As we explored sufficiently last week, we highlighted the value of having a vision, or a dream in a way that we need to be clear about what matter to us. If you want a quick refresh on the power of having a vision please check it out here.
Now the question that I get with clients is about clarity on what matters to them.
In other words, what I found in many literatures is the rhetoric “get crystal clear on your dreams, your goals, your vision and so on and so forth.”
It occurred to me that after talking to few clients-Getting that clarity was indeed the first real work and it is not always easy as one might think.
HOW TO GET CLEAR ON YOUR VISIONS & GOALS?
How Do you get clear on what matters to you?
It does seem like a trivia, but as you would see below the certainty that you’ll have after reading this. I figure I want to spend some time to help on this topic since this part of us owning our power is very important.
In fact, I have heard that there are two important days in someone life -The day you are born AND the day you find out what you are born for. That is usually extrapolated to one’s life purpose sometimes, and the reality is regardless of where this might apply (vision, dreams, purpose, goal, intention etc.…) the significance of getting the clarity of what matter to you is life transforming.
In the earlier post we reviewed the importance of having a vision. What I think is the best translation of that- is clearly the title- Are you clear on what matters to you?
The perspectives I’m going to share below will be helping you at any moment of doubt when you are looking for clarity in what matters to you.
First principle I Just want to reiterate,
what I found is that the process to create a vision is made easier when you are clear on what matters to you.
Now please note here two major components in what I’m sharing above- the concept of clarity and the concept of what matters the most to you. These two elements are critical elements to have your vision crystal clear.
Why don’t we start with the roots of what’s needed to be clear?
Clarity stem from Latin- claurus, which means to make it understandable; the attribute of what we’re looking to clarify is sharp, well defined, lucid and ultimately it permeates the quality of being coherent.
Clarity enables faster distinction; and faster distinction allows faster decision-making skills, faster decision skills allow freedom of choice, which provide more power.
So, if that is the case, we can say that clarity is the quality that allow a faster way to organize the content of the information you want to act on; which further allow for more coherence.
I want us to not miss this point above- the relationship between clarity and the power of decision.
Clarity and the power to be decisive are inextricably linked.
In his twenty-five years of research, Napoleon Hill (in Think and grow rich) finds out after studying the most successful people of his time that “Successful people have the ability to quickly make a decision and work on it while average people have harder time to decide and are slow to make a decision”.
Why is this relevant to you- it’s because of this simple fact that I eluded earlier.
The clearer you are about what matters to you, the more you are clear about what you want and who you are; In fact, that’s the secret sauce of the most successful in our planet- indeed – they are fanatic one way or another about that clarity on what matters to them (Whether it’s their dreams, their visions, BUT most importantly who they are and why it matters to them). They know what they are standing for and what are their boundaries; this all about that clarity and distinction.
I wanted to pause here, because this is NOT just anecdote, BUT it’s rooted in science as it’s been proven nowadays from social sciences and psychology.
We make decision based on our references- in one sentence there’s no such thing as objective decision- there’s only subjective decision- because we make decision based on what we know (whether conscious or unconscious).
This is why, the most successful people are quick to decide, because as shared earlier, the successful people are clear about what matters to them; and as we saw, earlier the clearer we are, the more decisive and fast we can be in our decisions.
So, it’s Not a secret that the successful people are quick to make decision because there are clear about what matters to them.
Let’s look at it from even a different further angle-Physics.
This is probably one of my favorite view point as the world #1 Human Engineer.
As we are all aware, we live in a world where everything is Energy; which means everything vibrates.
If everything vibrates, they all have their frequencies. That’s the law of vibration
Like tuning to different radio stations, allows us to access programs, we are always tuning in to different frequencies in our lives at each moment- because there are different frequencies.
In that way, our thoughts and our state are emitting a certain vibration based on our emotional states and the thoughts we carry.
Similarly, the precision needed from us on what we want is necessary due to the law of vibration.
The stronger the signal, the stronger the content, the further it can travel.
The more pronounced and distinct it is, the more it becomes understandable.
Our homework in this human experience is to train our attention, and metacognition so we can fully be exercising our gifts and ability of co-creating our realities.
