Clarity – Can You Find It?
So often we go about our days being so certain. It’s easier this way. Never doubting ourselves. Moving from task to task. Sometimes overwhelmed. Other times, exhausted.
Regularly, all of us are faced with making decisions that are not either easy or “clear cut”. We sometimes default to asking a friend and then taking their point of view to make a decision. Other times, we have strong feelings or emotions that essentially make the decision for us. At times our playful ego gets in the way, wanting us to be right so that we can prove others wrong. More and more, it’s the popular opinions of the crowd, exposed to us through social media, that then push us to conform to a popular decision that many others seemingly affirm.
What’s challenging with all of these approaches is they are what I would call “one-sided”. They not only push us in only one direction. They make us feel as if this direction is the only one that makes sense or is possible. Deceiving us by making us feel certain we are making the “right” choice. Without us ever realizing our choice is only one choice of many that may be possible.
Which brings us to clarity.
What is it? How do we know when we find it?
The web defines clarity as:
- Clearness of appearance.
- Clearness of thought or style; lucidity.
- Clearness; brightness; splendor.
We must then ask “What is clearness of thought”? Where I have found evidence of clear thought in others, is when a person can argue many sides of an issue without emotion. Providing validity to different points of view without attaching themselves initially to any certain one.
This approach then leads them to see many possible options or choices they might pursue.
Since none of us can predict the future with 100% accuracy, all of our choices or decisions carry with them some risk that things will not turn out as planned. We tend to forget this in making declarations about the future. Making it common for all of us to regularly experience “things didn’t turn out as I planned”. Identifying many options then gives us a chance to think of the probability of success attached to each one for the probabilities will be as different as the options.
Why do I find clarity to be so rare? For it is something that I struggle with daily. I am regularly afraid of what I don’t know. When interacting with others, often I see them in a “one-sided” direction as if they are in a tunnel making their time spent leading up to a choice or decision far less effective. Filled with much confusion and self-deception of “being right”.
Personally, over the years, I have convinced myself of “being right” too many times. And then being trapped in the tunnel that I thought was “the world”. Finding out months or years later, I still was standing in the same place.
It’s the certainty of “being right” together with the lack of experience or knowledge to understand that there are always more things to consider when facing difficult issues that hold us back. Taking us in directions that we will need to face again for the initial difficult issue was never really solved.
Very difficult to do because our human nature is so complex and influenced by so many things. Together with our lack of time to think and reflect. While we are so imperfect, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice and try. For clarity can be refreshing. Giving us a greater sense of control in our lives when we can make choices (after considering many) with intention.