How intriguing it is to think of how many times in our lives we have an opportunity to work on something whether in our minds or in our actions, and we just “jump in.” When we start in that direction with absolutely no clarity or limited clarity at best, we probably extend the level of frustration further than we wish to experience, as well as take quite unnecessary detours off in directions that might be interesting at times, but in no way get us anywhere closer to our desired results. Am I relating? Perhaps we have that personality trait that says “who needs planning.”
Or, we have totally bought into the famous NIKE statement, “JUST DO IT.”
Well, first let’s not accuse NIKE of anything except the fact their “JUST DO IT” mantra was not meant to cause us to just jump in without thinking! It was directed at the fact that too many of us wait around before taking any action, waiting for the perfect temperature, the perfect tools to be ready, the support from our friends and family and neighbors and faith leaders, and… So, instead of taking action, we find 100 and 1 reasons to procrastinate.
Learn as you go is another option and will produce results. However, it is also so true that planning in advance will typically release you from many painful experiences that you truly could have forgone if and only if there would have been initial analysis and planning.
First, I suggest we get “clear” on just what clarity is. Here is a definition from Webster’s dictionary to lay the foundation for taking further steps.
“clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.”
Now let’s see how we are (or are not) applying this incredibly important concept to our lives. We just kicked off a New Year. Have you spent hours on your 2021 Plan? Have you set your goals and direction for the year or are you (once again?) shooting from the seat of your pants and hoping and praying “no repeat performance of 2020.” This famous saying is so very true: “Failure to plan is a plan to fail.” And why is that? Because with working on a Plan we give ourselves a greater level of Clarity…not just with direction but with thoughts, with actions, with relationships to be built and relied upon.
In tackling Clarity, we can look at it from many different viewpoints and there is plenty written on this point. I prefer to isolate three major concepts to become principles in your life, adopted from here to eternity. Yes, that is the level of critical importance I place on them so it is now an opportunity for you to do your own self-examination.
First, we need to really have clarity around our feelings. What is it we are feeling and then what underlies those feelings. This is an area that is highly overlooked. How do I know this? I coach and counsel people and find that one of their greatest drawbacks in life is their “feeling avoidance.” This is not to say they do not have feelings, but they have put their feelings and thus, the response thereto on a “shelf” to be dealt with later, or perhaps never. The subconscious stores them and they truly come back and show up in unusual situations, wherein people find it hard to even begin to understand their own behavior. Avoidance is a choice, but a very unhealthy one.
Secondly, we need clarity about our words. All of us are made uniquely, with incredible talents. as well as thought processes, levels of contribution, passions. Expressing ourselves in a way that truly exhibits our core values is critical for clarity in our communication. One of the base problems is that many have no idea what their core values are…in other words, what are yours? What is #1 for you? And you cannot say “faith” if you happen to be a faith-based person as your faith reflects literally hundreds of values. You are uniquely made so your top 3-5 core values are unique to YOU. And once discovered and lived according to that critical order, WOW! As they say, “Katie bar the door!”
Finally, we need utmost clarity when it comes to our actions…weighing at all times
“are our actions consistent with our beingness” and consistent with our direction or path we have outlined for our life. Staying in alignment with the goals and values you have set will always produce the highest and best results to get you there. Getting off track is where you start attracting the “unwanted” and “unknown” results which lead you astray, and you end up spending more time and a far greater price than you may desire. All I have done is merely scratch the surface for you. If you are hungry to gain greater clarity in your life, I invite you to a 3-session complementary master class on “Mastery of Clarity to Maximize Results.”