A couple of weeks ago I had a great conversation with a friend about finding the clarity to see new opportunities. Thinking back to when I made my decision to leave my corporate career, I really could not have ever imagined the journey that I have been on for the last four years. Although I had my reasons for leaving and some sort of plan of what I might do, I was not even close to what actually happened.
During that conversation two weeks ago I realized that it is quite hard to see what’s possible when your mind is preoccupied with distractions (i.e. your current circumstance or situation, related stress, etc.). It’s almost as if when it comes to our mental capacity, we only have so much “screen space.” It’s like we have a 13″ – there’s only so much you can fit in it.
So let’s look at few aspects of this analogy and how it compares to finding clarity.
When you are in a situation or circumstance that does not inspire you or just doesn’t make you happy, your screen fills up with stress, dissatisfaction, thoughts of getting out, and eventually fear of making a change for the better. Fear because we are hard-wired to fear change and the unknown. While some may seem more spontaneous and risky in their behavior, they too experience fear – the difference is they have learned to control, embrace, and convert it to enthusiasm and positive curiosity.
When your 13″ screen is all filled up, you simply cannot see opportunities and possibilities – even the ones right in front of you. It feels as if there may not be anything waiting on the other side if you take the plunge. By the way, this can go for career, relationship, and/or personal circumstances. However, what I found after I left my career circumstance was that all of a sudden I had new ideas, I was having different conversations, and I considered new possibilities (some out of necessity so that I could earn a living). It’s as if leaving my career at the time closed all the open windows on my 13″ screen, rebooted my computer, and left me with a blank slate. I was open to anything and everything.
Here’s where the second aspect of the analogy comes in. Once my screen was free to have new windows open in it, it was as if my screen got upgraded to 15, then 16, then 17″. When the negative stress and feelings of fear went away, I felt like more was possible than I had ever thought before. All of a sudden I was meeting new like-minded people with their own awesome stories and ideas. And this is when things got really good. As I explored my own strengths and interests, now I felt like I was taking on additional screens. One screen was for my passion in education, another screen for student leadership development, and yet another for neuropsychology. It’s as if I was now running multiple apps that all interface with each other on multiple screens. Everything was coming together and connecting in ways I never thought possible.
Operating with more apps and on more screens, my other capacities began to upgrade as well. I felt happier, stronger, healthier, more intelligent, more passionate, more outgoing, etc. Today, four years later, I see much clearer than ever before. Here’s the best part though, I haven’t even reached full clarity and I don’t know if I ever will. However, every year, every month, every day I feel like I have just a little more clarity than I did before.
If you are in a circumstance that isn’t working for you, consider finding some clarity. It won’t come from staying in the bad situation – even if you know all of this now. The clarity can only come when close all the negative windows on your screen and start fresh again.
Maybe it’s time for a reboot in your life.