He sat staring at the fork in the road. Right or left? A choice must be made, but the lack of clarity was causing the choice to feel impossible. Choose right and it’s predictable but miserable. Choose left and it’s unknown but the thought of it is energizing. But he was overcome by fear and stood there at life’s fork in the road paralyzed. How could he gain the clarity to know what to choose? To be confident that his decision would be one he is proud of in the future? So he did something powerful. He asked himself 3 questions. Questions have a way of unlocking clarity within our minds. Ultimately he had to make this call, and he would live with the consequences, positive or negative, of his decision. The 3 questions he asked gave him the clarity to make a decision he was confident in.
Clarity. It is such a gift when we have, and a stress when we don’t.
Clarity can shift us from stress to strength. From confusion to confidence. From insecurity to empowerment. From fear to focus.
So what do we need to do to find that kind of clarity for our life?
Over the past few years I have been blessed to learn from excellent leaders across industries. Leaders of business, families, teams, and causes. Leaning in to find out how they find the clarity that allows them to thrive.
And after all the learning I have synthesized what I learned, and am going to share with you:
We need to identify our Focus.
And here is what I mean by Focus…Focus by definition is "A central point, as of attraction, attention or activity."
What is the central point for your life?
Our Focus, or central point, is a summation of three key questions - applicable for individuals, teams and organizations alike - that provides clarity to live life with more intention and less stress.
If your Focus was a math equation it would be:
Why (Purpose) + What (Mission) + Who (Audience) = Focus
While the equation is simple, it is the process of answering the questions that brings the power.
Let’s get started...
1. Purpose: Why do I exist?
There are two major moments in your life - the moment you are born and the moment you find out why. I didn’t coin this, but whoever did had an insightful perspective on the value of understanding why you exist.
Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why says…
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?” - Simon Sinek
So why do you exist? What purpose do you live life for?
2. Mission: What is your unique gift?
Our mission is strongest when we identify our unique gift to impact the world. It is the activity or action that brings you energy and others often comment on. People marvel because it is a unique gift. You have natural abilities and skills that bring you energy and others couldn’t do them as well no matter how hard they tried.
What are yours? What are your unique gifts that bring you energy?
Having a hard time thinking of what they are? Here are a few tips to spark your thinking…
If a friend called you right now and asked for your help to do _____, you would be really energized to say yes?
What is something you do that you get lost in and love every minute of, even if it is challenging.
On what do you often receive the most compliments?
Call someone you trust, who knows you well and ask them what they think you are uniquely good at.
Question 3: Who do you want to impact?
Who or what groups of people matter most to you?
“You can’t please everyone,” they say. And it’s true. Our time is not refundable. You can spend it any way you want… ONE time. Therefore, every “yes” we give for our time represents thousands of “no’s” and every “no” we give represents an intentional “yes”.
So often we spend more of our time and energy investing in the people that don’t mean a lot to us. We give our best side to people that may not be in our lives long term, and ironically then the people that mean the most to us get our leftovers.
Time is not refundable. You can spend them any way you want. Once.
So who or what groups matter most to you and need to be receiving your “yeses”?
When we have clarity on who our audience should be, it allows us to filter our “yeses” and “no’s” with greater intention.
Finding your Focus by knowing your why, what and who will bring a clarity that guides you intentionally through seasons of cruising, crossroads, or being stalled.
Once we have our answers to these questions it is time to marry them together in a concise and compelling statement that is memorable and motivational to us.
Those who want to dig deeper, we will have a virtual workshop coming up Spring 2021 and you can register here to hold your spot.