For those reasons, the vision, goal, dream must be well defined, explicit, prominent, definite, distinct, precision. That’s What Napoleon Hill call as his number #1 findings in all the successful people principles-The definiteness of purpose.
Which is why the second principle is to be remembered- specificity is important due to the law of the vibration that permeates everything.
The third principle I want to emphasize is giving us the how and the why–
The second law that I wanted to share that is so IMPORTANT is the law of polarity or duality in this human experience. What that law suggests is that there are always two polarities, plus versus minus, low versus high etc.…
This law can be empowering or it can be enslaving us based on our awareness and our skills to exercise our metacognition. The Most important gift in our human experience is the ability for us to train our METACOGNITION capacity every day.
Why this matter to you? It’s because with polarization we can get clarity faster.
Learning the law of polarity allows you to gain clarity so quick.
With that law we can find out quickly our vision and or what matters to us.
Getting clear on the vision is NOT a simple task for most people because, we’re wired to notice what WE DO NO WANT so we can survive.
As we understand what we don’t want, we need to pivot on what we WANT; in this case the law of polarity invites us to connect through our heart via our head.
How clear are you on what matters?
The law of polarity allows us to tune into what we don’t like and what we love.
Theses to energies are the two extreme of the same-What would you love AND what do you hate or would like to see changed?
What would you love is the best question to get us connected to what get us most passionate- that question connects us to what brings us MORE life.
The idea is that we want to get polarized to find the pull and to create the distinction. Because our desires are possibilities seeking expression or function seeking performance.
So, we want to connect to our Desire (which comes from “Des ire”)- “Des” meaning coming from God or source-
Yes, The Buddhist or eastern philosophy shares that Desires are the sources of All our “suffering”.
I rather like to look at it from the perspective of connecting to source from a genuine perspective, where the desire is coming from a love intention rather than that just pride or gluttony or vain narcissistic.
Deep down if we truly connect to what matters to us, you are building the curriculum of your own growth for the next attainment of the better you.
As a side note this is why, therefore extreme situations and events have been memorable and they make it easier for people to be clear on what matters to them.
As people get strong emotions (whether positive or negative let’s say through trauma sometimes), they can draw strong boundaries.
That’s the case of Victor Frankl in man’ search for meaning, where in the death concentration camp he made a decision that what matters to him was to “live” and survive so he can tell the story and especially created the logo therapy sum up in the last frontier of human freedom- “The ability for human to choose their own attitude”.
We do not need to get into traumatic incidents to learn about what matters to us.
For example, early pioneer entrepreneurs- Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, all these iconic billionaire and school dropout knew with clarity what matters to them; that’s why they could identify at a very young age their drive.
In fact, that’s why it takes Mid 40’s for a lot of men (or so called midlife crisis), because they are looking for clarity about what matters to them when they will be coming out of this life form and human experience- That’s the mortality drive.
Finally, I hope it made sense to see the importance of why and how to create clarity in our vision.
In the end let’s get some practical tools that could be used to help further this work.
Technic 1-Write down the vision, the goals, you want manifested-
The simple act of writing it down, helps embed it in our subconscious mind and we can always easily revisit it at will. In that way we’re freeing our mind power to not worry about memorizing it actively.
Technic 2- Polarize yourself with the two main questions-
What Would I love and What Do I hate (What would I love to see change).
In that way I want to share one technic I learn from Mary Morrissey as I was getting mentored by her- as she talks about testing your dreams or visions with five main questions
Does your vision give you more life?
Does it align with your core values?
Does it give you opportunity for growth?
Does it require help from multiple sources (beyond yourself)?
Will that dream benefit others as well?
I love these practical questions to “test” your visions when in doubt.
Technic 3– Eulogy Motivation-Begin with the end in Mind
Could you picture yourself during your memorial services people delivering an Eulogy for you?
What you want people to say about you- what you represented for them?
What did you help people become?
Technic 4- Mortality Motivation.
Imagine you have twenty hours to live and laying down on your death bed-
When you look back at your life- would be able to say- I did it my way? I would do ALL it again.
What would you die for
What would matter to me.
Another twist of that is to ask yourself if You had only twenty-four hours left to live would you prioritize what matters to you.
