Today, when so many things are competing for your attention— the many problems in the world around you, the daily notifications from everyone you are connected to on Facebook or Twitter—how do you maintain your focus on what is most essential? More importantly, how can you build your capacity to expand your influence in order to effect change, grow, and accomplish your life goals? Gaining clarity is the first step in learning to prosper from any given problem.
When a diamond is examined for its clarity, a jeweler looks for impurities in the stone. These little flecks or murky areas are called “inclusions.” The tiniest foreign particle will flaw the stone and greatly diminish its value. So what are the foreign particles in your life? What are those things cluttering your vision and encroaching on your purpose? Where are the murky areas hidden within you— the spots and blemishes—the inclusions you should exclude? These are the impediments and distractions that keep you living a lackluster existence.
Take stock today. Don’t allow the little foxes to spoil and cloud your brilliance. Take a thorough inventory of the habits, behaviors, and patterns that keep you stuck, the thoughts, words, and reactions that dampen your progress. Clarity is key to reflecting light. Getting clarity in a situation will allow you to adjust and make corrections, heal from old hurts, learn from mistakes and missteps, expand your problem-solving and crisis-management skills, and maximize your potential to inspire others.
Take stock of where you are today. You can’t start the process from where you are not—you can only start from where you are. Nobody can go backward in life to restart an old beginning, but you can start now to have a new ending. Without placing value on the choices you’ve made in the past, or regretting what you did to get where you are, simply embrace the fact that you have to start somewhere.
Begin by asking yourself some hard questions: What do I struggle with on a daily basis? What are the things that deflate and demotivate me, discourage or disappoint me, or disrupt or derail my best efforts? What pain do I want to eradicate? What situation do I want to mitigate? What lessons do I want to never repeat again? Are there recurrent shadows that creep up on me from my past or recurring cycles that I want to break, either personally, relationally, financially, socially, or professionally? Am I frustrated by my lack of progress or someone else’s—or perhaps other people are holding me back? Or maybe you find yourself going from one bad relationship to the next. Are you prone to indecisiveness, making the wrong decisions, or failing to make any decision at all? Are you the type of person who starts something and never finishes? Do you tend to sabotage your own greatness and undermine your own success?
Take a few moments right now to consider what troubles you most. What are the “inclusions”—the dark or cloudy spots you’re “experiencing in your life—that need to become exclusions? Even a freckle can keep you from perfect clarity. Be completely transparent with yourself. Getting perfectly clear on where you are now will be critical in discovering your brilliance.