Teko Bailey | Distraction & One Major Key To Handling It
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Distraction & One Major Key To Handling It

From home to work, to simply taking some time to recharge, there’s this mosquito buzzing around called Distraction and I can’t seem to zap it. I want to kill it dead with a good slap, and squeeze the life out of it but unfortunately it keeps moving faster than me.

Thanks to Marshall Goldsmith in his recent book, Triggers, I think I’ve found an antidote. “When we are not anticipating the environment, anything can happen”. In the book, he gives creative and practical solutions to living a more productive and fulfilling life, helping us understand the emotional and psychological triggers which influence our behavior. Like most of us, I’ve wanted to succeed at all areas of life; work, family, personal development, spending quality time with spouse, friends and the list goes on. My problems however, were;

I wasn’t celebrating the small achievements or progress I was making in each area and

I didn’t have a method of evaluating myself.

I had to learn how to understand and label my environment, give it a name and describe how being in that environment affected me. Was the environment supporting my efforts or detracting from it? Eg. when you’re in the kitchen you think of food, right? And even if you’re not hungry you may want to eat something, however, if you’re working on losing weight, you may want to consider how often you go to the kitchen. Likewise if you’re trying to write an essay and you’re in a crowded cafe with everyone talking on top of their voice, it may not be the best place to stay. To be successful at identifying the triggers in environments, you will need to become more aware of yourself (your strengths, weakness, gifting and what you need to function best, etc.) and your environment, because what’s good for someone else may not be the same for you.

“When we are not anticipating the environment, anything can happen” - Marshall Goldsmith Click To Tweet

Goldsmith shares one method he uses to assess himself in some areas and I too am slowly progressing at it. To do so, ask yourself,  Have I done my best to…? At the end of every day you can ask yourself this question and score yourself on a scale of one to ten. The number of questions and categories may vary depending on the areas you’re trying to grow in for example:

  • Category: Family:
    • Have I Done My Best To: 1. Love my children, 2.Call my mom weekly, 3.Spend time with my wife.


  • Category: Work:
    • Have I Done My Best To: 1.Find a job that complement my skill-set, 2.help my leader succeed, 3.complete my projects on time.


  • Category: Personal Growth:
    • Have I Done My Best To: 1.Invest in personal development, 2.exercise at least 30 minutes each day to maintain my health, etc.


Though these examples seem simple it is forming a habit to become more aware of your environment and its triggers. It helps in understanding how to evaluate yourself regularly while becoming more successful at living a more intentional and balanced life. I like Andrew Carnegie’s summary on life, he says, at first you’re an apprentice, then a journeyman (investing and traveling to various places to sharpen your skills and knowledge) soon you become a master – skilled at what you do best. I’m learning to enjoy the journey because success doesn’t just happen in a day but over a lifetime where intentional habits are formed to help you succeed at life.

Question: How can this help you identify negative triggers in your environment and what will you do to overcome them?

  • Scott Ast

    Excellent post, and great reminder for me to be cognizant of my environment and how it is helping (or hurting) my goals for growth in different areas of life. Thank you!

    • Teko Bailey

      You’re welcome Scott.

    • You’re welcome Scott.

  • An excellent article

  • Good going bro

  • Hannah Koki

    Hey! Loved the insight, it’s something God is teaching me right now. So helpful to have practical ways to make the most of each day.

  • Cody Huf

    Awesome man! Such good advice to self-evaluate and better understand why we do things.