Holten: Your biggest enemy

"In America and in the world today, distraction seems to be the biggest weapon. And sometimes it’s so subtle that you don’t even know that it’s happening," writes Kevin Holten.

Kevin Holten
Kevin Holten

Do you know who your biggest enemy is? No, it’s not the guy trying to get your job, cancer, diabetes, the stud trying to show you up on the golf course or the one trying to steal your girlfriend or boyfriend.

No, your biggest enemy is distraction.

And according to Mr. Dictionary, a distraction is the thing that prevents you from giving full attention to something else.

One basketball team can be better than another. But if you can distract the better team, you can win.

That’s why home court advantage is so important in sports. There’s so many more opportunities for distractions for the visiting team because of all the negativity coming from the stands.


And that’s why there’s so much trash talking in sports. Because it’s all meant to “get you out of your game”.

Why do you think we hate getting up to speak in front of big crowds? After all, it’s not that big a deal to just stand there and talk. But we think it’s a big deal when everyone is staring at us. Because it’s so distracting.

Well then, if distraction is your biggest enemy, focus must be your best friend. You see, according to Mr. Dictionary, focus is the center of interest or activity.

So, how do you make sure you can focus? Well, according to the definition we just read, you simply do what interests you or what you believe in and then, focusing comes easy.

Have you ever had those days when you are so focused that the hours just seem to fly by? Typically, when that happens it’s because you are doing something that you love to do.

Another thing that gets rid of Mr. Distraction is repetition. That can be both good and bad.

In rodeo, when you ask a bronc rider what he was thinking about during that winning ride he’ll typically say that he wasn’t thinking at all. Because things just happen much too quickly to allow for time to think.

In that situation he is relying on repetition to enable him to react to certain stimuli consistently in the same way, every time, without having to think. Almost as if he’s asking his body to react in a certain way without assistance from the brain.


In America and in the world today, distraction seems to be the biggest weapon. And sometimes it’s so subtle that you don’t even know that it’s happening. In fact, the mark of a good distractor is when you don’t even realize that you were distracted.

Here’s one example. If you’re a “person of the world” in America today, or a corporation producing a commercial, you no longer refer to God as God. Instead, you use the New Age term, the “Universe”.

What is the distraction? God was just taken out of the picture, and you hardly noticed. And if they do that enough then you “not noticing” simply becomes an act of repetition until it reaches a point where what was once thought of as bizarre or wrong is now considered the norm.

Actor Paul Walker once said he’d always wanted to be a marine biologist. But the distractions of his acting career killed that dream.

I wonder if these many distractions are killing the American dream. And if they are meant to.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

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