Clarity and Consistency – Part 2

“We can’t be anything we want.  We were put here for a reason and it’s our job to discover what that is and become it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

When we are clear about our intentions… we understand that undertaking [manifesting that intention] is directly aligned to fulfilling our purpose.

Hey there Legacy Leaders,

Good to have you back.  I missed you.  Hope you had a great last week.  I am looking forward to the one ahead.

If you are just joining us, I’ve been spending some time talking about clarity and consistency. This is the third installment in the discussion, which I believe lays the foundation for much of my work.

Clarity and consistency in my opinion are critical to success – whether individual, organizational, communal, social, or global.  Without clarity and consistency, I don’t think we can achieve harmony and balance, or thrive as a people.

Previously, I noted the importance of clarity and consistency in helping us stay on track with our goals.  Then I noted how we can go about gaining clarity.  Today, I want to talk about consistency.

As I noted in Clarity and Consistency – Part 1, you can have clarity without consistency but you cannot be consistent if you aren’t clear.  Essentially, this is because when we are clear about our intentions and our direction, we have not only made up our minds about what we want to do but we understand that undertaking this task is directly aligned to fulfilling our purpose.

Whereas many people think that consistency is hard, it is actually clarity that is harder to attain.  Once you are clear consistency becomes easy.  Allow me to show you what I mean.

Florence Scoven Shinn, author of The Game of Life and How to Play It, suggests that there are four pillars upon which every human being builds his or her life: health, wealth, love and perfect self-expression.  She insists that in order for people to feel fulfilled in their lives, they must achieve harmony all four of these areas.  If and when this balance is achieved, it is called Four Square Harmony.

In my work, I teach people based on these four pillars; the last of which I split into passion and purpose to help simplify the ways in which we often express ourselves.

Let’s suppose you are someone who is clear in your intentions and have decided that you are ready to embark on the journey of achieving your goal, you will now need to be consistent.

For many of us, it’s getting our bodies into better shape, so I’ll go with that. If you haven’t made up your mind, then you are likely to yo-yo between good and bad habits for a while – perhaps indefinitely.  Without clarity, you are bound to find excuses, um, I mean reasons, why things aren’t working.

A made-up mind is different. When you gain clarity on your health, and how optimal health (for you) can enhance your ability to complete your mission and fulfill your life’s purpose, you won’t give up.  Notice, I didn’t say you’ll get everything perfect – but you will keep trying. You will get back on the horse, and you will begin to take note of what isn’t working and supplement it with thoughts, deeds and interactions that better serve you.

You want to make more money, start your own business, get out of debt, or pay off those students loans?  Maybe you want to do all of the above.  When you’re unclear, you self-sabotage.  You overspend or under-charge and you NEVER ask for what you’re worth.

Clarity will knock all of that out the door.  You may not know exactly how to do what you want, but you’ll begin to seek out those who do.  You’ll ask for help and heed the advice you’re given. The choices you make may be different from the ones you’re used to, but they fuel you and fulfill you.  In time – and usually a very short time – you start to feel much better about what you’re doing because you see how financial wisdom can only strengthen your progress. It’s not about how much you have, but how well you handle it.

LOVE (This one is my favorite)
Being unclear in love often results in stifled relationships – romantic, platonic, professional, familial and so on. Interestingly enough, though, it stems from a lack of self-like. When you are unclear about who you are and why you’re here, it’s likely that you won’t like yourself.  You blame yourself for your lack of innovation and ingenuity.  All you want is to be meaningful and useful, to do…something.  The thing about self-like, though most of us would hate to admit it, is that it tends to come from external validation.

Clarity in love means understanding that there is always a Source of external love and validation giving you a reason to like yourself. And when you like yourself you realize just how interesting and innovative you are, which gives you the freedom to continue being so. You find yourself being consistently grateful, hopeful, optimistic, jovial, and LOVING. Suddenly, it seems like the more you give the more you have to give. The more you give the better you feel, which makes you want to give more. Soon, you are in a consistent state of giving and feeling good about giving because – in your state of clarity – you know that you are always receiving.

Without a basic understanding of what makes you tick, you can find yourself doing things that make you feel good, or make other people feel good, or make other people feel good about you even though you feel miserable.  Some of us will even excel at these things.  We’ll do things we’re great at, but rather than feel like a superstar you’ll feel super-stagnant.  You become resentful and uncertain. If I’m this good it must be a gift, I must be meant to do this. So why I am so tired and restless…and bored?

