When was the last time you heard someone say, “Have you seen the water in the West Hudson River?? It’s dirty and amazing!”  No? Oh. Well what about, “Man I love the sound quality in these cheap headphones I use… it’s so garbled!” Hmm.. nope to that too? Okay okay… what about when you’re on the phone with someone and they have you on speaker phone as they drive down the road with their window down. Love that? Nah. Of course not. It makes me want to pull my hair out, and I’m already bald.

We all love clarity. Whether it be crystalline waters, crisp high-fidelity music in our ears, or the ability to simply hear and comprehend every word of a phone conversation – we want things clear. We crave clarity because clarity makes it easier for us to comprehend/interpret, and interact with whatever the medium is.

Clarity is just as important in any organization/pursuit/product/you-name-it. But what does that even mean? What are we trying to get “clear” on? Clarity means we know who we are, and what matters to us. And in so doing, clarity equips us to make decisions based on those things that we say matter. Clarity also gives us the freedom to say no to the things that really don’t (or shouldn’t) matter.

Clarity is a balance between our goals and our passions. It must be both because if it’s a goal that’s not attached to a passion, our motivation to achieve it can wane faster. If it’s a passion that’s not attached to a goal, we might be expending valuable energy on something that’s ultimately completely useless.

So – marry your passions and goals, get clear, and then you’ll be ready to effectively move into step two: strategy.