I’m trying something new. Every month I’ll post a quote to my blog and spend the month journaling about it.


It’s easy to get distracted when you don’t have a clear vision for what you want.

– Josh Bartolomucci

July 7th, 2017: My friend Josh said this in one of our weekly 1:1’s and I had to write it down. There’s a lot of truth wrapped up in this. I’m excited to spend some time meditating on this quote and excited to see what comes from this exercise.

July 11th, 2017: For Christmas, I got my wife a Passion Planner. She’s always been one to have an appointment book and jot down notes rather than refer to her phone. Not to toot my own horn, but I think it was a success. One of the exercises in the book is sending time to identify goals ranging from a month to years away. We dropped the ball on doing that right away, but we recently started waking up early to commit our uninterrupted mornings to working on this plan so that we can be intentional about our personal, spiritual, and professional growth.

July 12, 2017: Awhile back I set aside some time to set some long term goals. When they were fresh on my mind I was able to make significant and measurable progress on them. I haven’t thought about them recently and I can’t say that they’ve been getting any attention. A clear vision for what I want is important, but it needs to be tracked regularly or else I’ll forget what’s important to me.

July 18, 2017: What is it about not having a clear vision that invites distraction? In “The Weight of Glory”, C.S. Lewis explains that “we are far too easily pleased.” He compares our willingness to settle for little pleasures with a child who would rather continue making mud pies rather than going on a grand vacation.

This goes hand in hand with the quote because without a clear vision (“grand vacation”) we’re willing to settle with the daily minutiae of tasks that make us feel busy. When the goal is visualized regularly, we’re more likely to remember why we need to make sacrifices, buckle down, and take steps towards accomplishing our difficult goals.

July 27, 2017: What do I want? When I was in college I was introduced (like many people) to The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. The book is full of fanciful stories that always get me pumped about starting a business or optimizing my life. I don’t have it in front of me right now, but one of the most valuable parts is where he outlines a process to define “dreamlines” for what we want to be, do, and have if money and time were not an issue. It’s a valuable exercise that I still revisit every few years. Check out the example and download a worksheet.

What do you think?

Does this quote do anything for you? Leave a comment and let’s talk through it.

David Needham

David Needham is the Team Lead of the Technical Curriculum Development team at Datadog. When he's not blogging about productivity and faith at davidneedham.me or speaking at conferences, you can find him streaming on Twitch or playing fun board games with his wife and kids in Champaign, IL.


michaelpporter · March 10, 2018 at 10:19 am

Great quote. I find it to be true. The days I am most distracted are the days I move the needle less. I have also found, I need to remind myself of the vision regularly to stay on track.

I saw your talk at Mid Camp today. It served as a nice reminder to review my goals and stay the course, to finish the race.

    David Needham · April 4, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you, Michael. I can relate. Forgetting the reasons why I want to do something is a surefire way for me to stop doing it. I hope you enjoyed MidCamp!

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