Before we get to that six-step process, I want to make certain you understand how clarity can work in your life. Below are the irrefutable laws of clarity. Understanding these will help you understand, motivate you to follow the steps, and get you that much closer to your prosperous life.
Clarity Law 1: Clarity Creates Focus and Direction
Focus is a key ingredient in your ability to manifest exactly what you want in your life. Working through this process of clarity will help you to attain the focus you need to achieve.
I run across so many people who are completely scattered in their thinking. Have you ever found yourself with so many things to do that you can’t seem to focus on any one of them, leading to massive inefficiencies and poor results? If we could just slow down and really focus on what’s important in our lives, just imagine all the things we could manifest.
Getting clear on what you want (and using the exercises outlined in this book) will force you to focus on only those things that are in alignment with your higher purpose, your passions, and your talents. This alignment creates a tremendous amount of energy, which can then be focused on manifesting very specific things.
There are so many things you can do, but it is very hard to take real action toward everything. But when you focus on taking directed action with focus and intent, you are much more likely to achieve a positive outcome. Focus is an extremely powerful tool.
Clarity Law 2: Action and Decisions Lead to Clarity
Clarity for the sake of being clear is nice but really doesn’t lead you anywhere. It is the decisions you make and the actions you take based on that clarity that will deliver to you the success and happiness you are striving for. Once you have clarity, making decisions becomes so much easier.
Since clarity is an iterative process, the more action you take and the more decisions you make, the more it will provide further clarity. For example, for this book, I had to make many decisions about how I was going to write it, how much research to do, how many hours I was going to dedicate to it, how much money I would invest to market it, and so forth. I first became clear that writing this book was something I absolutely had to do, and it was part of my life’s mission. Then, with each step along the path, I became clearer on what I wanted to communicate. As I wrote parts of the book, I made new decisions that led me to take actions I had never even considered when I first sat down to write.
While writing the book, I learned a huge lesson about clarity and making decisions. About halfway through, I started to doubt my abilities to complete it. I started to doubt whether writing this book was, in fact, my true calling. Was I just wasting my time working on a book no one would read? This was funny coming from a guy who prides himself on being super clear about living an amazing life. I remember sitting in a parking lot at our local grocery store on a Saturday, asking myself whether this was the right thing to do. Then a huge point of clarity came over me. I realized that making the decision to continue and write the book would actually lead me to even more clarity. It was impossible for me to make a bad decision here because the outcome—whether anyone actually reads my book or not—didn’t matter. Just by writing the book, I would actually figure out whether this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I would discover whether I really loved writing or whether I should go off and do something else. If I didn’t complete the book, I would never get to the next level of clarity. Well, you know the decision I made in that parking lot. That one decision could launch my new career and take my life in an entirely different direction. Now that is clarity.
You don’t have to be perfect with your decisions, and your decisions don’t have to be “right.” In fact, you can’t make a wrong decision. The fact that you made a decision or took action provides you with tons of growth, which then provides you with even more clarity in your life. Decisions and action are critical to clarity.
Clarity Law 3: Get Clear on the “What,” and the “How” Will Appear
Many people get so obsessed with how they are going to get something done that they forget to actually get clear on what they want to do. They might have only a vague idea of the “what” when their brains jump right to the “how.”
If this happens to you, I applaud you for being so action oriented, but you should also make sure you are taking actions that are in alignment with your purpose, values, passions, and talents.
Once you truly understand what you want to accomplish, the “how” will take care of itself. In fact, coming up with the “what” is much more challenging than the “how,” though most people believe it’s the other way around. The real fact is that the clearer you are on what you want, the easier it is to figure out how to accomplish it. If you find yourself struggling with the “how,” this is a great indication that you aren’t yet clear on what you want to manifest.
As an entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people jump right to the “how.” Businesspeople like me are programmed to do this from birth. And can I also tell you how much money I have wasted building software that didn’t work right? (Thank goodness, we eventually got it right.) But if we just had focused on exactly what we wanted to build, we could have saved millions of dollars.
