I recently saw a great movie (titled ‘Race”) and one scene from it really struck me and persisted in my mind. Let me describe the scene to you: it is a movie about the track and field athlete Jesse Owens. Near the beginning of the movie Jesse is in college in the middle of a training session with the football team watching. One of these players makes a racist comment towards Jesse, clearly flustering him. The track coach notices this and in the next scene confronts Jesse about this. However, while confronting Jesse about this he deliberately riles up the football team and coach, in an effort to teach Jesse a lesson on the importance of focus; there is a poignant moment where all the football players are yelling, while the coach implores Jesse to focus on him, that “All of this is just noise. You are going to hear a lot of this in the years to come, you need to learn to block it out and focus!” The scene ends with Jesse focusing on his coach while successfully blocking out the other ‘distractions’. To make this point clear, the football players and coach can be seen yelling while no sound comes from their mouths.
This made me think of the concept of noise. This is not a new concept as many writers have referred to the idea of noise and the importance of shutting out noise in an effort to focus on the task at hand. Since my surgery the importance of being able to focus on the task at hand while blocking out all other ‘noise’ has become even more relevant. I find that the more I try to multitask the more mistakes that occur. I have learned that instead of trying to accomplish too much at once, it is better to get one task done well rather than two or three done shoddily. In sport this is easier, as the ‘noise’ is usually more tangible: whether it be crowd ‘input’, or your opponent is attempting to throw you off your game by ‘talking trash’. Don’t get me wrong, blocking out this noise can be difficult. I am simply saying that in sport, identifying this ‘noise’ is easier. But this isn’t only relevant to sports, it is applicable to life in general. Many of us have been diagnosed with a brain tumor showing us the fragile nature of our minds. I implore you to put your efforts into one goal, instead of being distracted by “noise.” Forget about that noise, it can only serve to distract you and delay you from your goals.