Clarity, key to success:
Learning the art of knowing self and one’s desires to live a fulfilling life
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
An excerpt from Alice in Wonderland (By Lewis Carroll) – A conversation between Alice and Cheshire Cat:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: So long as I get somewhere.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Many of us are looking for that perfect life, perfect marriage, perfect job and vacation but have a very vague idea of what it would actually look like if we stepped into that vision. Just like Alice many people are only wandering through the woods hoping to reach somewhere fantastic. The idea of having everything in life is titillating and gives the goosebumps but even after all the goal setting you do, read every article on how to make your dreams come true and practise law of attraction, the biggest stumbling block waiting to topple you is your lack of CLARITY.
As a human race we have definitely transcended from the ‘survival’ needs to a loftier plane of thinking elevated thoughts and manifesting our true desires. But there is one snitch – we still don’t know WHAT THE HELL WE REALLY WANT.
This revelation dawned upon me recently when five of my friends came over for lunch at my home. We were talking about our goals and desires and the projects we were looking forward to completing in the near future. Having children, having one’s own dream business, going on an exotic vacation and earning an amount of money came as the most common goals. This was the first alarm bell for me. “Did all five of us have the same goals? How is that possible?
The second alarm ball was the distinct lack of vision and clarity in our goals. It felt good to say these goals out aloud but none of us had the faintest idea what exactly we were hoping to achieve in each of these categories and much less idea of How. “Where do you want to go for your vacation and when? How many people are you planning to go with? Have you checked if the weather is going to be okay at that time of year? were important questions that all of us brought up for each other but couldn’t answer for ourselves.
Luckily, we had one exception in our group – Lilly. She knew exactly what she wanted in each of these categories and all her ideas were completely different from ours. She wanted to have a child and she and her husband were trying. Since they were planning a child, she said she wanted to put off a vacation for a while. But she wanted to start working on her business idea – selling homemade food items. And she had a very crystal clear vision on who she wanted to partner with and where she wanted t set up the business. She had also earmarked a period of two weeks in her calendar t meet with some investors and pitch her ideas at some places. And we have always called Lilly a “master manifestor,” because she almost never fails in achieving any of her goals. And what’s her secret? CLARITY.
Many people don’t find the need or enthusiasm to plan out something meticulously, conveniently putting off the planning to a date close to when we actually wanted to manifest the project. And chances are that if you don’t love planning out and working on your dreams as much as you loved dreaming about them – they ain’t happening!
Who am I
The very question of “What do I want in life” emanates from the basic knowledge of self – who am I and what do I truly desire? And many of us haven’t given even a thought or moment in the day to explore this.
In fact the concept of goal setting is culturally driven rather than by individual passion and desires. Look at your life. How many of your goals have been your own? Majority of our goals are imposed by our parents, family or society. A huge wedding may be the rule in your culture, but not necessarily your own desire. Perhaps you would have enjoyed a destination wedding or something different. But you are unlikely to have it happen your way unless you are very sure of it being your deep desire and it definitely won’t come true unless you plan.
The lack of self awareness also depends largely on our evolution and conditioning as a human species. If you consider that until very recently, most humans spent all their time, energy and thoughts on survival. The entire concept of “knowing what you are looking for,” is very new, and it an odd way, a consequence of climbing above survival to a place where we can spend fair amounts of time and energy thinking about what it is that really excites us, fulfils us, is our deepest held desires. It is not easy. However, asking yourself what’s my purpose and passion in life, it is better to be guided by one’s feeling. “What would make me really happy? What would make me feel alive? are questions that have a better chance of evoking a true desire inside of you and making you feel inspired to go get it.
Humans are intrinsically driven by feelings of peace, joy, happiness, excitement and love. Anything that makes us feel expanded by these emotions are usually what we always end up accomplishing in life. For example, if you want to take care of your grandparents because that makes you feel fulfilled, then that is what you will choose as a goal. It is not a common goal and nor is anyone imposing it on you. But it feels good to you and you are going to accomplish it since you are so moved by it. And that’s the number one reason why you will achieve it.
The cosmic restaurant
Meditation experts and psychologists have come up with a new concept in manifestation – Ordering at the Cosmic Restaurant. And this is interesting and very true. Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation says that manifestation happens when you place an order to the Universe and then sit in comfortable silence, expecting your order to arrive. And it will show up.
Elaborating on this theory, Fletcher says, “Suppose you went to a restaurant and when the waitress came up to you to take your order, you said Food. I want food. Imagine how ridiculous it would sound if you said Food. And if they brought some bread to you, you would still crib because may be internally you wanted noodles or rice but didn’t order for it.”
A cosmic restaurant works in the same way. Fletcher says when you aren’t specific about what you want then you are setting yourself up for anything that may or may not be to your liking. However, if you ordered a nice wholesome meal, you would sit comfortably waiting for it to come and knowing well that it is going to reach you soon and it will be tasty. May be your mouth already started watering at the thought of the dish about to come. And guess what; the dish comes exactly as you thought, right?
Deepak Chopra, author of Mind Body Healing and a renowned meditation expert, elaborates on having clarity as the number one requirement to making your goals achievable. “The more clarity you achieve, the more you will find that the universe is on your side, supporting your thoughts and intentions. Therefore, focus on clarity, not on getting results. The results will come according to their own rhythm and timing,” he says.
Ask yourself better questions to know what you want
Be driven by feelings of happiness, love, joy, peace, happiness and excitement. Ask yourself – what will make me happy, what will make me feel alive?
Meditate and go within. Explore what moves you and what doesn’t. Ask yourself – what am I wasting time on and what do I ought to spend time doing?
Imagine yourself having lived your entire life, and ask – What would I want to have experienced in my lifetime? What is it that I don’t want to miss out in life when I die
What would I like to experience in my life just for the thrill of it
What am I copying from others and which desire is my own
Complete these sentences for yourself: Wouldn’t it be nice if …., or If only I could …
At the end of this exercise when you have listed down some of your goals, make yourself accountable to taking action and achieving them. Close your eyes and imagine what it would take for you to do to achieve your desire and what it would feel like if you already accomplished it.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian writer, therapist and health instructor.