This C word will help you live your dreams
As a recently qualified CPC (Certified Professional Coach) I speak to, and work with a lot of people all after a specific goal, and it is my job as a coach to help them move towards their desired outcome. Whether that goal is to lose weight, get out of debt, get a new job, or simply to be a happier person, there is one thing that everybody needs so they can get to that highly-coveted goal.
This C word also applies in the workplace to help people be more productive and produce more results. One of the first interviews I did working on the men’s magazine Esquire was with the author of a business book about becoming a genius in the workplace at a moment’s notice. The concept of the book was that if your staff don’t know what they’re doing, they will waste time trying to figure out what and how to do what you want them to do, in other words they procrastinate.
The author of the book said that in order to get the best and most value from your people you should make sure they know what they are doing. Supplying staff with good training and clear direction of what needs to be done, and how to do it will result in them being more efficient.
When helping clients, a lot of the time they feel stuck, unable to achieve the results and goals they want simply because they do not know what they are doing – there is no clear direction or plan of what needs to happen in order to get to their desired outcome. The magical C word that seems to be elusive to most people is clarity.
What is clarity?
My good friend, the dictionary, states this about clarity:
1. clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
2. the state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye; pellucidity:
the clarity of pure water.
So, clarity is to understand without ambiguity. This sounds a lot like having focused directions of what to do, with clear vision? This sounds familiar from the interview I did where the author suggested that to get the best out of your people you need to give explicit instructions of what they should do, and how to do it.
Whenever I ask my clients what they want to get by the end of our coaching session together; it is inevitably clarity about the next steps to move forwards. That sounds like clear directions of what to do, to me.
Having been in the personal development game myself for over 30 years, I know that a large majority of people are simply looking for direction, and a clear vision – aka clarity.
How does one get clarity though? I hear you ask. That is a really good question. Clarity is about becoming very clear about what you are seeking. If you want to earn more money, for example, here’s a pound, now you have more money, happy now? You need to get specific on the parameters of the thing you are going after. When you are clear on what you are seeking then the steps to get there will be a lot easier to see.
I also interviewed Jack Canfield once, and Jack was in the hit movie The Secret, about the Law of Attraction – close your eyes and attract the abundance you want by visualising it. The Law of Attraction has never sat well with me because my logical mind says you can’t just attract abundance into your life by thinking about it, and yet that’s what The Secret seems to be prescribing. The opportunity to interview Mr Canfield himself gave me the chance to grill somebody in the know on this Law of Attraction thing.
When speaking to Jack I presented him with the scenario of someone living in poverty wanting a Ferrari sports car. I said that if this person wants the car but is living in poverty, how is visualising this car going to help? Jack responded with what I think is the whole missing component to the Law of Attraction. “First, they should ask themselves why they want the car to begin with, and is that going to make them happy? Second, they should work out the steps required to get them to a position where they can afford to purchase the car, if that’s really what they do want.” Jack had just laid out the steps that I was not aware of when it comes to the Law of Attraction – you actually have to take action, beyond wishful thinking and visualisation.
What Jack said to me in response to my question made a lot of sense, and it also sounds a lot like getting clarity around what it is you want, and then seeing what action steps you need to get there. Jack said this person’s first step might be getting a job to get out of poverty. On hearing that I imagine there is not just one step, but lots of steps moving in the direction of getting the car. So it’s not as simple as just visualising what you want, but in visualizing you are becoming clear about what it is you do want; and from that you can work out the steps required to get you to your desired outcome.
To have clarity is to get clear about what you want, and then finding out what it will take in order to achieve your goal. If you are not clear on what you’re going after, how is your brain supposed to know where to focus if you dabble in myriad things?
If you can get clarity on what you want and the steps required to get you there, life will become a lot easier. If your map only has ambiguous directions for you to follow, then your journey is going to be arduous to say the least, and you may give up on the way due to lack of progress, even though you might be unknowingly nearly there.