We all know that person who achieves great things, hits goals and has a great social life but for some reason seems unfulfilled. Or maybe this is you; after pushing for so long, the chatter around you subsides and you look around and wonder just when that passion turned into going through the motions. You tell yourself that things are good, why do I feel so restless, lost? Am I crazy or just ungrateful? You aren’t crazy or ungrateful, you need clarity in who you are and what you want to reignite that passion in all areas of your life.
Clarity is not a personality trait some are born with and some aren’t. This is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. This is also the first habit of the 6 in Brendon Burchard’s book High Performance Habits. You can also listen this chapter on clarity here in his podcast. Clarity is generated by asking questions, researching and trying new things to continually refine your perspective on life. We need to start asking ourselves questions like:
- Who am I?
- What do I value?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What are my goals and plans?
Do you immediately know the answers to all of those questions? If not, here are some ways to help you on the path to figuring it out.
1) Articulate your future self.
Start thinking more about how you see yourself in the future. Who do you want be? What skills do you want? You are more likely to actively engage to grow into that person when you know what they look like and concentrate on those qualities you want. We must have vision beyond our current situations and start showing up as that person. An easy exercise to help gain clarity on this is to think of yourself going through the motions (dealing with work, kids, your spouse, strangers in social situations) in an average month and make notes of how you felt and your demeanor. Now, imagine your best self in the future going through those same motions. What is different? Now, choose 3 words that describe that better version of you to help get clear on that person. Figure out why those words are important to you. Maybe it looks like focused, playful and grateful. Or maybe it’s thoughtful, relaxed and content. This will be different for everyone but find your 3 words to gain clarity on who you want to be and remind yourself daily to stay on track (even if that means setting an alarm in your phone titled with those three words to go off 3 times a day)!
2) Structure Your Day Around Your Created Curriculum
It’s time to really structure your day around growing in those areas where you are clear you want to be better. This means blocking off time in your day to not only checking off the to-do list but learning and growing in areas of interest or a particular skill. Maybe it’s a cooking class, maybe reading up on coding, perhaps online training, anyone for an audiobook on self improvement? These are skills your future self will need to be that person your envisioned. It also keeps you in clear focus of those larger goals since you are working towards them daily and you will get that sense of fulfillment in learning and mastering something new. Look forward to at first sucking at that thing and then getting good at it!
3) Serve Others
It’s easy to lose our passion when we lose sight of how we are affecting and serving others. Brendon Burchard asks the question “How can you serve people with excellence and make an extraordinary contribution to the world?” That may sound like a tall order but are you providing value to those around you? Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what sets you on fire? What activities energize you when you are serving others whether it be in church, at work or in your social group? Okay, can you imagine that activity I just described that gets you excited? Now go and do that more often just for the pure joy you get out of doing it.
4) Get Your Feelings in Check
Feelings are just that, feelings. They pop up and then blow away with the wind just as quick as they came. Many of us think we have no control over our feelings and use this as an excuse for bad behavior. We might not have control over what feelings pop up, but the only thing we can control is how we react to those feelings. Do you fuel the fire when something doesn’t go your way? Displace your anger on your spouse and excuse it away because you had a tough day at work? Stop it. You need to come into every day, nay, every moment with intention. Do you want to be happy? Cool, choose happiness. Feelings change from minute to minute but if you are intentional enough to choose happiness that day, you are much more likely to be happier, even if some crappy stuff gets thrown in your way. Be clear about how you want to feel whether it’s going into that meeting, playing with your child, or finally having that tough conversation you haven been avoiding with a family member. Choose it and then generate that feeling. You are the only one in control of this life and how you choose to approach each day is up to you.
5) Define What is Meaningful
What is meaningful in your life? Do you find meaning in your job, your marriage, your sense of purpose as a parent? What is getting you excited today? This is something I write in my journal every day. Just one thing, no matter how small, that you can be excited about. What is the difference between busy work and your life’s work? That’s where the meaning lies. Find meaning in your day-to-day activities and your purpose and goals will come into striking clarity.
So let’s agree to start asking questions. Are you clear on who you are now and who you want to be later? How will you get there? Are you serving others and getting excited about something again? What feelings are you going to create to become that best version of you? Stop being busy and unfulfilled and start being intentional with your day. You can also access Brendon Burchard’s weekly Clarity Chart for free here and watch that fire reignite in all areas of your life.