As Steve Jobs would say in his famous Stanford commencement speech at Stanford – “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new”
I don’t want to end this blog these with scary thoughts, as my intention is to provide tolls and insights that gives you more life; but the reality is that when we know the end we get more power as the how becomes built in based on the end.
What I really want to share here is how to intelligently ask and how to get clarity in your vision.
And I will end with this quote from MLK Jr.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
So, let’s make sure that we keep revisiting what matters to us- it’s a verb after all. What matters to us evolve as we grow even though the core doesn’t change.
To prelude in the next share, we will explore how to further amplify that vision-one hint- Can you picture your vision?
This is NOT my opinion, it’s something I had experienced and I will share in the end what is the biggest secret that is missed by most people about this principle.
While most people fumble and spin their wheels in figuring out the HOW, they miss the main first important point- GET CLEAR ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO YOU FIRST.
From many fields, in different tones and terms through ages everybody has heard a variation of the importance of this principle I’m sure.
To start with the spiritual masters who have always shared this principle-“Without vision people perish” is not just a nice say but a proven principle that permeates through many disciplines.
A vision does Not have to be this grandiose effort or revelation we get only when we’re in trance or under a tree like legendary stories of Moses or Abraham have had.
A vision in nowadays term can be a goal, a dream, a purpose, an intention.
In fact to bring it closer to our times; Napoleon Hill who had studied proliferate leaders and impactful men of his generation for over 25 years had summarized it well in his book think and grow rich(a book that is accredited to have generated the most millionaires in History of mankind).
The first principle that all these successful had in common is The Definiteness of Purpose (backed up by a burning desire- which we will address at a later point) would say Napoleon Hill.
That’s definiteness of purpose is also what Stephen Covey would call – “START WITH & KEEP THE END in MIND” in his famous best seller book “The seven habits of Highly Effective people”.
Now, whether or not that you are spiritual or a business person, what is clear is that if you’ve ever used a GPS to navigate to get to a destination or a navigation tool in the like of a compass, knowing the north star is critical. In fact, that is the way airplanes get to their destination, by trial and error or constant adjustment (based on the end and destination).
For fiction lovers, the subtle illustration of this principle is the cat guidance to Alice in Wonderland in the famous book from Caroll Lewis in chap 6.
–“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Now that that was an advice from a cat…😊
Now let’s see if you rather listen to science base facts, one of the best perspective that I got was year ago when I was studying neuro science.
The best way to explain this, is what is called in the part of our brain the Reticular activating system or R.A.S. A good way to explain the power of the RAS is to look at our own daily lives.
Have you ever noticed that when you get a new car or a new shirt? For some reason that new car seems to be everywhere or all the sudden?
Now what happened?
Did more of these cars appeared all of the sudden? Of course, NOT- The answer is that, WE’RE WIRED to Notice around us THINGS THAT MATTER TO US.
That’s what the Reticular activating system does for us human.
This is biology and science not just opinion, or philosophy.
THEREFORE, THIS IS WHY, WE MUST BE SO BE CLEAR ABOUT those things That matter to us.
As sad It is, most people spend most of the time in their lives planning and getting on their vacation that they would spend time getting clear on their year, month, or lives.
If we only knew the power of this principle I think we would teach these since kindergarten.
“Know what you want is a Maxime that should be printed in our forehead.
To apply this in a daily setting-
In fact, a good framework for that is the power of intention that is a very transformative practice whether we gather in business settings or in any settings getting clear on our purpose in any activities is what gives us power in the present.
A good book that helped me in this angle is the power of intentions by Wayne Dyer.
A practical approach to this is to always ask ourselves what is our intention-What is the purpose of this meeting what is our intention in this gathering? (Apparently, this a practice that the famous Oprah has in her closest circle).
I really wanted to spend more times on this as this is the foundation for everything else.
Because the first poignant point I wanted to make is that as human, our first function is to get crystal clear on what we want, and on what matter to us.
I love the reminder that Mary Morrissey shares- Everything is created twice (first in the mind then physically- we all know that, but NOT EVERYBODY KNOWS THE POWER of that).
Now, naturally, you would ask- what is the best way to intelligently formulate your desires and want?
The simple answer is to get a crystal-clear picture of what you want.
