I speak on mission vision values often. I believe that when you have clarity around mission vision values, you can move freely into expansive growth.
I also think that you can segment clarity putting it anywhere to fuel movement. I wonder, in what areas of life do you have hesitation making decisions or taking action? If you had more clarity around those things, would you be more inclined to move? The answer is obviously yes; I would certainly move.
Asking the simple clarity question, however, does not spark the emotion that will cause action. How does one go about creating clarity in life and, more importantly, create the emotional fuel to spark movement?
Clarity is easy. Ask questions. Ask for help.
Everything in your world would have light shed on it by doing these two things. We can create movement from the simple “where do we eat” (which is probably one of the most defeating questions in the human race and also a joke considering the seriousness of this topic haha) to the overly complicated “which job do I take.”
People suck at asking questions. As in: they don’t do. And when they do, the usual default is to ask ourselves, “why.” If you are seeking clarity, start with a “what” question. (“Why” is a weak question to open with.)
The usual inquiry, “why” is defensive. Instead of “why,” choose “what _____.” i.e., Why do I want to lose weight? (self-reflective question to which we will all start to list reasons, pros, cons, and usually some self-judgment) A better question: What would losing weight do for me? (the same self-reflective question that envokes inspiration not desperation, AND it forces me to think slightly outside of myself as a doctor or advisor)
The power of reframing our first question to be “what” instead of “why” is a real game-changer for clarity. Go ahead, try it out. A quick tip: avoid crafting the question “what is the reason” because that is just a “why” question dressed up.
The follow up to a “what” question needs to be “how,” “who,” and “when.” After “what would that do for me,” ask “how will I get there,” or “how can I start.” “Who can help me?” “Who do I need to know?” “When could I take the first step?”
Ask for Help
Asking for help is where “why” can come into play. After exhausting my self-inquiry with the right questions. It is certainly okay to say, “why do I want all of this.” That “why” question is usually attached to a person. Or people. When you work through clarity, you will generally end up in a motivation box, and motivation tethers to a relationship at some level. What would happen when the one/ones who would most benefit from your clarity moment are enlisted for help?
When we ask people for help, we now have counsel (so choose wisely), and further, we find vulnerability. Vulnerability is the greater of these in creating clarity moments because you have created the inevitability of movement through accountability. We cannot tell someone we are considering something without making a decision that moves us.
This moment of clarity creates movement in two ways:
First–I find that my wise counsel has helped me know with certainty that this is the direction I should go. There is a vulnerability within the counsel, creating a slice of accountability. And therefore I move.
Second–I find that my wise counsel has helped me know with certainty that this is not the direction I should. There is a vulnerability within the counsel, creating a slice of accountability. And therefore I move. That’s right; your choice to stay is a choice in movement. Maybe not right now, but you have loaded the pistol for change in your life. And the rules of theatre say: once the gun is on the mantle it must go off before the end of the play.
Here is what is cool. If we do these things and gain clarity, the reason we have/feel movement, whether we move in the direction of our decision or stay put, is because clarity brings freedom.
Put a Toe in the Water
If there were a third thing would be this: start moving. Nothing provides clarity more than movement. More often than not, our fears of being taken advantage of, being wrong, trust, and rejection hinder us from action more than clarity does. Therefore, starting is clarity. Putting a toe in the water does not mean quit everything and move forward with your crazy idea without vetting it. Putting a toe in the water means, if I have indeed walked through each of these moments in order: asking questions and asking for help, putting a toe in the water is just vulnerability at its best; it’s practice. Putting a toe in the water is more than just asking for help, it’s a testing phase. There is always a practice version of the decisions or changes looming over you. Practice movement. What’s the next best right step? (i.e., If I want a significant health overhaul, tour a gym. If I want to change my career, learn a new skill, or go to audit a college class. If I need to make a hire, pay a virtual assistant for a couple of weeks first.)