The Truth About Clarity and You
I fear regret. Regret haunts my soul and weighs heavy over my life, why? My greatest fear is to reach the end of my life and be full of regrets over what I could have been or should have been in my life. The reason regret became a big player in my life is because I searched for clarity in the wrong place.
For me, my path is important. Where I’m going and the vision of my future is a priority, so much that it can dominate my life. It’s important to have a vision for my life, but not for reasons of clarity. Clarity is my Achilles heal, my weakness, which is why I’ve written on clarity so much, because I seek it myself.
Clarity is a valuable tool as long as you seek it in the right place, and that was my mistake. I, like many of you reading this blog, seek for clarity in our chosen paths, our destinations, our work, when in fact we should seek clarity from within. What do I mean?
There are too many variables in life to clearly define a path or destination. There is too much that is not in our control; however, we make the foolish assumption that we can control more than we can. We chart career paths only to be frustrated when it doesn’t turn out as planned. We assume we understand God’s plan for us and so we take over the reins and foolishly design our lives with little guidance or perspective. We may achieve success in the eyes of the world, only to find ourselves empty on the inside and surrounded by broken relationships.
I’m convinced the greatest battles we will fight are deep within our souls and within our homes. We’re taught to chase our dreams and carve out our own paths, which is a great start, but not at the expense of our character. I believe clarity must come from within before clarity can be achieved anywhere else in our lives.
The tricky part about clarity is that it can only be discovered while on the journey. It’s not something you can wait for and develop in a vacuum, it must be sought and discovered in the throes of life. In order to gain clarity within, you must be deliberate and intentional in your search for it and fully understand what you are looking for.
Here are the five areas I believe you must clarify:
- Define your spiritual life: What do you believe? Is there a God? Did He send His Son to die for your sins? Seek out the Lord and come to grips on what you believe. There is no denying that we are spiritual beings and until you can settle your spiritual beliefs, your life will remain unsettled. Spirituality brings peace.
- Define your family life: Everyone is a part of a family unit. What does family mean to you and how does it shape your daily life? For me, I chose to be a devoted husband and father. I decided that I would be a “present” husband and father and so I make choices that allow me to be present for my family. I will date my wife and I will be visible and available to my kids when and where they need me. I will always be close by, but far enough so my family can live out their own lives, but with me as their constant “safety net”.
- Define your inner circle: You simply cannot face life alone. You must identify a select group of family, friends, and colleagues that you trust and can seek counsel during the good and tough times of your life. I have a group of seven men that advise me on life, marriage, career, spirituality and finances. I go to these men for accountability, perspective, advice and comfort. I need their presence to ensure I stay true to myself and my family.
- Define your calling: Your calling is the intersection of your passions and your gifts. Everyone has a purpose. Your purpose is not your career or work, it’s what you do that sends ripples into the world. What is your legacy? How will you be remembered when you’re gone? How will the world be better because you lived in it?
- Gain perspective: Understand your place in the world. Understand the phase of life you’re in and navigate life from a healthy perspective. How do you do this? Read good books, network with good people and study their habits. Ask great questions and remain curious. Reflect on your life, the good parts and the bad parts on a regular basis and don’t take every moment of your life so seriously.
Understand that you will rarely get it right and that you will fail most of the time, but also understand that is perfectly fine and part of the human experience. It’s perfectly fine to fail and to take a wrong path, because I don’t think there is one true path for anyone. I believe many paths lead to the same destination and that it’s the journey that defines our lives.
Understand that you’re on a journey and that your path will never be crystal clear and external clarity will never be your companion; however, clarity from within is achievable and necessary to live a full and joyful life. Which of the five areas I mentioned can you clarify today?