Back in the days I was going to school and later when I was living at the outskirts of Vienna I wasn’t really clear about what I wanted to do with my days. I really wanted to make progress and move towards my goals. But actually: I had no clarity about what exactly I wanted my days to look like. Most of the times my days would end with me being very frustrated. In the evening I would reflect about my days and I’d think: “Wow. I really didn’t achieve something today. I really don’t feel like this day was successful.” Often I felt devastated and completely depressed. Even when I had worked very hard on that day and did many many things. What I was lacking was a clear vision and strong focus. I didn’t have a clear image of what I wanted to do and so it was impossible to reach my goal and destination. As a result I wasn’t “successful”.
What exactly do you want?
A good definition of success is: “Achieving a pre-determined goal.” So you set a clear goal, you achieve that goal and then you have an experience of success. Simple right? What if you don’t define a clear goal for yourself and don’t even know what success means for you? Then you won’t feel successful! Ever. No matter what you do… Even if you work for 12 hours straight on a given day. Only if you define a clear goal and then reach that goal (or its sub-goals) can you have an experience of success. Why is experiencing personal victories so important for your overall success? Find out in my article on Staying Motivated.
Clarity is Power. I can see it in my own life. Nowadays I usually have a plan for the day – I know what I want to achieve on a given day. I have one thing that is most important, also healthy rituals and habits that support my productivity and well-being. I have clarity about what I want to do, but also about my bigger vision for my life. A lot of the times I achieve the goals I set for myself – because I know and consistently remind myself of what I am working towards! This way it becomes tangible and I can move in the right direction and not be scattered and all over the place like I used to be. Focus – where you are collecting your energy like the beams of the sun with a magnifying glass. This way you really have an impact. With Impact Habits you can easily focus your energy on making changes at the right places – where it matters most.
A little technique
I use a little trick each time when I need clarity – honestly I use it almost every time when I record a video. Often I start recording a video and it just goes nowhere. I’m all over the place and my message isn’t clear. I’m not happy with my performance… What I then do is:
- I close my eyes and in my mind’s eye I visualise a clear goal. I visualise that I finished the video and that I feel proud because I’ve made a good video. I imagine the quality of the video being good and that I was able to get the message across really well. I imagine that I delivered strong presentation. I imagine that I feel comfortable and proud of myself for achieving what I wanted to achieve.
For one or two minutes I visualise these things and get a clear picture in my head of the moment where I have achieved my goal. The point in time where it’s done. Where I feel confident and satisfied with myself and my performance. I also allow myself to become emotionally engaged and dwell in that vision for a while. Then I just let it go and continue working.
I must admit: Almost every single time when I do this – when I set a clear intention: It works! I perform in a way where I achieve my goal. This can work with anything! I also do this in other areas of my life.
Clarity is power.
Here’s a quick exercise to go deeper, but first we have to differentiate between “lacking clarity” and “being open to possibility”. When you’re going through the world with an explorer’s mindset saying: “I’m open to experience, I’m open to learn, I’m open to play and explore like a child”. That’s definitely a good attitude! What we want to resolve is a state of confusion, where you want something, but you can’t really define it. Or you are constantly allowing yourself to get distracted. You’re not feeling good where you are! Once you have made up your mind, made a clear decision and know where you’re going – this gives you an incredible amount of strength and motivation and self-esteem.
- Write down 3 situations in your life, recently or many years back, where you lacked clarity and focus. Where you felt confused and scattered. How did this state of mind feel and how did it affect your performance? Is this a desirable habit or even character trait?
- Write down 3 situations where you did experience clarity and focus. Find situations where you actually achieved what you wanted because you made a strong decision and made up your mind. Where you had a crystal clear vision in your mind’s eye or where you could really feel what was important to you and what you were going for. Write next to it how that made you feel. What was the impact of this, very different, attitude? Is this a desirable habit you may want to nourish? What impact will it have on you and those around you if you deliberately bring more of this clarity into your life every single day?
- Lastly write a short paragraph about WHY it is important for you to work on this habit of clarity and really knowing where you’re going. Also take some time to think about the consequences of not working on this crucial area of your life. Maybe you even want to try out the little technique I introduced. Before you do some task where you have to perform – at a presentation, a meeting, or maybe it’s getting up with purpose in the morning. I actually do this exact same thing before going to sleep. I visualise how I imagine the morning to be and set a clear intention for the next day. Using strong goal-setting and visualisation in your life today can enable you to make conflicting intentions and self-sabotage a thing of the past and gain certainty, purpose and definite results.
Clarity is Power. When you focus your energy things start happening. You remember that success means achieving a predetermined goal. Instead of being divided between 10 different things you get crystal clear on what you want and then concentrate your energy on reaching it. You don’t allow yourself to get distracted and keep going. Then when you achieve it you have an experience of success and this motivates you and builds your self-esteem to tackle bigger things!