It is 2021. Time flies. Last year has been challenging for many people understandably, and with the new year coming many hope for a better period to come. As it is the beginning of the year, talking about goal setting is a trend. So, I am not going to do that. Instead, let me talk about three foundational elements of getting good results.
The angle and the mindset that defines how you see things that help or limit you.
Perspective is you existing in a specific space that influences your thoughts. It is also the information, facts, and data that is known to you.
For example, you have to know someone better or live somewhere or work in a specific team for a period of time to understand more about the people.
So, perspective essentially is to select and take information that is known and relevant to you and your situation and realize it influences you.
Know exactly what you want, where you want to be.
Clarity represents the quality of what you want to see happen. If you think about the connection between Clarity and Focus, you can easily see how too much information can slow down your efforts to create clarity or how too little information can lead you astray.
Sometimes the level of detail is just too great to make meaningful connections (perspective), which then negatively influences the quality of your decisions, essentially your Clarity and Focus.
So, how do you know how much information is too great or what is too much of a focus?
If you experience challenges in making decisions, you might have too little or too much information. Alternatively, your perspective needs a shift. This means the way how you select, structure, and arrange the information needs to change.
Here is the thing: Most of the time, you will intuitively know whether you have enough information or not.
Let’s get back to what clarity is. It is where you want to be and what you want to achieve. In other words, it is your destination, your desired state.
Now, we switch to goal setting methods and think about the most frequently used one, which is the SMART. In that case, you can see that SMART is a tool, like any other, such as visualization, to give you a structure and highlight different aspects of your desired destination. In SMART language,
- what do you want to achieve,
- how do you know you can achieve it (a measurement of success),
- how do you know it is not impossible to achieve it (attainable, not impossible)
- whether your desired state and goals are realistic (are they within reach and in alignment with your life purpose)
- when do you want to achieve it.
I prefer doing some visualization first because it helps me better define my goal. With visualization, I can see those details that I don’t see with the SMART method only. Visualization helps my brain to discover potential limitations and barriers my subconscious mind stores.
In today’s logical and fact-driven world, it is easy to push your subconscious mind back into a dark room.
But remember, it has a price. Your subconscious mind is extremely powerful, so pushing back works only for a while. In the meantime, your subconscious is training like crazy doing its supermans, push-ups, and squats, building its muscles in that dark room, so that it can come forward when your mind becomes tired, for example, because of stress factors, and it is ready to fight.
The good news is that your subconscious is not fighting against or with you; it is fighting for you. So, my advice, take it by the hand, set it free.
If you tried to push it back for long, it will be messy in the beginning. But you will also gain better control of your mind quite quickly.
Do what you need to get there to achieve what you have clarity on. Focus is to define your path to achieve what you aim for.
Think about it as a path or a tunnel. When you set your Focus, you essentially build a path or a tunnel between you and your goal. The path and tunnel metaphors help consider the circumstances as well.
A path is under the open sky, which means there are many things that can influence your course and you on your way. The tunnel is a more controlled environment, so you can set tolerance for the potential deviations.
The tunnel also tells you that there can still be unexpected events, but it also allows you to take steps to mitigate potential risks.
A tunnel does not necessarily exist under the ground. It can exist above the ground as well. Think about a walking path with an arched glass cover above the trail.
So, what else can I tell you about the Focus, which is doing what you need to do? Remember, you have clarity, so you know where you are going. With Focus, you build a plan. Set a series of actions you choose to take in order to get to your destination.
And if you also recall what I told you about SMART, each step needs to take you closer to this destination in your plan, on your path. The reason why you make your goals (series of steps) measurable is so that you know how closer you got to achieving your goal. And it matters what you choose to measure. You may not get closer to your destination, even if each goal itself is measurable unless you choose to measure wisely.
Let’s see an example of this holy triangle of Perspective, Clarity, and Focus.
Assuming you want to increase your business’s performance by 5% by the end of this year. Depending on which month you are in when you read the article and your baseline, you can at least make the first judgment on whether it is possible.
You gather information to understand how big the gap is. It is 5%, isn’t it? Easy peasy. Not quite. Depending on your cash flow, the readiness of the product offering to hit the relevant market or markets successfully, or marketing, or brand power 5% can be achievable or not.
Therefore, to achieve clarity, you need to set your perspective right; you need to choose the relevant information, assess it well, and then plan the right set of actions, too. When you did that, do not hesitate to execute what you intended.