A Lack of Clarity is the Biggest Inhibitor of Progress

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Several years ago my team planned a 2-day event called the Instigator Experience. In the nine months leading up to the event, my life changed a lot. I found a mentor who played an instrumental role in helping me turn my business around, self-published a book that succeeded beyond my wildest expectations, and we rebranded the podcast as Unmistakable Creative. After the event was over, my life took a turn for the worse. The major difference between before and after the event was clarity. Before the event, I knew exactly what I should be working on every single day. After the event, I didn’t have the same clarity, and as a result, I lost a great deal of momentum. When you’re not clear on your goals, it’s impossible to accomplish them.


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1.Finding Clarity

Half the battle of finding clarity is figuring out what you want. Sometimes we think we want certain things because other people think we should want them.  When we choose to do something because of the validation we’ll receive, we often make errors in judgment. These errors happen when we choose ‘should’ instead of ‘must’, prestige over personal fulfillment, comparison drives our decisions and ego fuels our ambitions.

For a while, I had this idea that I wanted to turn Unmistakable Creative into a large, venture-funded media company with 100’s of employees. But the more I understood what that truly meant: a board to answer to, employees to answer to, an office where I was expected to show up every day, the less, I wanted it. By doing that I’d end up creating the very thing I’d spent the last ten years trying to escape.

Figuring out what you truly want is a process of deep emotional inquiry and the willingness to be honest with yourself, even when it means that honesty won’t be compatible with what other people might want or expect from you. It’s a process of letting go of the bullshit stories you tell yourself, the masks you hide behind, and the labels you over-identify with. It’s about seeing yourself through every dimension and deciding how all of those align with what you want to do and who you want to be.


Daily Writing Habit

One of the reasons I write 1000 words a day is that it helps me find clarity. By getting thoughts and ideas out of your head and onto a blank page, you’re able to see your thinking. Another simple exercise that I revisit every few months is something my friend AJ Leon recommends in his book The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit:

Write a 500 word description of what you want your life to look like in 2 years. This will act as your signpost. Then (and here’s the kicker) post it on your blog or email it to someone who will “get it”. It’s hard to go back on a revolution that you’ve already announced.


Meditation can be another great way to find clarity. When I interviewed Gay Hendricks about finding your zone of genius, he recommended a daily meditation and contemplation of the following:

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