The Importance of Clarity

This article was first publish in February 2013.

Last month we talked about setting clear intentions, and we talked about how to state those intentions to make them powerful. At the same time, I realized that we never talked about why having clear intentions is so important in the first place. Did you know that the primary reason that we have things in our lives that we do NOT want is because we are not clear on what we DO want? (Yes, I know.  Some of you are uncomfortable with this statement already. Just keep reading.)

clarityThe Importance Of Clarity

1. Clarity is Power: When you are clear, what you want will show up in your life, and ONLY to the extent that you are clear.  Fuzzy intentions get fuzzy results. When you are crystal clear on exactly what you want to see in your life, your decision-making process becomes easy. When we find ourselves having difficulty making a decision, odds are that we are not clear on some aspect of what we are trying to create. For example, I may say that I want to have a successful career. How do I measure that? By annual income? By global impact? Or by the impact I have on my health and my family? Until I know the answers to those questions, I can’t be clear on what I want from my career and, therefore, can’t know what choice is best for me.

2. Creation begins in the mind. Look around you. Everything made by man was an idea in someone’s mind BEFORE it came into existence. The machine that allows you to read this newsletter from anywhere in the world as soon as I have sent it was an idea in someone’s mind before it was created. An architect begins with an image in her mind and then translates that image into a detailed drawing. Without the image, there is no drawing and without the detailed drawing, the beautiful building could never be created.

3. Clarity comes in the journey, not the destination: In a sense, we can never be completely clear on exactly what we are trying to create because with each additional level of clarity, we discover that yet another level is possible. Just as the architect above discovers additional elements that can be refined before her
building is complete, (anyone who has ever done a home remodel knows what I’m talking about here) each of us will discover that there is always one more detail to be added. Before you get discouraged and wonder, “then why should I even bother with clarity?” I want to note that as long as you continue to choose in favor of the things that mean the most to you, even as you get progressively more clear on what those things are, you will never go backwards. As my life partner, a day trader, says, “as long as you are making a profit, no matter how small, you will never go broke.” The same is true for clarity, as long as you are getting progressively closer to the things that matter most to you, you will never live in misery.

4. Clarity is the basis for focus: As you move through each day, the world around you demands your attention: the ringing phone, dinging email, insistent boss, over-flowing in-box. You can choose to focus your attention on the wheel that squeaks the loudest, OR you can choose to focus your attention on the exact, specific outcome you want to create. Without clarity, your subconscious mind gets distracted in the blurry spots. We wander off track and find ourselves devoting a great deal of personal time and energy in something that doesn’t matter to us. The next thing we know we are burned out, tired, physically ill, and wondering what happened.

5. The last thought: Remember, whatever you want to create in your life or your work is completely up to you. You can choose to invest in yourself to create the life you want, shape the future of your organization, and make the difference you wanted to make in the world. Or, you can wait for your organization to decide if or
how your work matters and help them maintain the status quo.  Choosing to “do nothing” is, in fact, a choice in favor of allowing someone else to decide what matters to you.

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