“What do you really want in life?”
Have you ever been asked that question only for it to feel like your brain freezes and no real answers are forthcoming?
What do you really want?
That’s a question many people struggle to answer. And even when they do try to answer, they tend to reel off a list of things they want to achieve like, “Get married,” “Increase my income,” “Help my child succeed.”
The only problem is, those are desires – and desires are merely a starting point on the journey to clarity, your mental blueprint, without which success becomes almost impossible.
People often confuse “desire” with “clarity.” What is the difference?
To desire something is to have a strong feeling of wanting it or wishing for it to happen. But clarity is having a clear mental picture of exactly what you want and how to get there. When you have clarity, confusion disappears.
Let’s say you’re in an art gallery standing in front of a beautiful painting of a woman. You’re so excited that you want to describe the painting to your best friend who’s on the phone. Because the painting is right in front of you and you can see every intricate detail clearly, describing it to your friend would be fairly easy.
You’re not second-guessing. You’re literally describing what you can see. That is what having clarity does!
I remember a few years ago before I became a Transformational Coach and began running my business, I worked in the educational sector in the U.K. During that time, I had a strong desire to do something that would impact the educational system in Nigeria.
What did I do next? What a lot of people do. I launched out purely on that desire, without any real idea of how exactly God was leading me to make an impact. Was it through providing free summer teaching programs, or working towards becoming a policymaker, or even establishing my own school! I honestly didn’t know and more importantly, I didn’t take time to know.
So, I ended up spending the next two to three years running around in circles. I reached out to people, tried to create initiatives…but it always felt like two steps forward, five steps back.
It was towards the end of the third year since I’d been carrying that desire and working hard with nothing really to show for it that I gave myself a serious telling off. “Olawunmi, you know better! You know that you don’t start to build anything without first sitting down to gain clarity.” And I did know better. In fact, I had taught people the same thing! smh
So, I put all my unproductive effort on pause and went after clarity. I picked up the exercises I’ve used for years with myself and my coaching clients to create a vivid mental picture of what making an impact in the educational system in Nigeria looked like for me and in that season. Two very important factors.
Within a day, I saw clearly that it was going to be through setting up scholarship funds. I knew it as certainly as I knew my name.
Within a week, a friend of mine during a conversation randomly mentioned that a bunch of them had started a scholarship fund. What she described was exactly what I had seen in my mind. Of course, I jumped at it.
Another opportunity opened a few days later without me pursuing it. Within two weeks, I had made more progress by sitting in my home and creating a clear mental picture than I had in three years running around without clarity.
I had started with a strong desire, right? But why didn’t I make any progress? Because I lacked clarity.
A lot of us are too quick to accuse God of being slow. Meanwhile, we are the ones running around in circles and “running aimlessly and fighting like a boxer beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26
It’s not enough to say, “I want to get married.” Take it a step further by becoming clear about exactly the kind of person you’d want to get married to.
Neither is it okay to make claims like, “Before the year runs out, I’m going to make more money.”
How much? Where? With whom? Doing what?
When you put a number to the amount of money you want to make and how you plan to achieve it, the path to it suddenly opens up to you.
Why should you prioritize gaining clarity above running around without a clear picture?
- Clarity gives you access. Whatever you can see in your heart and you’re clear about, you will literally see that those opportunities will be attractive to your environment. Like, things will just begin to fall in place for you.
- Clarity energizes you. Fuzziness is one of the biggest killers of dreams. When you’re not really sure where you’re headed, you tend to find yourself dawdling, wasting time. But once you have a clear picture of what you want and how to get there, there’s a burst of energy that rises to get you moving towards it.
- Clarity melts away doubts linked to the possibility of that goal. It’s like having a Google Map guiding you to your destination. At no point will you think, “Will I get there?” “Does this destination exist?” No. Because you have a clear picture guiding you, it’s easy to believe you will eventually get there.
If you have been struggling to experience the physical manifestation of the amazing desires in your heart, it is quite likely you are not yet clear about that goal. There’s nothing wrong with your desires and neither is God withholding it from you. Take time to sit down, go after clarity and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you begin to move towards your dream.
In my signature transformational coaching program, G.E.M.S, we have created a seamless flow of teaching, strategies, and tools to help you create a vivid picture of the future you desire. If you feel stuck and overwhelmed by a lack of progress, the Clarity module in G.E.M.S is a great place to start.