With clarity comes capacity. You see things differently and you understand that just because you’re good – or even great – at something, doesn’t mean you’re meant to do it.  Instead, you become determined to set aside time to do what feeds your soul.  As you become clearer, you’ll become protective of your time, space and energy.  You’ll be more selective about those you hang around – sure to exclude those who sap your energy or refuse to accept the new direction your life is taking. Little by little, you will commit yourself to exploring your passions and fulfilling your purpose.  It might be a business, a ministry, a blog. Regardless of how you do it, you won’t let too much time pass without making it part of your life because you know now that it isn’t just about you.  You become consistently consistent. 😉

So, you see, clarity and consistency truly are the foundations for a life of love and legacy.  No matter what you’re going to do, the first then is to get clear. Then enact your plan and be consistent.

I’d love to hear from you. Are you already living a life of clarity and consistency?  Are you just getting started? Leave your comments below.

Until soon Legacy Leaders,

Clarity and Consistency – Part 2 Read More »

Clarity and Consistency – Part 1

Where clarity gives you the foresight to see the final destination,
consistency gives you the wherewithal to make the trip.

Hello again Legacy Leaders,

Hope you’ve had a great week thus far. The last time we were together I talked a bit about how to stay focused on your goals…period.  I mentioned that we need to work smarter, not harder, by being clear and consistent.

What I did not discuss, however, was how to get clear and how to be consistent. So that’s where I’ll pick up today. In order to speak about gaining clarity in our choices, I must first speak a bit about what drives many of us – those of us reading this anyway – when making these choices: our legacies.

When building a legacy, we so often think about tomorrow that we put little focus on today.  We don’t take the time to really understand our choices or enjoy them. It isn’t uncommon for legacy builders to get so inundated with the task of creating a life for those we love, that we forget to live.

This doesn’t happen (as often) when you’re clear.

Clarity affords you the opportunity to not only leverage opportunities that bless your future and the future of your loved ones, but to also enjoy the present.  When done right, as you become accustomed to living in space of clarity, yesterday’s fulfilling choices manifest into today’s fulfilling outcomes, which in turn allow you to make fulfilling choices today that will become the fulfilling outcomes of tomorrow.

And just how do you get to such a state of clarity? It sounds silly, but “know thy self.”

I’m not talking about new age, psycho-phenomenal, humanistic way.  What I’m talking about comes from a deep, spiritual insight that can only come from connection with a greater being outside yourself.  I’m talking about knowing who are you and why you’re here; not because you decided but because you realigned with the innate, God-given purpose you were put here for.

As Steven Pressfield said in his book, The War of Art, “We can’t be anything we want.  We were put here for a reason and it’s our job to discover what that is and become it.”  That is clarity baby!

You can’t achieve clarity if you’re always immersed in the busy-ness of life. Clarity comes with turning off the television, putting down the tablet, silencing the phones and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

If you have never taken the time to sit still and just be, I urge you to try it.  I’m not talking hours or even a fifteen minute stretch.  If you can get five minutes of alone time before the kids wake up or after they’ve gone to bed, go for it.  Maybe you and your spouse can take a moment to do this together or even apart but at the same time. Later, you can discuss what you each discovered – or not.  It’s up to you.  The important thing is just to do it.  Once you start, you’d be amazed at how much time you can find to continue.

You need clarity.  We all need clarity.  We all want to be useful contributors to society.  There isn’t a personal alive who isn’t fighting to be more.  Even those who commit the most detestable and heinous of acts, when sat before a psychoanalyst worth their wright in salt, speak of some dream deferred that left them so hurt the only viable option seemed to be hurting others.

This is why we must be clear; because hurt people hurt people.  If we want our children to grow up to be whole, happy, healthy adults we must show them what that looks like.  We must take the time to be whole, happy and healthy.  If we want them to use our lives as a springboard and stepping stone for greatness, we must get past the first rung.

That requires clarity.

When you know who are you and what you are made for, you understand what works for you and what doesn’t. When you are clear about your purpose it will deter you from expending your energies on things that are not meant for you, no matter how superb you might be at performing them.  You’ll steer clear of what Gay Hendricks would call your Zone of Excellence, and  start operating in your sweet spot, your place of purpose.

Clarity breeds consistency. Where clarity gives you the foresight to see the final destination, consistency gives you the wherewithal to make the trip.  Once you know where you want to go, you make up your mind to get there.  If you’re still struggling with clarity, chances are you still haven’t gotten clear.

When you’re clear, you prioritize your actions.  You do those things that give you the most return for your investment – whether that investment is time, energy or money. You’re careful to stay committed to achieving the invisible, not-yet-manifested goal regardless of how things may look right now. This is consistency.  And though you can have clarity without consistency, you can’t have consistency without clarity.

