As the year winds down and comes to a close, we celebrate our holidays with various traditions embracing faith, and the love and laughter of family and friends.
As I begin to look forward to the new year, I start seeking a word to guide me. This word usually reflects a characteristic I want to practice, to improve. For 365 days, this word illuminates my path and infuses my world.
This tradition has become one of my favorite gifts.
I am starting to try on a few new words for 2015. One in particular is gently waving at me and we are getting to know each other…. more about that at the end of this post.
Sometimes it takes a few days to find my word. Sometimes the word chooses me. This year one word came to mind. No reflection necessary. I had been seeking meaning and answers for months – and when I asked for a word – CLARITY arrived and became my touchstone in an instant. With a capital C. In my life, in my relationships, in my work.
What a powerful, evocative and amazing year it has been. Clarity has brought me sanity and has provided new direction. Now, when my brain wanders I quickly re-center with clarity.
Clarity reminds me to ask myself, “Does this help or hinder?”
Is it profoundly deep insight to illuminate my direction and follow my path? Or is it a distraction? Does this revelation help me drill down my vision? Or is it a bright shiny object in disguise?
Sometimes it is hard to tell, but when I remember to stop and ask the questions, I always discover the answers. It has been such a life-changing experience, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts about my journey with clarity guiding my way.
Often, when a new idea or thought first reveals itself, there is no denying its incredibly magical and powerful potential! If you are like me, you are always thinking of the next way to “revolutionize” your business, your industry, (or the world!), or dreaming of ways to help a totally new and different clientele. That is just how our brains work!
To determine if our new revelation is as brilliant as it seems at first glance, I believe we all need CLARITY.
And I believe in the power of Clarity so profoundly it became one of the three pillars I built my business upon. (The others are Action and Impact – I liken the combination to unifying the heart, mind, and soul).
Clarity isn’t always easy to discover, but here are three things that can help you find clarity in your business – a blend of the pragmatic, conscious and spiritual.
1. Keep it Sweet and Simple. (KISS)
When thoughts collide and confusion appears, ask yourself “Is this a good fit for where I am right now?” Does it mesh with your current plan of action? Or will it take you in another direction? Will it complicate your life? What are the implications one month or one year from now?
Hint: Unless you are at the point in your business where you’re actively seeking new direction, an overly complicated idea probably is not a good fit. The best ideas are usually simple to implement. They don’t distract you from your course of action; they fit like your favorite jeans.
2. Keep a Clear Mind.
When inspiration strikes, plan a solid 60 minute block of time to analyze it. Then draft an outline. Write a proposal. Or get out your markers and draw a colorful diagram or picture. Turn it inside out. Look at all angles. List pros and cons. Then put it away. Literally and consciously. Give yourself a set period of time to let go of the idea. When it comes back for more attention before your deadline, and it will, remind yourself you are taking a leave of absence from this decision! Redirect your thoughts to something else and consciously, intentionally, release this particular thought from your mind.
3. Keep an Open Heart.
Intuitively, you know the answer. You already know everything you need to know to make the decision. To get to that core truth, open your heart. When your aforementioned deadline arrives, listen to your instinct. Feel the energy in your heart. What is it telling you? Is this “brainstorm” the real deal? Is it the best way to go right now? Tune in. You may feel fear even if it is the right decision. This often indicates a universal thumbs up! You are probably on your growing edge; a truly wonderful place to live if you want to achieve your fullest potential. Trust your wisdom to make the right decision.
Every time you complete this process, you drill down a little further on what does or does not serve you well. You are gaining clarity and you are learning to rely on your intuition.
Remember, well-meaning friends, family and business associates can give you great advice and perspective, and can be added into the equation – but ultimately you are the best judge of what is best for you and for those you choose to serve in your life. Only you can complete your journey.
So Clarity was my word, my friend, my gift, for 2014. It may sound corny, but there is some sweet sorrow in letting go and moving on. At the same time, I am excited to see who my new companion will be over the next 12 months. I’m trying on a new word that feels pretty good….next year I’ll let you know what happens!