What do you really want from your life? Most of us probably feel fairly confident that we know what we want. Chances are, you could probably come up with a comprehensive list on the spot, right?
If that’s true, then what’s the point in asking what we really want from life? In a word, the point is CLARITY. Here’s why! If we are not absolutely crystal clear about what we really want then it is extremely unlikely that we will ever get it. The reason is simple! With clarity comes focus and action follows focus. Without it there is no real focus or meaningful action and as a result nothing happens.
Do you want any of these things?
When asked “What do you really want from your life?” most people respond with answers like:
– More money
– Greater happiness
– Sense of personal satisfaction
– Fantastic relationship
– Greater self-esteem
– More self-confidence
– A rewarding career
– Better physical fitness and health
– Inner peace and less stress
I’m pretty sure that those are things we all want, right? But does this list have the kind of clarity that leads to focused action, or is it too vague to produce any real world results?
Let’s look a little closer and see!
Why don’t we pick a few items from the list and see how they measure up in the clarity department? Let’s choose:
1. Rewarding career
2. Better physical fitness and health and
3. Inner peace and less stress.
OK, let’s create some clarity
1. A rewarding career. Let’s say that you want a career where you get paid really well for doing something you are passionate about. That’s pretty much an ideal job scenario, but what’s missing? Well, for starters there is no clarity. For that you’ll need the answers to several more questions like: What are you passionate about (do you actually know)? How will you turn that passion into a career? Is there a market for that? Will it require a large investment in money, time, or further education? What are you willing to do to make this dream career a reality? Where will you start? Without the answers to those questions there is nothing to focus on.
2. Better physical fitness and health. Maybe you’ve been too busy to pay attention to your health and fitness lately and you really want to get back in shape. That’s a great goal, but what questions need to be answered before you can take action? Here’s a few: What does better health and fitness actually mean to you? What kind of exercise program and schedule are realistic at this point? How will you keep yourself motivated so you stick with it? Do you need to lose weight (if so, how much)? What kind of dietary changes are you willing to commit to? How will you measure your progress? Answer those six questions and you’ll have something to focus on.
3. Inner peace and less stress. Instead of stress and anxiety you really want to have a genuine sense of inner peace and well being. In our chaotic world, this is truly an excellent goal. Obviously, there are plenty of opinions as to how this might be accomplished. A desire for more clarity should prompt you to ask questions like: What is inner peace and well being, where does it come from, and why don’t you already have it? What are your current sources of stress and anxiety, and could you limit or control your exposure? Gaining some clarity about the source of the problem makes finding a solution much more realistic.
Start with greater clarity about what you really want
Like a compass, the role of clarity is to provide direction. It’s not the journey and it is not the solution. Clarity simply gives us a place to start. Once we clearly define what we want, then we have something to focus on. You can’t hit a bull’s eye until you have a target to aim at.
Without clarity our efforts are random and our focus is scattered. Under such circumstance we can’t realistically expect anything but random and scattered results, even if we think we know what we want.
Getting a different perspective
Sometimes the greatest source of clarity comes from someone with a fresh perspective. It’s not uncommon for others to be able to see our situation in a completely different way than we see it. Their neutral assessment can be an extremely valuable source of insight and direction. In fact, being able to do this for others is one of the cornerstones of my coaching practice.
Lack of clarity can create a formidable sticking point between knowing what we want and actually having it. So, before you rush out and start taking random actions, be sure to take the time to get clear about what you really want. Give yourself a clearly defined target to aim at so you can take your best shot.
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