We’ll explore more in the next post but here are main steps that I use when I work with my clients.
Stay connected to your true self- by asking yourself-
2-What would I love? – Connect to that place of desire through love not from media, society, etc…
3-Would what I love expand me or constrict me? Make sure it’s expansive because every thought either constrict us or expand us by giving us more life.
4-Will this contribute to Humanity and make a difference?
We’ll explore more on the How in next post- stay tuned.
But as promised, here’s the secret that most people miss on the power of creating and getting clear on the vision.
IT’S a VERB- which means we need to practice it every day like we brush our teeth while most people do it once a year (new year resolution and don’t revisit it)
AND getting CRYSTAL CLEAR PICTURE is a differentiator because it BECOMES SPECIFIC and adhere to the law of specificity and even more it creates emotion that inherently move us to action- because pictures create emotion.
Are you keeping the main thing, your main thing?
One of the most powerful question I came across is this: What is the one thing that I have to do, in such a way that if I do it, it will make everything else easier or unnecessary Gary Keller
Champions understand, value and leverage the power of keeping it simple.
Masters and legends understand that mastery is achieved day in and day out, through practicing simple skills and improving them.
When it comes to simplicity, the average performers are always looking for the complex answers, when in fact masters know that the solutions lie into breaking down into simple steps.
One of the most brilliant minds of the last century who was able to understand and execute the most complicated issues Albert Einstein is well known to say- “Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler”, he even goes further “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
In fact, what about one the biggest inventor as Leonardo Da Vinci said; “Simplicity, is the ultimate sophistication”, What about Henry David Thoreau “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness”.
The power in being simple, thinking simple, acting simple is a secret aptitude that a lot of people are underestimating.
When he came back to Apple, to revitalize the company that it is Today-Steve Jobs the iconic CEO of Apple Inc. says this: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”.
Even if you don’t want to move mountain, you probably want to be a high performer, or achieve your goals-guess what –simple is power-
It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” Bruce Lee
It seems that we are drawn to learn and keep learning thinking that’s where we get our edge, until you come across this perspective-
“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” Martin H. Fischer.
That might seem too far distant, but William James ground it in such way that for him it’s very simple ““The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
Ending with a master is probably the best compliment we can look; from two angles Lao Tzu claim this
“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” And “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”.
If that doesn’t resonate with you, Hans Hoffman probability would when he simplifies by saying “
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
I love it even better as this drives it home for me- simple-The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the non-essentials.
That similar to the point. Champions Keep the main, the main thing.
“I AM THE GREATEST, I AM THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD” …
Those are the words of the legendary Boxer Muhamed Ali, when he was on his way to claim the throne of being the world champion.
It seems arrogant some people would say, maybe confidence some might say, or even “prophetic” for his devotees’ fans; the reality is no matter how you look at it, these were self-proclamation, incantation or affirmation from the greatest.
Incantation are the best way to improve your self-talk.
The average performer think that it is not necessary or it’s too new age, but science has proven the power of our subconscious in performance.
This is relevant because no matter who you are we do have some moment of self-doubts, hesitations, downtime and more. Self-talk is happening all the time no matter if you are conscious of it or not.
The real question is whether we are monitoring or not.
The world class do monitor it. Day in day out.
That’s how they are able to control that constant internal chatter. They leverage it as a strength.
Key question. Are you monitoring your self-talk?
Action tip: Look at your goals/dream; what is your self-talk towards these objectives?
It’s a myth that champions fight their fears or that they don’t have fears; even more, it’s an illusion for average performers to avoid their fears- The ultimate solution is to dance with the fears, so that it can be tamed.
A lot of literature highlight the fact that FEAR is false evidence appearing real, or that we should fight our fears. That strategy seems better when compared to the average performers who hide away from their fears and stay paralyzed with no actions, but it’s still not optimal.
The reality is that fear is a natural phenomenon for our survival; which means it’s natural and so therefore needs not to be denied but “optimized”.
How do you do that?
The first thing would be to acknowledge the natural aspect of it; Which gives champions the opportunity to be grounded.
In that grounding the champions find and anchored themselves into being present in the moment.
