“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.” — Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff
In July 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 couldn’t see eve five feet in front of me so I had no idea if I was headed in the right direction or if I was heading to fall off the mountain! But there were these 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 on the same path!
Gaining this kind of clarity reveals for us the path that lay ahead, warns us of the obstacles to watch out for along the way, and ultimately ensures a safer journey to the mountaintop. 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, which is a world of possibilities!
So the question becomes, how do we develop more clarity in our everyday lives? Perhaps a better question, though, is what causes a lack of clarity? Because if we know and understand what causes a lack of clarity, and then we work to eliminate those causes, then we won’t have to seek clarity at all, it will naturally come and find us!
I believe that a main cause for a lack of clarity is disorganization. Our lives become disorganized when we don’t know what are true values are and we don’t know what is most important. We become disorganized when we allow distractions to cloud our judgment, living with unhealthy habits, or simply doing activities that do not serve our higher purpose. We become disorganized when we hold limiting beliefs that shelters us from reality, leading to narrow-mindedness and stagnation. We become disorganized when we blindly do our daily tasks without reflection and without innovation, hindering our progress in our work, in our homes, and in our lives.
If we don’t reflect on how and why we do things, how we spend days, and what’s on our minds, then our lives become cluttered with thoughts and activities that clutter our lives rather than propel us forward.
To gain clarity, then, we are tasked with becoming clear about our priorities by examining our values. This requires taking a conscious effort to focus our attention on things that really matter, while at the same time letting go of things that don’t really matter, and it also takes daily moments of reflection to ensure we’re on the right path every step of the way.
If we do these things, and if we follow through with it everyday, we’ll be able to see all the obstacles in our way so we can gain a clear path to the mountaintop of our success!
What can you do today to unclutter your life?
Jonas Cain facilitates positive change initiatives for emerging leaders and their influencers.