We all have an idea, a dream, or a goal that we’d like to accomplish, but for many these ideas, dreams, and goals remain visionless thoughts never to see the light of day. The reason for this is explained by Martin Luther King Jr.:
"The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is that a dreamer has his eyes closed and a visionary has his eyes open.”
In other words, a dreamer who’s become a visionary is one who comes down from the clouds, identifies the details to make the dream a reality, and is able to articulate the dream in tandem with the details so that other can see the clear pathway for success. And therein lies the keyword: clear. To turn an idea into reality we need clarity.
In July of 2017 I climbed Mount Washington for the first time and as I approached the final stretch to the summit I became enveloped in clouds. This became a safety concern because I was relying on the queue of cairns to guide me to the top! Whenever I stumbled upon each marker I was unable to see the next one, leaving me to guess and hope I was headed in the right direction rather than over the side of the mountain. But there were random and fleeting moments of amazing clarity that let me know I was on the right path:
The wind would blow, the clouds would clear out, and I’d clearly see the path ahead of me—with the trail of markers laid out and the hundreds of other hikers that I didn’t even know were there! These moments wouldn’t last long before the clouds would return, but they offered vision and direction for making it to the top. Plus, it was also comforting to know that there were so many other people around me on the same path!
This experience reminded me of the song popularized by Johnny Nash, a song that highlights the beauty of clarity:
"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.”
Clarity is the magic ingredient that can turn a mere dream into a vision and vision into reality. Yet, without clarity, we find ourselves irritable and dissatisfied, clouding our mind from seeing what is right in front of us.
So the question becomes, how do we develop more clarity? Or perhaps a better question, what causes a lack of clarity? If we know and understand what cause a lack of clarity, and then we work to eliminate those causes, then we won’t have to seek clarity; rather, it will come and find us all on it's own!
I believe a major cause of a lack of clarity is disorganization.
In other words, when we aren't clear on our values, when we have "backwards" responsibilities, and when we don't take moments of self-reflection we will forever stay "lost in the clouds."
To gain more clarity we can begin by organizing our lives in three ways:
If we follow through with these three simple items, Values, Responsibilities & Habits, we’ll declutter our lives to see all the obstacles in our way so we can gain a clear path to the mountaintop of our success!
Jonas Cain is a Purveyor of Positivity and Facilitator of Fascination, offering support to emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience.