Tunnel Vision

When living on a small island (or in any small community for that matter), unless you live under a rock, it  is difficult not to know what your fellow peers are doing. In addition, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you  won’t miss  the daily updates; that’s if you don’t run into them every time you go to town.

With this said, if you are not focused on what you need to do to get ahead, you may find yourself diverged with what those said peers are up to. Rather worse, you may start comparing yourself to them and feeling that their goals should be your goals and their vision your vision. This feeling often comes up because you’re not comfortable with your current situation: you should have your degree by now, you should have your own business, you should have landed your top job by now, even more so, you should actually be working in a job related to your degree. Yes, all these feelings have gone through the minds of many of the readers that are viewing this article right now.

It is not easy at times when you are viewing the world around you and everyone else seems like they are moving ahead and you feel stuck at ground zero. It is not as if you are not trying to mobilize yourself, but not having any connections, applying for ten jobs a week and not getting a reply, being “over qualified”, and the like, you just feel stagnant. What to do?

The first thing is to know that you are not the only one who goes through this and that many young people within the Caribbean are vying to start a career, get their career off the ground, get money to start school or go back to school, etc. However, we are all human and we will notice the success or apparent success of others. My advice is to get some “tunnel vision”.


Tunnel vision is a concentrated focus on what is ahead. It is a centralized focus. You are not focused on whats to the left or the right so there are limited hindrances. This is not to say don’t be connected to what is going on around you, but there has to be a time in life when you are so focused on your vision that what others are doing is not a distraction. Similar to if you were looking from inside a tunnel the only light you can see is at the tunnel exit. It is your focus, your goal. You focus on that until you reach it. Beyond it you enter the possibilities that it brings. The beauty of what working hard has accomplished.

‘The light at the end of your tunnel’ should be your goals. Write them down, take daily actions to accomplish them. Be intentional about those actions. Most importantly, be focused. The more you focus on what you want to do, and what you need to do to get what you want, the more your vision and your goals become clearer. They will not be muddled with what others are doing or accomplishing. Keep your eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel.


Claytine Nisbett is a community development advocate with a special interest in gender and youth development. She holds a BA in Sociology and is Certified in Non-Profit Management. She has spent close to 15 years contributing to the Non Profit field ranging from secretary to board member. She manages Ujima Solutions and all interested blog contributors can contact her at cnjnisbett@yahoo.com


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