Clarity is something that we take for granted. Why? Because we are always so certain in what we see and think. You rarely hear someone share an idea or a plan and then in the same sentence say I doubt this will work.
Why even focus on clarity since no one talks about it? It is critical to becoming effective as an individual or as an organization. What do I mean by being effective?
First, as humans, we tend to understand things differently given our experiences, education, and worldview. I might tell someone to be diligent to get a specific outcome. One person may take it to mean thoughtful and will work through a situation with what they are given until an outcome is reached. Another person might act in ways that are viewed as oppressive — diligently working at all costs to see something through. Someone else might take diligent to mean detailed and will spend a great deal of time on the small details taking longer to get to an outcome.
Secondly, we get distracted easily. Part of life has us always doing lots of unrelated things during our day (for work, for family, for fun, for friends, etc…). We have a hard time isolating a part of our daily activity to a specific future outcome. Being able to measure our progress towards it. Reviewing our actions it to see what we have accomplished to reach an outcome we want. Project managers are good at this using milestones, deadlines, and project reviews. We aren’t as disciplined nor as skilled.
Clarity is the ability to understand the outcome we seek and to begin to see clearly the path best suited (which may be different than what we initially think) to reach it. Clarity helps to focus our efforts so that our energy is not scattered.
Clarity is very, very difficult to incorporate in our life.
Not only because we get distracted and understand things differently but also because we gravitate towards big ideas that will solve many things (but rarely work or are achievable even though they sound good to say). Outcomes break down when they try to satisfy too many different goals.
We need to become comfortable with the struggle to find clarity — in our lives and in what we do. Most likely this will take years to refine and understand. Once we begin to embrace and truly begin to understand the clarity in our lives, then will we begin to feel movement and engagement towards the things we value most in our days.