For me personally clarity is one of these qualities I constantly strive for. And if you are anything like me you know that a clear mind is not only the best tool you can have to work with, but also the basis for living a balanced, conscious life.
A clear mind means there aren’t any more open questions, there isn’t anymore noise and tumult going on in your head. It’s a great state to be in and my preferred way to live, at least nowadays. That’s why I value simplicity so much, which is a way of keeping clarity on top of everything.
Clarity comes when we think simple, yet intelligent and powerful, and are aware of what is really important to us and let go of all the rest. To reach total clarity in your mind you can use different techniques:
1. No Mind. Clear Mind.
A clear mind in the sense of “no mind” is the absence of thought. It is part of mindfulness and spirituality. It means there is no particular content present in the mind. It is empty. What shines through when there is no noise in the mind is known as the state of presence. Mediation aims to get into this state.
There is a zen story that explains emptying the mind in order to attain clarity:
A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” (Read more here…)
When we strive for clarity, it often helps to stop, break out of our current reality and get out of our stream of thoughts. It creates some kind of freshness and openness for new insights to enter our mind.
2. Clarity = Free From Disturbance
Per definition clarity means being free from disturbance. Free from disturbance translates into your stream of thoughts being free from unnecessary noise and therefore clear and focused. This usually means focused on one thing.
Solitude is a way to get away from any disturbance. And solitude also has the power to clean up your thought processes. It’s a time to self-reflect on yourself and your life. So if you seek clarity, make some time for solely yourself.
3. Be Clear on What You Want
If you are fuzzy about what you want, your results will be fuzzy as well. Clarity about what you want will only come if you start to define what it really is. Answer the question “What do I want most right now?”
Set one clear and written goal from there. Then develop a simple plan to get there and start with the first step today!
4. Make a Real Decision
What is comes down to is for you to make a decision. A real decision will create clarity for you. The word decision is derived from Latin and means “a cutting off” – and that’s what it really is. If you make a decision you go for one thing only, and you deliberately cut off all the others that could’ve been the way to go as well. But you thought about it and the time has come to decide. You choose the one thing and go forward from there.
Remember, decisions are almost never perfect or easy to make. If it would be obvious it wouldn’t be a decision but more a natural step to take next. Decisions are not here to make the obvious step, a real decision is a conscious choice of one option, more often than not just in order to get ahead and make progress.
Decisions are a powerful tool to create clarity and to free a confused and overwhelmed mind. so make your decision on what is bothering you and move on.
5. Let it Go. Let it Be.
Letting go can be a tough thing to do. But sometimes it’s the only real option there is. Accepting something and letting it be. That’s almost the better description of it: to let it be.
When you are overwhelmed with thoughts spinning in your head, try this: Say to yourself to let it be for a moment. Ultimately it doesn’t matter that much. It is probably not THAT important as you make it to be. This may help you to unknot your brain and to instantly change your state to a more resourceful one.
From that point on it may be much easier to focus again and find a solution that works for you.