The idea is to acknowledge fear so it doesn’t have power over you. In fact, In my bestselling book
“The Winning Way that I co-wrote with Brian Tracy and colleagues” give a tip on how to cope with fear by just bringing it to our awareness and identifying.
When in it’s your skin and in your face, what’ s left is to own it and dance with it.
As we all agreed, avoiding it, is like playing ostrich which doesn’t help long term.
One of the outlook that makes the greatest legendary is their ability to manage this duality.
They understand their power through the free will we have as human, and at the same time they embrace the limitations of their humanity.
Unlike many average performers who think, it’s one or the other, the champions get their strength and power from both complementary source of power.
Understanding the power of free will, and the ability to influence one own actions give a tremendous leverage to the world class. They understand, they are the master of their fate and the captain of their destiny.
They understand that their decisions, guide their directions, which then determine their destination or their destiny. Every performance is within the champions control, because they have fully understood the power of “intent”.
On the other hand, what makes the legends so attractive and inspiring to all of us, is their ability to balance and to receive; their humility towards life itself is reverend and refreshing.
The champions are realistic enough that they understand the limitations of the human mind and acknowledge the source of a higher power or authority that govern things like our heart beat, our breathe, or life itself; regardless of how you want to call it, the greatest have the knack to balance these two sources.
Different traditions have described this differently based on the situation.
Whether it is keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the star, or the yin and the yang, or even the ebb and flow, the masters of this world have captured this wisdom in many ways.
The champions have transcended this wisdom in on their daily realities, and most importantly they have transformed their productivity, performance and results that make them legendary.
Action tip today- Looking at your dreams and goals.
IF there was a skill that create the huge divide between the average and the legends it’s this:
World class understand that “failures” are just learning steps towards their desired results.
In fact, the word failure doesn’t exist in their mind-it’s all feedback, learning toward their ultimate goals.
If there’s something that cannot be substituted with anything in champions, it’s this aptitude they have developed.
They have embraced the word “fail forward”. In fact, the smartest ones, fail fast so they can get over that phase or stage of development.
That’s an experimentation phase.
The fallacy that we should succeed right of the gate is an illusion that’s been created through some subcultures using the concept of prodigy, or word like “talent”.
It’s true we all have predispositions and natural tendencies, But the real truth is that even with even with these talents, one can just get the spark to get started. Talent alone cannot sustain long term anyone.
So learning to bounce back, or learning to “learn” is a “NECESSARY” skill to develop and even to build within our practices.
Champions have that built in like a muscle in their way of doing anything.
What is the feedback? What did I learn here? What can I improve here?
The subtle difference creates a huge divide between the greatest and the average performers
This is why- the average performers are thinking and performing on how to NOT make mistake? On how to Not fail, versus the champions are focus on how to make it happen.
That focus seems similar, BUT HUGE difference for the simple fact.
When you compete to win, you are offensive, outgoing, you are “creative” and expansive versus when you compete Not to lose you are contracted, defensive and acting from fear based lens.
Acting from the fail forward based thinking is an abundance thinking mentality and it rewards are infinite, because the champions understand that the world is abundant and the champions will ask what they want and not be restricted.
Today’s action tip. Are you acting from Not losing or you are moving forward as how can I fail fast so I can learn and move on?
You’ve probably heard that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Another version is certainly your income is the average income of the five people you spend the most time with.
If you haven’t heard any of this, I’m sure an elder in your family while you were growing has always told you to watch who you hang out and watch your friends.
In case you thought this was urban legend,
I’m here to share that it’s not a myth, because science has proven this from many angles.
The best story that I like, is from Dr. Bruce Lipton, a former cell biologist from Stanford University, who spend years studying cells. From those findings he wrote an amazing book highly recommended for nay high performer called “Biology of beliefs”.
In that book Dr. Bruce Lipton findings and experiments shows that same cells under different environment, produce different proteins or structure.
As we’re formed of trillions of cells, the conclusion is very simple: The environment we’re in is very critical to our results.
As a world class, it’s important then to realize that what we surround ourselves with is important, whether it’s people, or just our natural habitat; because whether you realize it or not.
It does matter.
Champions understand that, so they make sure that their goals and dreams are shared with people that will support them.
The master mind is an example of this being applied in action.
Action tip is to look at your goals and dream and do you have any social support group?