You won’t find clarity in a hidden treasure map, a secret incantation, or a magic wand. If you want to find clarity there are only two places to look. The first is silence, and the second is in a conversation.
For the first, meditation is ideal. For the second you have to find a truly gifted coach and advisor.
In every truly transformational coaching conversation I’ve ever had, I’ve been amazed how quickly clarity can be found I’ve been amazed how quickly my clients find clarity. I’ve talked to people who have struggled with a question for weeks or months, and yet it all becomes clarified in a few minutes.
The ingredients for clarity are simple, so it comes quickly to most people. All it takes is willingness to be vulnerable, the courage to be honest, and the space to look at what’s actually going on.
It’s like making a stained glass window. You don’t make a stained glass window by taking a big piece of glass and coloring it. You make it by consistently and repeatedly by placing one piece of glass where it needs to be. Some are big chunks and others a tiny shard, but each piece has it’s place in the whole image.
Again and again, I ask myself the question, how I can bring that reality to bear in all the work I do. How can I remember that it’s never about the big piece of glass? How can I live the power of a life lived one conversation at a time?
Though I’ve tried many things, here are some that I’ve found that work:
- Meet the person in front of you. Nothing is as important as this conversation. Stop thinking about all the people you want to serve and serve this one person. If you want to change the world, change this conversation, this interaction, by showing up and serving.
- Stop worrying about how you’re coming off. Don’t be a jerk, but also don’t be afraid to be honest and to be who you are. When you step into yourself, you invite others to step into theirs.
- Feel what’s inside of you. It’s easy to get lost in what someone is saying or in what you want to say, but some of what is happening is inside of you. When you feel and notice your emotions, your intuition, and your gut response you speak with more authenticity.
- Listen first and then reflect. The first words when listening should be about letting the other person know you’re in the room and that you heard what they said.
- Don’t think about what you’re going to say. Just focus on speaking from the heart.
- Speak simply and to the point. Just say what’s true for you and own that experience. Often the first and simplest sentence holds the most power.
- Live your life one person at a time. Too often we focus on goals and tasks and not on people. But the truth is that it’s people who really matter. It’s the relationships that make the big difference. Your to do list won’t come to your funeral. Your email won’t show up for your wedding. It’s people. They are the work. They will make your life what you truly want it to be.
When I coach, I can see my clients adding piece after piece of glass to their window. Neither of us has to see the whole image immediately, but we can both sense we’re creating this important piece of art together, one small piece at a time.