The Shiny Object Syndrome

Have you ever heard of the Shiny Object Syndrome? I am sure most of you must not have heard of it, but most of us suffer from this syndrome, including me.

What is the Shiny Object Syndrome?

The shiny object syndrome is actually our tendency to chase something new, be it a new idea, goal, trend, or anything, rather than staying focused on what we’re doing. It causes you to be constantly distracted, as you keep chasing anything that looks new and exciting. This distraction can be caused by a new idea, tool, trend, recommendation, or anything that everyone else is doing. The outcome of being easily distracted by shiny objects is that it always takes you away from the important work that you are doing.

More often than not, kids behave that way. You must have seen kids get attracted to anything that’s new and shiny. After some time, they lose all their interest in that thing and start looking for something new to play with. Similar is the shiny object syndrome that most people are experiencing today. Often these distractions are nothing but the noises.

In the world of the Internet, it is actually very easy to get attracted to new things immediately. I don’t need to take anybody else’s example to explain this syndrome because I myself had that. The moment I see anything new and attractive, I would want to have it. I get intrigued to possess that thing or idea that entices me. Gradually I would lose all my interest in that idea and get attracted to some new idea. Based on my personal experience, I want to tell you that this is the worst syndrome. It won’t let you stay focused at all.

Do you think you have shiny object syndrome? Are you always chasing fancy and shiny objects rather than focusing on the task at hand?

If you are still wondering whether or not you have experienced it, then here are some examples you can relate with:

  1. You feel like doing multiple things at a time.
  2. You do not stick to one plan, rather than you keep developing new plans each day.
  3. You wanted to start running, after a week, you thought to join Yoga classes.
  4. You have numerous business ideas, but nothing gets executed.
  5. You constantly start new goals, but you achieve none of them.
  6. You jump from one course to another, get influenced by the wild claims of each course.
  7. You get influenced by every new idea that you came across.
  8. You register new domain names and launch new websites, but you don’t focus on working on one site.
  9. …………………………… so on and so forth.

The Major Drawback of the Shiny Object Syndrome

The major drawback of the shiny object syndrome is a distracted & unfocused mind. Of course, if you will always be drawn to new ideas, goals, and tools, you will never be able to focus on important tasks in the process. Believe it or not, in the world of business, where nothing remains constant, a focused mind is a prerequisite to succeed. When you’re constantly distracted, you lose on the following:

Time: Time is precious; you cannot afford to lose it. But when you get distracted by new ideas and tools, you actually waste a lot of time learning and understanding those ideas.

Stability: Only a stable mind is capable of doing and achieving great things. A distracted mind can never be stable, no matter what. Fancy ideas and tools take away your stability. People with shiny object syndrome find it difficult to stay stable.

Ability To Make Decisions: Decision making is one of the most important abilities in the world of business. Your decisions can make a huge difference in your career and growth. Being constantly distracted leaves you nowhere; you cannot make strong decisions. You never get things done because you’re always on to something new.

Expertise: Expertise comes only when you spend enough time to do something. When you keep trying new things, you become a jack of all trades, master of none. To develop talent, you need to stay focused on one thing until you master the trade.

Market Leader Gains: Mastering a trade leads to myriads of benefits that a person with the shiny object syndrome can never enjoy. Only when you become an expert in your field you can reap the benefits of market leader gains. When you are constantly chasing new things, you spend too much time learning the basics rather than developing your skills. All this causes you to miss out on market leader gains. Remember, only when you are the best in the field, you enjoy significant gains over others.

What causes shiny object syndrome?

Shiny object syndrome is common these days. It happens because we want everything instantly, for instance, success. For example, entrepreneurs and small business owners get into the shiny object syndrome trap very easily. That’s because they lack the confidence, clarity, or capability to focus on their biggest strengths. They tend to take too many fancy projects on the go, and most of them are left undone. Here are some of the common factors that create the shiny object syndrome:

Comparison. Comparison is another reason most people get trapped by shiny object syndrome. Of course, they want to achieve goals immediately that leave them frustrated. Sometimes, entrepreneurs and small business owners get frustrated with their slow progress or slow revenue generation. They start comparing themselves to others that cause them to chase bright shiny objects.

Desire to achieve results faster. Patience is something that is missing in most people. When we are highly impatient, we get distracted easily. Any new idea, tool, goal, a recommendation can draw us within no time, making us disoriented and distracted. Especially in the age of digitalization, entrepreneurs and small business owners get easily distracted by shiny objects. There is always some new exciting technology or trend to understand and explore. And the process goes on.

Promotions & Recommendations. Promotions and recommendations are other factors that result in shiny object syndrome. More often than not, we get attracted to the promotional offers and end up spending on unnecessary things. There is always some new trend in the market to try or explore. Like this, people spend a lot of money and time on things that are not required.

Exciting Offers. Often entrepreneurs and small business owners get attracted to business coaches or experts selling or promoting some new system or new and exciting way to achieve the specific result that they desire. That’s because they lack the confidence that is required to achieve results.

These are some of the reasons that result in bright shiny object syndrome. If you think shiny object syndrome is holding you back from making real progress towards achieving your goals, then it’s time to get your focus back on. Move on and start working on your real priorities.

In the next article, I will discuss how to get your focus back and avoid Shiny Object Syndrome. Meanwhile, it’s time for you to introspect and find out your reasons for shiny object syndrome so that they can be fixed.

Leave a Reply