Stay on Point and Avoid Distractions

Sean Baumstark avatar

by Sean Baumstark |

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An underlying principle keeps revealing itself to me through many different things. I’ve heard the principle said in multiple ways, namely phrases such as “stay the course,” “stay on mission,” and “remain focused.” 

There are many ways of saying it but the message essentially supports one point: Whatever you have in mind or in sight, keep pursuing it until you’ve met your objective.

Such words warn us against the temptation to be distracted by something that may appear easier, better, or just louder.

I often internalize the words “stay on mission” while playing the strategic war game RISK on my phone. I prefer to play the method of global domination that requires players to eliminate each other. I believe the first player to eliminate another is best poised to win the entire game due to the additional “reinforcements” a player gets by collecting cards from the opponent that has been eliminated. Easy moves can be taken to weaken other players, but when I remain on mission I tend to reach my objectives sooner.

Recently, the words “stay the course” come to mind on a daily basis as I’m learning more and more of how to buy and sell stocks on the stock market. I’m fairly new to the world of selecting specific stocks and I’m not well-versed in analyzing or predicting trends. However, almost every book I’ve read, all the videos I’ve watched, and each experienced person I’ve talked to repeats the idea of “holding” and investing for the future, not just right now. It’s easy to get excited about a small increase in the value of my stocks today but important to consider the potential of my investment if I hang on to those stocks for the long term. 

Most importantly lately, the words “remain focused” are on repeat in my mind as I am walking more and more in public. As you may have read in one of several columns over the last nine months, I slipped and fell in October and fractured my femur near my hip joint. Although it is difficult to say with certainty that Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) caused this fall, it has definitely had an impact on my recovery.

With the lack of control in my legs due to FA, recovery has been fairly slow given the extra effort required to find and hold my balance while simultaneously working to strengthen my injured leg.

(Ask Matt Lafleur or Frankie Perazzola, my friends and fellow columnists living with FA — “simultaneously” doing anything doesn’t work out well for us.)

This has been especially noticeable for me lately as I’ve been challenging myself to walk unassisted when I go to the store or run an errand. I’ve been comfortable walking at home for a couple months with the occasional support of a wall or piece of furniture. However, such support is hard to come by when walking around a grocery store.

The hustle and bustle of people around me can be very distracting. As much as I want to look around while walking, it’s important that my attention and vision remain focused on a limited area of space in order to remain steady and upright. Now more than ever I’m noticing even the slightest distraction while walking freely can cause me to misstep or lean too far in one direction.

If I’m not careful, distractions may cause me to lose the game, sell too soon, or fall again. Staying on point is not an excuse to avoid multitasking; it’s a reason for ensuring my objectives are met, one by one.


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.


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