For me, the what has always been more important than the why. The consistent answer to the why questions was always, "to do the most tremendous job I possibly can." However, there are central decisions we must make for ourselves. My father, Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, referred to them in the Life-Changing Classic, The Three Decisions. Once you plant your flag, you are free to develop your execution strategy. If you have not nailed down these three decisions, you'll waffle and experience a repeated lack of traction and a life of frustration. Often, the source of this failure of clarity is too much noise.
You can’t hear what you’re supposed to do with your life if you aren’t in an environment conducive to listening. There is a ridiculous amount of noise and clutter flooding our modern-day minds. Here are some simple things to unlock any spiritual, physical, or mental blockage preventing the blessing pipeline from being turned on fully.
One imperative key is that you take one day a week and Sabbath. Sabbathing isn’t just a thing of the past. Silence is an essential requirement for today, more so now than ever since we have such a hard time silencing all the noise that is infecting our brains. This time of rest and solitude allows you to hear what direction you should be going. Where and why you need to go is already in you. The key is unlocking it with the activation of the what. Although we love to talk to others and listen to podcasts, we must set aside intentional time to recharge without any further drains to our energy so we can hear what’s to come next.
One critical step to making clarity possible is to cut the cord. One of my favorite bands, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, has a song titled, Kill Your Television. You say, Ms. Tracey, how will I ever know what is going on in the world? Well, I’ll tell you one thing television is not good for... finding out the truth. There are plenty of other blogs, websites, and peer-reviewed journals you can subscribe to in order to stay current on what’s important to your future plans and requires your action. You can watch whatever show you deem healthy enough to enter your brain through a streaming service. Don’t allow any of that other crap to infect your space. Turn it off now.
Here is my number one activity for gaining clarity: Assemble your closest group of critically thinking supporters and speak freely to bounce ideas. Have them present the worst-case scenario so you can contingency plan. Consider any and all options, even writing out a pro and con sheet. Draw two circles with all the items about where you are now (real) and then make a separate circle with all the items you would like to be (ideal). Then you can clearly see what needs to be left behind and what you need to bring forward.
As you ascend the mountain of life, it’s imperative you jettison off the baggage that is no longer needed (which includes people and programs) so you can suit up for the next leg of the journey. This act isn’t mean; it’s life. (If you struggle with this part, read Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.) We suit up differently for our weather seasons, and the same is true for seasons of life. The key to singularity is to shift, not drift. You’ll change lanes in life and that’s okay. Just make sure all roads are still leading as directly as possible to your final destination.
The bottom line is this; the truth is in you. It’s just a matter of dialing it in so you can see it clearly. This step will take time and you may have some false starts where you begin in one direction only to realize you need to change course. That is completely acceptable. I have never been one of those people who instinctively or intuitively knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. If you happen to be one of these folks, you can move more quickly through this stage.
For the rest of us, it is crucial to take time to really land on our singularity. This is the bedrock foundation on which you are going to build your life house.
Make sure you have a good, long, honest talk with yourself to understand what it is that you’re driving toward. Many people get hung up on the “why”. I have never been too focused on this question. If I know what it is, the why becomes inconsequential. Right now, you need to focus on WHAT; WHY is overrated; don’t be a “why”ner. And if you aren’t getting clarity, then do something, anything, because motion tends to uncover different landscapes and previously unrecognized assumptions or faulty thinking.
This excerpt is from my soon to be released title SPARK: Five Essentials to Igniting the Greatness Within. This latest release includes my doctoral research which centered on the key to self-motivation. Check out the pre-release bundle here and get your free copy of the motivational classic, The Secret of Success!
Tracey is now booking for speaking engagements for 2020 and 2021 on Ethics and Excellence, Crisis Leadership, Engaging Employees in the Age of Millennials, Women in Leadership, Making the Dream Team a Reality, Unlocking Motivation, and the Power of Books.
She looks forward to working with pre-merger organizations in the future to prevent unnecessary stress for both the organization as a whole and individuals. For more information, please contact us today.