“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

Cal Newport, Professor at Georgetown University

Image from Unsplash by Claire Mueller

Someone once said that life is like a toilet paper roll — the more sheets you use the faster it spins.

Let’s say you begin life with 1,000 sheets. That’s 12 sheets per year, one for each month. How many of your sheets are left given your current age?

When you take a look back over your life, how much of it is a blur — or worse yet — was wasted on people and things that did not really matter?

With this hindsight, what intentional adjustments do you intend to make moving forward?


Create two list for yourself:

  1. What truly matters
  2. What doesn’t

With this clarity, sort your items into the categories of More, Less, Start, and Stop, to guide your future efforts.

Consider sharing your intentions with a family member, friend, colleague, or coach to support you now and in the future.

Sometimes just stopping makes space for something new to show up

Sometimes just stopping makes space for something new to show up.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne

One thing that stood out on our recent return from Florida was the reckless drivers we saw everywhere. Among their most notable traits was how rarely these motorists ever came to a full stop at stop signs on side streets.

Perhaps they saw the red hexagons as mere suggestions, and rolled right through.

Stopping completely has considerable value in both driving and in life. It gives us time to not only look both ways but to also look within.

Assessing our realities, clarifying our intended destinations, and then proceeding with care seems like a wise way to go.


Where in your life and world do you roll through the stop signs?

How would applying the brakes more often — and more fully — create a space for something new to show up?

Muddy water let stand will clear

“Muddy water let stand will clear.”

—Tao Te Ching, Classic Chinese Text

Image of feet jumping in muddy water

Image from Unsplash by Roopak Ravi

Is your mind muddy?

To what degree are your thoughts, emotions, and feelings stirred up by the rapid, moving waters of daily events?

At such times, it seems impossible to see even inches ahead, and we often can feel paralyzed or lost.

Today’s quote – a Chinese proverb – suggests we can all find greater clarity by slowing down and letting those muddy issues blocking our view settle out, so we can once again move forward.

Over the past two years I have instituted the daily practice of a 10-minute meditation, using an app called CALM. This resource continues to get better with additional tools, including their popular sleep stories to clear and settle one’s mind at bedtime.


Check out CALM at the website or at the app store. Please consider replying to this post with the mind-clearing strategies that work best for you.

You don’t need clarity on the rest of your life

“You don’t need clarity on the rest of your life, just on what’s next in your life.”

—Sam Horn, Motivational Keynote Speaker

Image created in Canva

In my Coaching Discovery process, I ask prospective clients to rate their level of agreement, on a scale of one (low) to five (high), with the following statement:

“I have a clear view of where I am and where I want to go in life.”

Virtually no one rates themselves five, and most give themselves a score of three or less.

Sam Horn suggests, on one of her recent posts, that we can all use what she calls “The Four I’s” to add greater clarity to navigating a more fulfilling and successful life. They are:

  • Instincts: What does your gut say?
  • Interests: What are your talents, skills, and unique abilities?
  • Integrity: What life choices are most aligned with your core values and priorities?
  • Initiative: How can you proactively reach out to an individual or organization that is doing work you admire and respect?


Explore The Four I’s with a coach, close friend, or professional colleague whose perspective you value to help you see more clearly what’s next for you.

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

—The Matrix

Image of a stone maze by the ocean

Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

How crystal clear is your life path?

How certain are you of your personal or professional priorities?

How often do you not only experience clarity in these areas, but also share your intentions with others in your world?

Give yourself a Grade – A, B, C or a score of 100%, 90%, 80% on down, on the “Walk Your Talk” scale. Make sure to be fair and objective in your assessment.

How pleased are you with your rating?


In what situations is it time, personally or professionally, to put on your working shoes – maybe even running shoes – to pursue the path destined for you? If you need a bit of support with this exercise, consider spending more time with people who always walk their talk and consistently travel their own life paths.

The Purpose of the Call

“Before picking up the phone, pause for a moment and think about the purpose of the call.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hand holding a smartphone

Image from Unsplash

How many business meetings do you attend on a daily basis? If you gave each a grade of A, B, or C, or rated them from 1-10 with 10 being outstanding, how would they score?

If you are like many professionals, dissatisfying meetings can be the bane of your work days. Books and other resources on this topic abound, many of which I encourage you to explore.

Consider, too, that we all have more meetings than we think—we call them phone calls. In many cases, we don’t prepare for them half as well as our sub-optimal face-to-face meetings.


Today, and in the weeks ahead, make a microresolution to use the phrase the reason for my call is… and see if the clarity of purpose improves the value and outcomes of your conversations.