Just think about it for a moment. If you had to have brain surgery, wouldn’t you want your doctor to be super clear on what he was trying to accomplish before he went in and started? If he just focused on the “how,” he might operate on the wrong side of your brain. Yikes! It might be a silly example, but it gets the point across.
Clarity Law 4: Thinking Big Leads to Better Clarity
I have found that people tend to limit their thoughts about what they feel they can achieve. While this is a safe way to live, it isn’t the most exciting one, and it isn’t likely to lead you to that prosperous life.
I have found that thinking big when you’re working with clarity leads to a better outcome. Don’t worry—you can always scale back your ideas later. It is much easier to scale down something you are trying to manifest rather than to scale it up.
When I am working on a specific area of my life that needs clarity, I start by dreaming—some call it is “dreaming”—about what I want. Remember, they are just thoughts right now, so let your brain go there. If you want to be the world’s most famous musical artist, then that is a good thought to put in your head.
The main reason I ask you to think big is twofold. First, if you want to live a prosperous life, then you will have to take risks. It used to drive me crazy when running my business how many of my employees were risk averse. Unless they knew the outcome of a project, they didn’t want to do it. I understood that failure really didn’t exist, so the worst outcome would be that we would learn something valuable.
This is my first book on self-development, but my dreams—and clarity—go much further than just writing a book. I am very clear that I will be taking my ideas to millions of people through the book, giving speeches worldwide, and being on TV and radio.
Second, I absolutely assure you that if you don’t think big, you will never achieve big. If you don’t conceptualize what you really want, you will never get it. Let’s say you want to start a deli shop. If your idea of the business is one deli on the corner, then that is what you will get. However, another entrepreneur’s idea of a deli business is to open five hundred deli shops across the country. My brain goes one step further. I would want thousands of delis all around the world, something the franchise sandwich shops call “Subway.”
When I started my company, I suffered from not thinking big enough. I know I wanted to start a company, but I really didn’t think about how big or successful it would become. I just wanted to run a company. About four years into the business, I got much more clarity on what this business could really be. I rented out a conference room at a local hotel and spent days creating my big vision for the company. And guess what? That was when the business really took off. The result was that MarketLive became a top e-commerce software platform, generating over $2 billion in commerce transactions per year.
Clarity Law 5: The More Specific You Are, the Clearer You Will Become
While a big part of getting clear is dreaming and thinking big, I have always found that in every case you need to add lots of specifics to that dream to make it real. At some point, the specifics of what you want to manifest become important points of clarity for you. So really push yourself to take your ideas to the next level with details. And then push yourself again to take your ideas to even greater detail.
The specifics are important. If you want to create a business, for example, you really need a business plan. The main reason for a business plan is not to get investors interested in giving you money, which is what most people think, but to allow the entrepren eur to get clear on what the business will be, including whether it will be financially viable. This is a good thing to know before you invest your life savings in the business.
As we go through the steps of creating clarity in your life, I will force you to get to the specifics of what you want to manifest. Trust me, the more specifics you have, the greater will be your ability to actually realize them.
Clarity Law 6: Breaking It Down Makes Clarity Easier to Obtain
All this clarity stuff can be overwhelming at times. It can help to start breaking down what you want to manifest into little, bite-size pieces. You will be amazed that as you do this, your fear will dissipate, and your sense of being overwhelmed will go away.
As soon as you start to break down your idea, it will become more real to you. It becomes something you can achieve, and your brain won’t block it. For instance, let’s say that you need to lose some weight—a hundred pounds or more. It seems like an impossible feat to you. But you can begin by breaking it down to weekly goals. Determine what you will eat each week, each day, and at each meal. Figure out your exercise routine. Break it down to what exercises you are going to do each day.
Writing this book was a huge project. I knew I wanted to share what I have learned about living a prosperous life with millions, but writing a book was something I had never done. Where the heck would I start? Just the idea of staring at a blank computer screen and having to fill it up with three-hundred-plus pages of brilliant prose is a pretty overwhelming thought, even though I had been researching this book for twenty years and intensely so for five.
