sometimes the best we can do is focus on just one thing, knowing full well there are lots of other things that will just need to wait.

Photo by ms amutha

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest book, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for pre-order. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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