Rule #4: Wherever you are, be all there.

This rule was probably the first one I intentionally set for myself. I actually originally assembled these rules as nuggets of wisdom I have learned throughout my life and wanted to pass on to my children. I numbered them because I saw the effect they had on the characters in NCIS with Gibbs' rules. "Brilliant," I thought. By numbering them I am encouraging memorization for myself and my pupal and making them easier to teach. I originally thought I would do sort of a once a week family lecture or something over one of the rules. but this is better I can teach the rules in the moment they are most needed and valuable. So I took my nearly 50ish principles I had gathered throughout my life and and grouped them down to 26 rules. Since then about 20 more have been added that just hadn't made it into the original list yet. Or was paired with another but I changed my mind. All that to say this is the first rule I memorized, taught, and applied to my life. It sort of started it all.

When I was in a class it was not uncommon for me to be thinking about the fun I would have after school. When I was listening to a sermon at church I was thinking about the friends I was going to hang out with afterwards, or lunch. Or when I sat down to study I would fantasize about the adventures I could be having. It was so bad I never seemed to know where I was or what was next. I could never remember appointments, or homework assignments. I missed half of what I was taught in school and church. As I started learning to study my bible on my own I realized these distracting fantasies were not only stopping me from learning, they were disconnecting me from reality. It was time to focus. And I coined the phrase in my head "Wherever you are, be all there." It changed my life. I became productive, I started remembering tasks and lessens. I was able to spend quality time in prayer and bible study. It was my first lesson in self discipline.

I heard a friend describe the Buddhist act of medication. As a devout Christian I was cautious to no partake in outside religions but I have learned that many religions carry a segment of truth. He said while meditating you would look into a void. As you looked you would see thoughts, distractions float into the void. To meditate properly you would need to let thought continue to float out. I imagine in like a screen saver with the little bouncing block. but imagine for a moment the block comes in from one side. As a distraction our first instinct is to fixate on it. to watch it. But to stay focused you must dismiss it. Focus on the negative space around it. And let it pass through the other side of the screen unnoticed. We can all learn a lesson from this practice. I immediately applied the idea to my bible study time, to my prayer time. As these fantasies and distractions would creep in I would will myself to focus on the single task of prayer, worship, study and allow the thought to pass by. This is what it mean's to be all there. To dismiss the distractions and focus on the task at hand.

In a world where freemium games are sending you push notification every 10min, cell phones ring with e-mail, text, and phone calls. It's more important then ever to remove distraction and focus on the task at hand.