Clarity is clearness of thought and freedom from ambiguity.
When you have clarity you see things exactly for what they are and not what you imagined or wished them to be.
The more clarity you gain the closer (or even further away) you are (from) to the truth.
Clarity is simply what is.
Awareness and clarity are very closely related. Awareness brings clarity and clarity brings choice. In order for you to become clear on things, you need to be aware that your perception of life; as in how you have come to understand and interpret the world, and what you consider to be true is a reflection of your life experience. Your experiences shape your beliefs, assumptions, biases, prejudices, preferences, values, emotional intelligence etc. which in turn impacts your judgements about any and everything. Being aware that your judgement is clouded by the above factors is extremely important, by knowing this you put yourself in a better positon to navigate life.
After all, a clouded mind isn’t as effective as a mind that’s clear.
I remember listening to the Halfcast Podcast and Poet mentioned that his dad would say:
Without clarity, there is confusion and confusion results in conflict.
He explained that if he is confused, he will experience conflict because he has no clarity. It made me think about the many times I had been confused and stressed about a situation because I wasn’t seeing things clearly. My guess is that we have all been there, a reason this happens and results in us being annoyed is because it’s very likely that we expected a certain outcome from a situation, but failed to consider all the possibilities. This expectation is problematic especially when other people are involved. For example, when you expect someone to behave a particular way towards you and they don’t, you start to feel a certain way. You feel this way because they haven’t acted in alignment with what you had imagined (imagination, another thing that clouds our judgement) and this is why I say, expectation leads to disappointment.
I often ask myself, what is right in front of me that I am not seeing?
This question was influenced by Kapil Gupta and it reminds me to do three things:
1) think about the factors that could possibly cloud my judgement
2) consider the situation thoroughly
3) encourage critical thinking when making a choice
However big or small, a day hasn’t gone by where you haven’t made a choice. Whether you decide to stay in bed or go for that bike ride, make dinner instead of ordering a take away, think about the project you’ve been longing to do or actually start putting ideas down on paper.
There is always a choice. But until you have clarity on your direction, you’re never going to able to move – Tom Bilyeu.
So you’re staying in bed, ordering that takeout and that project will remain a figment of your imagination. I’m not saying these things are “bad”, we all have those days when we rather not do the thing that takes the most effort. With that said, by creating a plan you’re making things easier for yourself as that choice now becomes less resistant and simply clearer.
The plan creates clarity.
It doesn’t have to be super detailed, just specific e.g. I am going for a 3km bike ride at 10am. I will cook chicken and roast vegetables for dinner. At 6pm on Monday evenings I will work for 2 hours on my project. By being specific, you’ve removed ambiguity and by writing a plan you’re more inclined to stick to it. Simply because you’ve made a commitment to yourself, and that feeling of following through with something we’ve set out to do is pretty satisfying.
I could go on, but to round up I want to leave you with quick tips on how to gain more clarity:
1. Question your thoughts. Just because you believe something to be true that doesn’t mean it’s true.
2. Do your research. Whether that is through first-hand experience, or browsing the internet (due diligence is required here), it will help you develop a wider world view and an open mind.
3. Take your time. When we rush we tend to make mistakes, taking your time to respond vs react avoids that habitual pattern of you saying/doing the first thing that pops into your head.
4. Make a plan. I just spoke about this but it doesn’t hurt to remind you. Be specific and follow through.
5. Meditate/Reflective Practice. Before anything, the most important thing is to gain clarity within. Get clear on who you are and who you want to be.
“The more clarity you have surrounding a situation the more equipped you are to handle said situation” – Dr Michael Gervais
So remember, awareness brings clarity and clarity helps you make better choices, better daily choices, and better daily results – George Burnergard