Clarity – The “Art” of Focusing Clearly
Clarity – The “Art” of Focusing Clearly on What You Want
If you are serious about your passion and you have a defined outcome in mind, the following mental strategies will help you remove any uncertainty, and replace this with clarity and focus… and certainty.
One of the more prevalent comments Maree and I often hear in conversations with people is their wish to be successful, to pursue their dreams and goals with passion and energy. Sounds like a plan … but here’s the thing. Everyone feels this way, but not everyone succeeds. So, why not?
Put simply, if you are not certain and clear about specifically what it is you want to achieve you may fall short of it. You see, to “have a passion” is too vague. A passion for what? What do you mean by this statement … This is so open a statement it becomes an impossible outcome to achieve.
The first question you should ask yourself is “Why am I doing what I am at present?” If the answer is to enjoy the experience and look forward to spending time with like-minded people, then “job done”. This is easily accomplished.
However, if your answer is that you are clearly focused on being the best you can be, to grow your skills and expertise, and enjoy success in whatever it is you have a passion for, then you have a future direction you can work on, one which allows you to begin breaking down the over-riding ambition into smaller and more manageable and achievable steps … the beginning of a clear focus, and a place towards which positive energy can be directed.
If you are serious about your passion and you have a defined outcome in mind, the following mental strategies will help you remove any uncertainty, and replace this with clarity and focus … certainty.
Take full responsibility for the level of clarity you possess or aspire to having
How many of us look to others for direction? Do they possess a crystal ball? Don’t think so. Clarity is not given to you; it’s something you have to develop yourself. It’s a decision!
The amount of clarity you have right now is what you have decided to accept. But then, not deciding is also a decision – one to remain uncertain about where you are headed … a lack of clarity.
To make a good decision you need to examine the potential directions you could take. To continue considering a number of differing (and therefore competing) directions leads to confusion … a sense of being “lost”. Committing to one direction leads naturally to clarity. Having said that, don’t ignore what is happening around you.
It’s possible you may discover things and need to make changes over time to further define your direction and therefore strengthen your clarity. In any case, it’s still your responsibility alone.
Don’t create the opposite of clarity
For all of us there will naturally be thoughts that create fuzziness about our direction. Such thoughts will lead to a lack of clarity and have an adverse effect on progress. Thoughts and actions that can impede on our clarity include:
Associating with those who appear to be drifting aimlessly with no direction
Surrounding yourself with people whose goals and ambitions conflict with your own
Allowing yourself to be distracted with time-wasting habits that have the potential to sway you from your goal(s)
Depressing yourself about your perceived lack of clarity and believing you don’t know what to do to change things.
You can immediately overcome the above issues through the application of better and more positive thoughts and actions, as follows:
Only allow clear, focused and positive people into your “sphere” – their purpose and direction will have a positive impact on your own thinking
Ensure those you choose to associate with share similar goals and ambitions to yours
Make it a habit to feed your mind with motivational material, be it books, DVD’s and so on
Focus on your goals and the actions you need to undertake on a daily basis towards their achievement.
Spinning in circles is unproductive, so seeking to take on board strong and positive mental strategies is a good step towards going in a straight line rather than circling unproductively.
Look to past events where you had clarity
Realistically, we have all experienced times where our level of clarity modulates up and down, depending on how we are feeling at the time, any apparent external influences etc. A good task to undertake is to consider those times when you have been at “extremes” – ie highs versus lows – and identify some of the causal factors on both sides.
The simple outcome from this is to apply the positive factors (which will lead to increased clarity) more often and, likewise, reduce those negative factors as much as possible. Yes, it sounds a little childlike in its simplicity, but in reality, it is possible to get “ah ha” moments when reviewing past experiences.
Use visualisation to improve your clarity
You may believe that your external reality has to be “right” for you to feel clear and focused, but you can also use your imagination to create a feeling of clarity. However, clarity is more than just a feeling. There’s an emotional state associated with it, but it’s more than that. When you’re really clear, your mind and emotions are centred. Every part of your body feels like they are on the same page … there is no uncertainty, only a powerful state of being to experience.
Ask for assistance in seeking clarity
Remember that, while you remain solely responsible for the decisions you make, it is a good idea to check in with those you trust to ensure you are still on track, and your clarity or focus remains strong. Your best “bet” for assistance will be someone you have a strong bond with.
Make your goals real and achievable by addressing them daily
Brainstorm your dreams and motivating forces towards identifying goals that have meaning
Identify each goal by its outcome, intention, and consequences
Appreciate that while any goal may be better than no goal, a goal badly constructed is little better a having no goal at all
Develop a set of goals but focus on each separately to ensure clarity
Create your goals as “experiments” – remember you can fail to achieve a goal, but you cannot fail an experiment, by its very nature
The above may sound a little simplistic to some of you at first, but it is fair to say that doing the simple things in life can often be the hardest … and can bring the best rewards.
The biggest challenge to face at first is to begin, to develop clear goals, directed focus, and a strong belief in your ability to achieve. At the beginning you may feel like you are stuck in a state of ambivalence, not sure where to start, or whether you are starting the right things, or even too many things.
Do whatever it takes to break the impasse, maybe something radically different than what you have been doing up till now. For example, if you feel your current “world” is unfulfilling, do something completely different for a while.
Don’t expect to get everything perfect on the first try. Go out and rack up a string of experiments, and you’ll soon be much closer to figuring out what you need to do to have clarity, goals, and success. However, don’t wait for clarity to come to you. You are responsible for creating your own clarity from within. If you lack clarity, then get busy creating it.
If you can achieve clarity by staying within the confines of your world right now, then great. If not, then leave your comfort zone behind, go “outside”, and explore.
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