Entrepreneurial Quote of the Day:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
Hello Fabulous Women!
I know it sounds trite but I’m saying it anyway – I cannot believe this year is almost over! In less than two weeks it will be 2010.
In the new year to come, many things will happen, including, for me, my 25th college reunion at Harvard. This has me reflecting and wondering if my life has turned out anything like what I thought it would be, way back then when I was graduating from college.
When I asked myself that, the thing that struck me was that, at that age, I never really did think this far ahead. I didn’t even think five years ahead. Other than knowing that I wanted to be happily married with children – which is exactly what happened – I realize that I had no other clear plans or goals for my life this far out in the future.
I invite each of you look back over the past 25 years or so as well, and ask yourself the same questions. What, if anything, were you absolutely clear that you wanted to have or do in your life? And what happened?
I would be willing to bet that those things you were clear that you wanted are the things that happened.
Some of you were sure from an early age that you wanted to follow a particular career, and that is most likely exactly how it went. I had no such clarity about my work life, and so I have been on a (mostly) delightful journey in that realm, from working with inner city adolescents to owning and driving for a cab company on Maui, to becoming a massage therapist, to being director of a wellness center, to sales, to being a life and business coach. About the only thing I was always clear about in my work life was that I wanted to help people and make a difference, and so that has been the common thread.
My point – and I do have one! – is that clarity, our own internal clarity, is what truly determines our lives.
So if there is an area in your life or my life where things aren’t going our way, consider that what’s missing is clarity about what we truly want. Consider that those areas are the areas where we keep things a bit vague, where we avoid really knowing what’s happening, and most importantly, where we have never clearly defined for ourselves what we want in that area.
If there is an area in your life that is not working out as well as you’d like, I’d be willing to bet that that is an area where you have settled for just knowing what you don’t want, but have never gotten crystal clear about what you do want. Believe me, there’s a difference. If there is one thing I have learned in this life, it’s that knowing what you don’t want will never get you what you want.
I’m not talking about small things here, I’m truly talking about the very fabric and nature of our lives and how we create them. We all have things we’d like to change about our lives, and we tend to focus on taking action as the way to make changes. What I’m saying is that while action is critical, it is clarity, or lack of it, that determines those actions, and ultimately determines the course and the experience of our lives.
So here is my challenge for the coming year – the coming years! – for all of us. Choose an area of your life that is not going the way you want. Choose it, and then create it. Sit yourself down and write what you want, what matters to you, what you want to do, what you want to be feeling, how you want to be in that area. Talk to the people in your life about it, tell them what you want, share how you feel about it and listen to their experiences and connect with them on a new level. Declare that this area, whether it is relationships or work life or family or money or creative expression or anything else you want to change, is now your focus and you are taking it on.
Create clarity, and more clarity, and more clarity, in that area, and see what opportunities for action and movement and passion and achievement in that area start to open up for you.
Clarity is where the fun happens, it’s where life is juicy and challenging and fulfilling. Lack of clarity is the grind, it’s where life is daunting and overwhelming and helpless and resigned.
I know which I want more of in my life. How about you?