So, now that I’ve belabored the importance of getting clear, how to do it and all its benefits, just how exactly do we create consistency?  I’m glad you asked.  I’ll talk more about that next time in Clarity and Consistency – Part 2.

Of course, I’d love to hear from you before then. Where are you on your journey? Been at this a while?  Just starting out? Let me know in the comments.

Until soon Legacy Leaders,

Clarity and Consistency – Part 1 Read More »

Getting to the goal

Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

We all want things out of life.

Some want basics like food, shelter, and clothing.  Others want an abundance, more than enough…overflow.  Some of us want to make more money or build better relationships, Others still are dreaming of new experiences or how to relate differently to the world in which we live.

In these scenarios, there’s usually that someone we talk to about what we’re thinking. Some of us will even talk to…I mean think aloud to ourselves about what we could be improved and how we could improve it. Unfortunately, we can become so accustomed to talking about it that we place no real focus on learning how to manifest these dreams. Or worse, we know everything we need to but, for whatever barrage of reasons, never take the action that ensures their fruition.

And it isn’t intentional.  Right?  Who sits around thinking, “I don’t actually want to be successful. Note even in the least. I don’t want to be fulfilled”? Who? “I have no issue with this constant yearning for more; this need to be meaningful and feel like I’m contributing my best to the world around me,” #saidnooneever. Well, at least no one I know.

We all want to feel full; to live life and not just watch it pass us by.  This became especially true for me after becoming a parent. When I speak to new parents, it’s often the same.  It is now very crucial to figure out just how to do be the best version of yourself.  Not because you want to be the perfect person or the perfect parent, but because you now understand that giving your child an example is so much better than the best advice.

Being your best will have unspeakable rewards for your life, it’s true – but there’s something about knowing that being wholly and unapologetically you will help them do just the same.

Be honest, would you rather listen to the person who has some great theories for creating the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of living but has never achieved it for herself, or would you rather follow in the footsteps of someone who’s actually done it? Most people would say they want the tried and true example; someone who can tell them how to avoid pitfalls and leverage opportunities.

The problem, though, is that even after you find someone who’s done what you want to do and can offer some guidelines for how to create the kinds of things you’ve always wanted to see in your life, there’s no guarantee that a) you will have the same kinds of outcomes and b) that you will want those things once you have them.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

You can avoid expending all your time, energy and joy trying to achieve success only to discover you don’t want that version of success once you have it – or worse, never see it in the first place.  You’re only required to contribute two things: clarity and consistency.

Clarity and consistency can save you quite a bit of heartache. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

Abe Lincoln is famous for having said, “If you tell me I have six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend the first six sharpening my ax.”  He was referring to the importance of preparation.   Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time.

The best way to prepare is to know your destination, and you can’t know where you are going unless you’re clear.

Granted, sometimes the beauty of the journey is in the route traveled, but even the most scenic route can become a complication if you don’t know where you’re headed.  I’m all for “getting lost” on occasion, taking a random turn just to see what’s down the road – but when building your life (and your legacy) you want to avoid random turns at all costs.

Now, I’m not referring to life’s detours – those unexpected  twists and turns you’ll have to navigate along the way. I’m talking about moments of seemingly harmless passivity that masquerade as “going with the flow” and “just trying some things out”, which in truth are self-induced sabotage and deprecation.  If you’re on vacation and want to give some things a shot…hey, go for it.  But not when you’re trying to build a solid life – to create something for the special someone or someones in your life – you need to be clear and consistent. Period.

So just what do clarity and consistency look like? I’m glad you asked.

I’ll tell you next time.   😉

Until soon Legacy Leaders!

Your Lady Boss, Legacy Builder, Mommy Maverick, Sister Friend –

Getting to the goal Read More »

We Are Here

Hi there,

Thanks so much for stopping by our blog space.  For those of you who may be wondering about Project Legacy, who we are and what we do, this post is for you.

Keeping it short, sweet and to the point:

Project Legacy is a national faith-based, family-centered initiative. We work with local community organizations and institutions to achieve our mission of reinvigorating, revitalizing, restructuring and reinforcing positive familial relationships.

Using various platforms, including this blog and other means of social media,  we discuss issues pertinent to today’s families. We also use offline methods like instructional workshops, training forums, conferences and integrative education programs to share tried and tested strategies for successfully building happy, healthy homes and creating dynamic legacies.

We welcome you to be part of our growing tribe of Legacy Leaders.

We Are Here Read More »