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Clarity: Personally, Professionally & Politically

I’m currently making my way through Atomic Habits by James Clear. He has been one of the blogging voices I've followed over the past several years. The premise of his blog and book often lie around "becoming 1% better everyday". A comment Clear made in a talk has my attention at the moment, "Many people think they fail because lack of motivation when what they lack is clarity. Making your implementation intentions explicit increases your chances of success. In other words, be explicit about when, where, and how you are going to exercise your habit.”

The other day I met with a friend who has has worked in state and local politics. He told me one of the hard and frustrating parts of the political sphere is meeting with citizens and movements who have passion for an initiative or cause but often lack clarity around ultimate goals or steps they want to see taken to achieve their desired outcome. Their passion for change often had not materialized into what they were working on now and towards in the future.

As I sit here in my 7th week of unemployment, 7 weeks before 2019, the day after midterm elections, I am left thinking based on the comments of James Clear and my friend that greater clarity in my life should be my focus.

How would I like to grow personally over the next year? What habits would I like to add and remove? What investments would l like to make in myself? Once I have them lined out, do I have a step-by-step plan? Is it simple or does it need to be further clarified?

I have spent the several past weeks creating greater definition around what I want for my professional future but I intend to hold myself accountable to get even more clear on this front.

Where do I begin on politics? In this fractious political time, I need to be come more clear on now what I believe but what steps I’d like to see taken to achieve them. In an era when lines in the sand are clearly draw, I also need to reflect on the maligned but important word compromise. What am I willing to give up in my stance in order to get something. This is what working “across the aisle” looks like. Giving up something in order to get something. We are all primed to fight right now but its clear that hand-to-hand combat is often resulting in little more than bruised egos and greater division. The hardest (and least sexy) work is finding a way forward rather than having a winner-take-all mentality.

What empathy and dignity are we willing to afford our opponents in order to make progress? This is the hardest thing to do of all.

Go Forth Boldly

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