How to Gain Clarity on What Matters Most

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“Open your mind, allow your feelings to be expressed, to be pushed out, and your heart will neither break nor burst, but be a free-flowing channel of the life energy in your soul.” — Neale Donald Walsch The philosopher Søren Kie...

“Open your mind, allow your feelings to be expressed, to be pushed out, and your heart will neither break nor burst, but be a free-flowing channel of the life energy in your soul.” — Neale Donald Walsch

The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that life is not a problem to be solved; it’s a mystery to be experienced.

Contained within that message lies a conceivable reality if we will embrace it.

The principle underlying most self-help guidance is to surrender control on how circumstances play out. The need to influence conditions is an illusion since we have limited power.

What if underneath our desire for control lies the need for safety?

It’s widely held that what we want and what we need are distinctly opposed. Upon examination, we realise our desires are obscured by past conditioning to maintain a sense of security.

Yet open any news bulletin and you’ll see how little control we have within the natural order of events. Jamie Smart writes in his book Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results, “In your waking experience of reality, your mind continuously creates and perceives a world simultaneously… So well that you don’t feel your mind doing the creating.”

The creating he refers to functions beneath the surface of the subconscious mind. Through the neuroscience of freewill, it takes 300ms to evoke a response from your nervous system, demonstrating the updating of working memory. At 500ms we are thinking about what we saw for the first time. In the context of free will, your mind is one step ahead of your nervous system before you intend to act.

So what does this mean when gaining clarity on what matters?

The mind is notorious for pulling us in different directions.

To pierce the essence of our existence, we surrender our self-fabricated story and allow the truth to emerge, beneath the rubble of misperception. Yet, for many to discard their long-held beliefs is painful as throwing money down the drain.

To gain clarity we connect with our soul nature which knows the best path to take and uncover our truth along the way.

The late Dr. David Hawkins spoke of finding one’s truth and living it as best we can. Living your truth may oppose others and even annoy them. Yet to support a distorted view of reality because it supplicates to their needs is deleterious to our human potential.

“Living an authentic life is probably the most challenging thing a human being can endeavour to undertake because it is not the way of the world, but it is the way of the heart that connects you to what is real, what is meaningful, and what is eternal,” affirms author and teacher Dennis Merritt Jones in Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be.

I find it helpful to re-examine my purpose when I am pulled in different directions. Do I want to pursue my deepest desires or be at the mercy of others while living an inauthentic life?

“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.” — John Keats

Ultimately, I want to live my calling, my purpose and truth as much as life will allow me. This does not mean I won’t encounter situations to test my resolve. Knowing life is a mystery to be experienced, I trust as long as I take daily action toward my dreams, I am moving in the right direction.

It’s apparent that life offers us no assurances.

Clarity is apparent the moment we direct our inner compass toward that which we long for, instead of waiting for external conditions to dictate our future.

Many people believe life is done to them instead of lived through them. This subjective view of reality diminishes their personal power. Life invites us to take proper action and matches it with the right opportunities to advance us to the next stage.

The Determinist view states that life functions within the container of a self-organising system. Experience and wisdom has taught me to stay attentive to the signs and symbols which play out in my life. These signs lead me to connect with my inner wisdom and correct my course if I veer off direction.

How will I know when I veer off course?

My actions become mechanical and devoid of inspiration. I find myself stuck instead of Navigating my life’s purpose. Problems arise and as Albert Einstein reminds us, the same mind that creates those problems, is not the same mind which solves them.

“Attention is valuable because it’s not just an act of focusing your mind on a single point, it is the bringing of your very essence, your soul—the most valuable thing you have—fully into the moment, to perceive with clarity,” affirms author and intuitive counsellorPenney Peirce.

To discover what matters most means to live the questions we put forth. What you believe was once important, is an incomplete perception of reality pulling you in a direction not of your choosing.

You can be pulled by your troubles or you can lead with your solutions.

The latter invites you to find your own North Star as author Martha Beck calls us to discover. To have life imposed upon us prevents living an authentic life. Our authenticity is the one true freedom awarded us at the moment of conception. It is a carte blanche with no conditions other than we embrace it wholeheartedly.

I enjoy psychotherapist David Richo’s perspective in his book, The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them, “You can learn to trust that there is a sane, wise, and nurturant resource within you. In fact, the more you know what you really want, the less desperately you need it. This happens because your self-esteem, confidence, and clarity grow.”

It is with that knowing we arrive full circle to Søren Kierkegaard’s sentiments to embrace the mysteries of life through experience.

Only then can we gain clarity on what matters most amid the pursuit of excellence.

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