To allow my brain to process this project, I pulled out a program called MindManager. It allowed me to graphically outline the book by connecting my ideas together. I started with an overview of each chapter. After that I felt I was ready to sit down and start writing, so I did. I quickly realized that I didn’t have nearly enough detail to put my thoughts together, so I took my MindManager program and spent days (and weeks in some cases) outlining each chapter in detail. I took topics and broke them down into subtopics and subtopics to individual ideas. Once I did that, I was amazed by how easy this book was to write. I seriously doubt I would have ever finished the book had I not used this tool.
I assure you that anyone who has created anything big in his or her life started by breaking what he or she wanted to manifest into small pieces.
Clarity Law 7: Clarity Is a Continuous Process
The gift of clarity may be short lived, because the great thing about growth is that the more you grow, the more things change, both inside you and around you. You will need to make obtaining clarity a part of your normal growth plan. As soon as you start to feel out of sync with your purpose or passions, then it’s time to check in with that plan and make adjustments to get yourself back on track. I am constantly checking with myself to make certain I’m still on track with my life purpose. This chapter will provide you with a number of tools to help you do just that.
Your life journal is a great tool. Typically once a week, I just start writing about things happening in my life and the lessons I am learning. Then, about once a month, I generally restate my passions, my life purpose, and the things I am going to do in each area of my life to continue my growth path.
And then once a year I reassess everything to make certain I am still in sync with my life purpose and passions. I use the exercises I am writing about in this book to ensure I understand my current values, my passions, my vision statement for each area of my life, and my growth plan going forward. I also jot down any obstacles I need to be aware of, including any fears or challenges that might present themselves. Then I continue my visualization exercises, believing fully that I have already achieved what I want to achieve in the coming year. I typically do this during the first week of the New Year since it works as a good marker for me. Pick a time, such as a birthday or special anniversary, that works for you.
Clarity Law 8: Clarity Leads to Attraction
You get what you put your attention on. There is absolutely no question in my mind that this is true. The clearer you are on what you want, the more you will ignite the law of attraction, and you will find that what you are focused on will start to appear in your life. Here is the cool thing about the law of attraction—it builds on itself. This means as you start to attract things into your life, it helps you get even more clear, which in turn helps you to attract even more. Being clear on what you want is such a powerful tool that it can have a multiplying effect on all you are trying to manifest.
Think about a time in your life when you were really clear about something you wanted to manifest. Let’s say it was getting into the school of your choice, or maybe it was buying your dream car or house. Perhaps you got clear about starting a new business or changing jobs. Think about what happened. Did it seem like things just fell into place? Maybe the situation wasn’t quite that easy, but I’ll bet things started to happen to move you just a little closer to that goal. If it was that new business you wanted to start, maybe you started to research the business and write a business plan. As you began working on this, you started to meet people who provided you with input on this new business. That input led you to make new distinctions about the business, and your knowledge, confidence, and excitement about the business began to build. This pushed you forward to take the next step and maybe even break through some fear you had about your own success. Then you got more comfortable and took the next step to make some sample products. Fast-forward a few years; those sample products turned into a full production line of products for retailers all across the country.
Each step you take gets you clearer about the next step you need to take to manifest what you want. This is how the laws of attraction actually work. Others portray them as some mystical or spiritual thing. Somehow, they say, if you think of something, the universe will suddenly drop it in your lap. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way it works. There is a process to the law of attraction. It starts with a little clarity around what you want, which allows you to move in the direction of that clarity. As you move in that direction, things naturally start to come in because you are putting energy toward what you want to manifest. You are taking action, which in turn creates more clarity, which in turn allows more things to come in. And the process goes on.
I do believe there is something about the law of attraction we can’t see. It is called “energy.” Once you start to put energy toward what you want, then that energy attracts like energy. And the more energy you have going toward something, the more likely you are going make it happen. I can’t fully explain this law of the universe, but I have experienced it in my life many times.
This is exactly how I built my business. It started with one server and a few dollars in e-commerce sales, and after twenty years, we had thousands of servers running our software, generating over $2 billion in sales for our clients.
For more on getting clear, get a copy of Prosper from your Amazon or other booksellers.