We are all very good at this. Highly skilled in fact.
We go to the store for one thing and are looking at ten others. At home, we start to clean one room and find ourselves spending time in another. At work, we are working on a report and without prompting stop to check email.
Most times when we wander, we are unconscious of it until after it has happened. This occurs when we set out to do one specific thing and then find ourselves somewhere else.
Wandering is common, but highly unnoticeable, when it comes to our lives. In this case, we are too busy to decide clearly what we need to set out to do. In life, it usually takes a lot of time to get to where we want to go. It’s much, much harder to stay focused. Too much always gets in the way.
The only time wandering can be a positive thing is when we are on vacation. Seeing things that you did not intentionally set out to see or expect to experience.
The opposite of wandering involves personal discipline. Discipline stops us from doing things that aren’t important by our choosing. Discipline can only occur when we clearly know where we want to go and clearly decide that its worth the sacrifice to get there.
Alignment is another fancy word for the opposite of wandering when it comes to larger groups. No one can be aligned unless everyone clearly understands the destination.
I’ve never tried to meditate. The little I have read about it the challenge is to stop your mind from wandering. To think of only one thought and keep focused on it. To minimize the distractions. It’s a great example of trying to stop our wandering.
The technology that has invaded our lives has created opportunities that did not exist just a few years ago. The information, news feeds, articles, videos create an exponentially large universe for us to learn from.
The danger of all of this opportunity (again) is wandering. To travel on a journey without ever truly understanding the shore you want to land on. We rarely feel good for a long time when we wander.
Wandering is one of our greatest, unintended skills as well as one of our greatest dangers. Stopping it is your choice. Seeing it, is the first step needed.