08 November 2013, by A. Cedilla
- Would you drive around with fantastically dirt-smeared front windows on your car?
- Or — here’s another scenario — drive with squeaky-clean windshields, but in a pea-soup fog?
- How about walking around with fogged-up glasses? Or going about your business with cracked lenses? Or glasses with the wrong prescription?
We’re a visual species. Any way you hack it, the ability to see and envision things clearly is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal, and not just in a purely physical, eyesight sort of way.
What we see we accept as real. Things we ‘downplay’ –they tend to ‘fade into the sunset.’ Or into the background.
What doesn’t register doesn’t get done. The little things that our eyes slide over can come back to trip us up.
- Thus the warning about “reading the fine print” and “out of sight, out of mind.”
- This also applies to ‘keeping your eyes on the prize.’ Or the goal. Or the ball.
- See what I mean?
These scenarios are based on visual imagery. That’s how deeply it runs, and something rooted so thoroughly in our whole way of, haha, seeing and moving in the world deserves to be examined and leveraged on a personal level, so we can live and spend our days more wisely. The obstacle though, lies in doing uncomfortable things that ask a lot from us.
Practicing to develop clearer vision is an involved process, and any beneficial result will not be gained without discomfort and uncertainty involved. It can take a cutting sense of honesty to develop discernment (from ‘discere‘ , Latin for “to cut, separate or divide”) and to start slicing away at blinders we didn’t know we had on, or scraping away at things that have been obscuring our vision.
We’re asked to look at things we’d rather not, or imagine doing things that run counter to what we’ve accepted as as good sense. In a way, this is a self-protective reflex to avoid discomfort. But in a more mature sense, discomfort is only a natural part of the price we pay to be able to grow into a deeper strength, and developing clarity is certainly a strength.
How do you practice clear vision in a way that is sustainable and on-point?
- Don’t predict the future so hard. Trying to see details too far into the future developers a habit of farsightedness –not foresight– which brings its own problems. You stumble on what’s in front of you right NOW when you should be present and paying attention. So, developing a sense of timeliness is linked to clarity.
- Know what is is vital to you. This means prioritization from your core outward, not from what others ‘should’ on you. Like a gun sight, having clarity helps you zero in on the moving targets you are presented with, daily, and over longer periods of time. Clarity helps you decide how, where and when to take the shot.
- Learn the value of waiting. Over time, clarity helps you see a way to balance things. For really important things, to wait until the time is ripe, not just available. Ripening is the art of waiting until the time is there to watch something happen in its own time, not rush it or hurry it and exhaust yourself trying to save time.
Build safety nets. Each day brings issues of its own. Clarity helps you see the need to have supportive systems — yes, plural –in place: systems to energize you, to calm you down enough to rest or think clearly, to clear your head up enough so you can focus and be present.
Again, support systems. For example, emotional, physical and financial, as well as time-wise. Health-wise, good food and healthy habits.
If you have only two or three sources of support, that’s a small system. What little you have can be knocked down along with you, or strained beyond capacity, so where will you be? Supports are anchors too…you don’t get blown away, or fall, because you have back-ups in place to catch you and hold fast.
Clarity demands seeing clearly and being rooted in when you are.
- Seeing things in the distant future is envisioning goals and anticipating probabilities (and possibilities.)
- Seeing things clearly in the present sharpens you attention and helps you bring your energy and focus to where it matters most.
- Bouncing between both viewpoints is a challenge, one you have to navigate every day.
Clarity cuts through the fog and the confusion and the annoying, unimportant things blocking the way. You see what is there, as it is, for what it is.
Clarity makes it clear what IS happening, and shows you what you CAN do to act on the situation. Then it helps you plan out what needs to be done, and respond quickly, calmly and appropriately.
Clarity helps you think and juggle in different blocks of time. Do you know what you to accomplish by the end of this week? By the end of the month? What about this quarter? Or by this time next year?
Here are the questions –and their follow-ups– you have to keep revisiting:
- How clearly do you see yourself and your core values? What about their alignment and position in supporting your decisions and your life?
- How honest is yourself-assessment of your skill-sets and how you leverage them in business — and in service to yourself and others?
- How honest are you about the habits that support you and the ones that hinder you?
- Do you know what you really need to include in your life, and the best way to make it so?
- The things you try to accomplish each day, do you feel you are working towards something bigger, or better?
- How would you judge your time as being used well?
- How would doing that feel for you when you look back?
Hard questions are ones which ask you to look at things you don’t really want to, or never really considered questioning. Taking the time for self examination can clear up doubt and help you see what you really want in your life, and then come up with solid actions to make changes happen.
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