The Search for Clarity
Clarity is such an important and impactful aspect of life, but we don’t really think about it until we feel it’s missing. Let’s try something:
On a scale from 1 – 10, with 10 representing crystal clarity, how would you rank the following aspects of your life:
- I have clarity on expectations of my current role and responsibilities.
- I have clarity on my next career steps inside (or outside) of my organization.
- I have clarity on my personal and professional growth objectives.
This time of year often brings an expectation of reflection. Perhaps you’ll be crafting your New Year’s Resolutions soon. Unless you are a person that just pulls the same list out, year after year, you may find that creating your list requires reflection. And your reflections may very well point to the level of clarity, or lack thereof, that you are experiencing.
There are so many things that can occur in the workplace in a given year: transition to a new role, reorganization, voluntary (or involuntary) departure from one’s role, actively searching for a new role, etc. In fact, the possibilities are quite endless. And no matter what may have occurred to you specifically, your ability to have clarity as to the impacts of your current situation and the next steps before you are critical.
According to the definitions above, clarity can have a couple of meanings. The first one seems to represent an internal clarity. “Freedom from…ambiguity.” Sounds great – right? I suspect we’ve all had moments where we have experienced this kind of clarity. We knew where we were going, we had a plan to get there and we were confident in the expected results. This can feel amazing and incredibly validating.
The other definition gave me a bit more pause as it seems to reference the visual aspect of clarity. How does that relate to the way we think of clarity within ourselves and our lives? When we experience a lack of clarity, it can cause us to make decisions that can appear odd or even confusing. Years ago, I had a roommate that was a serial dater. She went through boyfriends the way most people change their socks. Now to be clear, choosing to date many people isn’t necessarily a statement about one’s sense of clarity. However, my roommate thought each one was ‘the one’ and was surprised and disappointed each time it didn’t work out. Thinking back on it, her life at that time was a visual representation of her lack of clarity regarding what she really wanted out of a potential partner.
Clarity is such an important and impactful aspect of life,
but we don’t really think about it until we feel it’s missing.
Sometimes, experiencing a lack of ‘internal’ clarity can lead to a whole host of external decisions that visually reinforce this issue. Consider these examples:
- Changing jobs in pursuit of…something?
- Looking for new partners in life in the hopes of…what?
- Moving geographically from place to place seeking…well – you get the point.
Now consider your answers to the questions at the start of this piece. How close were you to a 9 or 10 on these questions? If you weren’t at or near the top of the scale, what would be required for you to move up the scale a point or two? What might an external view of your life say about your sense of clarity?
As we near the year-end, my wish for you is a sense of clarity and a life that is reflective of that clarity.