We all have a dream, a purpose, an idea of where we want to be. But how many of us know exactly what this would look like and feel like? This clarity is the first and most essential step to help you live your dreams.
I had seen the phrase “clarity is key” a lot, but it never really sunk in until I noticed a beautiful metallic bookmark I have. One part of the metal had the word “dream” in it. The other had the word “vividly.” After noticing this, I paused and held the bookmark in my hand as a realization dawned on me.
It’s not enough to just dream. We have to dream vividly. This is clarity.
Why Is Clarity Essential?
Imagine that your life is a roadmap. Most of us have a vague idea of where we want to end up, like being “happy,” “recovered,” or “fulfilled.” This gives us a ballpark of where we want to travel, but it doesn’t give us an exact destination. Often, we feel these general ideas are all we need to live our dreams.
Truth be told, you most likely need an exact destination in order to live your dreams. If you were trying to end up somewhere and you didn’t know the address of our destination, would you ever get there? Probably not. All of our dreams require a clear and crisp vision of our future destination.
If you want to be happy, first create a clear vision of what happiness means for you. If it’s recovery you’re aiming for, what does that look like? Maybe it’s fulfillment you want. That looks different for every person. What is your unique picture of fulfillment?
How we get to a destination is always uncertain, but we’ll always get there when we know where we’re headed. There might be detours, obstacles, challenges, or delays along our road trip of life. But, if you have a clear idea of where you want to end up, you’ll get there no matter what.
It’s impossible to live your dreams without this clarity. It’s so essential, in fact, that it’s the first step in all of my coaching. We even talk about this in the free introductory call (which, by the way, you can sign up for right here)!
What Does Clarity Really Mean?
The most beautiful thing about all of us is our individuality. We all share some commonalities, but how those manifest for us is entirely unique. Most of us want to feel loved, content, stable, and well. What these look like for us, in our mind’s eye, is as individual as our DNA.
Clarity is all about figuring out what this contentment, stability, or wellness would look like in your life. The crisp and vivid details will help you live your dreams, since you’ll be able to paint a stunning picture in your mind of your ideal destination. It will make it easier to aim for.
Above all, remember that it’s okay if your vision of how you want to live your dreams changes. As we evolve and follow life’s course, it’s natural to adapt, grow, and adjust. This might narrate both our journey and our ideal destination for now and, if it changes, that’s okay.
If you notice your dreams changing, flow with that. Reclaim clarity over the new you and keep going along your path. And, most importantly, don’t let an uncertain future stop you from dreaming vividly now.
Related article: Change the World by Helping One Person
The Importance of Unconventional Dreaming
I believe that one of the biggest shortcomings of the personal development industry is how exclusive it is for those of us living with mental illnesses and/or disabilities. Many of us want the same goals—love, wellness, contentment, peace. How this looks for us living with illness might be unconventional, though, so we’re often overlooked because of this.
Aim to be unconventional, unique, and creative. If you live with any chronic condition, your idea of wellness might mean being able to get out of bed each morning when you have depression. It might mean pursuing a passion even when you have PTSD flashbacks every day. Perhaps wellness means you feel abundant and full of life even though your body is physically very sick.
Above all, clarity means seeking the idea of the best life for you.
Unconventional wellness is beautiful. It is just as valid as any traditional type of wellness touted by the billion dollar industries we are all too often excluded from. Live your dreams and live them authentically. They’re perfect for you, and that’s all that matters.
How Clarity Empowers You to Live Your Dreams
Clarity gives you a clear goal to focus on, so it becomes easier to craft your lifestyle, healing, and decisions around this. Clarity is also something that feels more real. You can start to realize that, even in the face of hardship or illness, you can live your dreams. The unique path for you becomes validated and you begin to see it as something truly possible. All the potential of your vision can be felt. Once this happens, things will miraculously start falling into place because your eyes are open to the specific opportunities which can empower you to live your dreams.
When you have clarity, you are also able to objectively examine your current life and see if your actions are pulling you towards or away from your ideal life. This helps propel you even further down your journey.
Since your clarity is unique to you, it doesn’t mean you have to conform to traditional wellness or success. Getting out of bed every day is a totally valid way to live your dreams and, if that’s your goal, you can look and see if your current actions are helping you get there.
An Exercise to Find Your Clarity
Here’s a simple and easy practice to develop clarity. Trying this is the first step to start living your dreams, so give it a shot!
First, write down your basic goals. These can be broad, like feeling loved, having financial security, not feeling like your mental illness runs your life, and so on.
Second, write down the details. For each broad goal you have, get specific. What exactly does financial security mean to you? Don’t be afraid to write down a dollar amount! If you’re seeking inner peace, what would that feel like in your normal daily routine? Ideally, write as much as you can about this. Set a timer for at least 10 minutes and spend that time brainstorming the specifics.
Finally, compile them all together into one vision. You can write a long journal entry dated a few years in the future, meditate on this vision and pretend you’re living it, draw a sketch of this, or otherwise live your dreams in your mind. Remember, don’t just dream. Dream vividly.
Once you have this clear picture, keep reviewing it as often as you can. This might mean re-reading the journal entry daily or doing a meditation once a week. Aim for what you know you can do, but push your comfort zone a bit.
Clarity makes things feel real, so it’s okay if a bit of nervousness comes up! Keep trying. You have all you need to live your dreams and make these goals a reality.
Next Steps to Help You Live Your Dreams
After you’ve found this clarity you can objectively look at your current life. Keep an eye out for things that aren’t congruent with your dreams and make plans to eliminate them. Pick one to start with and make an action plan, right now, about how you’re going to work on overcoming that.
It’s just as important to expand your life, too. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities that can further these goals, ways that you can better focus the time you have to work on them, and boost the things that are already helping you.
Shifting priorities like this is possible for each of us. It’s about judiciously using the time we have to get one step closer to our goals. Whether you have ten minutes or four hours to work on this, give it all you can. It will be worth it, I promise.
Now I’m super curious to know—what’s one priority you’re going to change in your life? Add it in the comments!