Clarity is defined on the web as “clearness of thought”. When young, we never question our thinking. Especially as we enter the world following school and feel we know a lot. Drowning in hormones, energy and impulse guide most of our thinking during these days. Beautiful yet confusing.
As one gets older, you begin to see the scorecard of your choices. Ones that worked well. And many more that didn’t. Some that we misunderstood. Others, that in hindsight, were made with very incomplete information. The need for personal clarity breaks through, as our number of days begin to become smaller.
What is personal clarity? Personal clearness of thought? It’s much deeper than sorting fake news from fact. It’s built on a connectedness that is difficult to see. It brings together the why of doing something and equally weighs it against the outcome desired. Without hesitation, it not only sees the steps needed to get there but considers alternate approaches. Doing all of this while understanding, that there is a probability that failure may be our initial fate.
Personal clarity brings about a strong focus where the noise of the world can never pierce. It strengthens resolve while cultivating patience. Don’t focus in order to find personal clarity. Rather start by reflecting deeply on why we want to do something to find focus. In my youth, I wanted to do something because I wanted to do it. Never thinking deeply about the value of the outcome desired.
Then we must begin to assess, as a practice, the value of the outcome we want. How will it add value to either my life or someone else’s? Why is it important to do? Many times, the outcome seduces us into thinking that we are already half way there because we thought about it. Other times, it’s much larger than the time we think it will take to achieve it.
Personal clarity demands that we measure the time and steps needed to get us from our why to the outcome. Steps that are within our means. Actions that do not require delay. Small choices that follow the chalk line we have drawn in our mind from why to outcome. All considered before beginning.
Popular opinion, modern trends, or friend’s criticisms should not keep us from searching for who we are. The challenge, thrust upon us as we live in the world, is to participate in it without being trapped by the selfishness and false bravado of our own ego. Personal clarity is not about building our ego. It’s about alignment with who we are deep inside of us.
Personal clarity should not come at the expense of being respectful of others and who they are. Nor should it result in being difficult to work with in a group situation. A smile and participation, when it is important to others, can bring about a different joy through meaningful connection. (Temporarily postponing our personal choices, based on personal clarity, for another day is really ok to do.)
The rush of life makes finding personal clarity challenging. The multitude of things on our mind makes it difficult to find the connections between why – how – outcome. Debating if we should begin, brings about a resistance fed by fear, indecision, procrastination or doubt.
The struggle for finding personal clarity is real and difficult. It never happens in a day. Our journey through life changes us. Making personal clarity an ever evolving aspiration. Adding to the complexity of discovery within us.
Once we better understand who we are, finding personal clarity can bring us joy by dancing (once again) with possibility, emotion, energy and connection.
Forever young, can happen if you believe it. Personal clarity simply makes the path straighter towards our dreams and joys while we are able.