The fog of battle is very real in our everyday world. It seems that the fog comes in often and prevents us from clearly seeing where we are going. Fear can creep in as we become concerned that we might crash against the reef, or become lost beyond all hope.
Put these rules into effect and you will become a master at finding your way out of the fog. Who knows – you may even learn to enjoy it as you try to get more mental clarity in your life.
7 Rules That Will Help You Gain Mental Clarity in Life
1. Work out a plan for your dream life.
Even without the fog, it can be easy to get lost and forget what you really wanted in life. I have heard countless stories of men and women, who began working incredibly hard so that they could support their families, only to discover that when they reached the top, they were alone. In their drive for success, they left their reason for the work somewhere along the path.
Create a plan that takes in all of who you are. Imagine your life in later days. Where are you living? Who is living with you? What did you do for a career? What adventures did you experience? What is the character within you? What are you a subject matter expert on?
Tell the story as if it has already happened. Create a winning routine for five years. Don’t forget that your five-year plan needs to point to that ultimate goal. Live out your plan for one year, and then have a review three months from now.
DREAM! As you create your plan, imagine that you are overcoming whatever obstacles that might come your way. There might be something that is blocking your mental clarity. Dream of a plan to overcome it – and then go do it!
2. Work on your plan.
Plans are great, and many take the time to come up with super, intricate details. But what good is it, if you don’t even begin?
Go out and get started on making your dream plan a reality. Sure the fog will come and cloud your mental clarity, but with the dream in place, you will find your direction. Let me share a secret with you: Everyone’s dream is done one step at a time. Even in the fog, you can take one step. Go do it!
3. Make a list of 1-2 items that are MUST-do today for success.
I wish that I could tell you where I read this concept first, but it is lost to memory. For quite awhile, I had long “to-do” lists. Then, I would feel like a failure when I fell short of the last things I had to complete. The day ends and I still have plenty to accomplish.
But I found that doing just one or two things can make the day a success. If I get those done, I’m already a rock star in my own mind.
4. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Almost everyone has watched the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While George is lost in a fog, others are ready to rally around and come to his rescue in the end. Why were they willing? George had treated them well and honored them throughout his life.
The same is true for us in the real world. Treat others with dignity and respect. Take time to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Smile and open doors for people. Ultimately, you will reap the rewards of showing respect.
5. Always tell the truth.
While there are many difficulties in lying, one is that you have to remember what you told to whom. Keeping your lies straight can create fog that you simply don’t need in your life.
Take the time to be polite – but do tell your wife that you don’t care for that dessert. Take a deep breath and confess to your boss that you were stealing paper clips and that you are returning them. Don’t cover up the truth; simply share it and discover a whole new world of clarity.
6. Pay attention.
Mental clarity comes when you keep your eyes wide open. Watch the world around you. Too many people today are missing important moments as they look into their phones and scroll through life.
Take a moment and look at those around you. You should notice when someone has a new hairstyle, or is trying to dress better. Just recently, my daughter turned 18. It seemed just last week that she was sitting on my lap and I was feeding her a bottle. Now, she is a grown woman on her own.
Lives come and go. Pay attention to the details and you will see clearly through the fog.
7. Dozens of eyes are better than two.
Make as many friends as possible. I can guarantee that you are going to experience life events that you have not imagined. Illnesses and injuries are going to be part of it. Opportunities that were not a part of your original plan may come your way. What do you do with these things?
A wise man once said, “In the multitude of counselors there is great wisdom.” When situations arise that are confusing and make you feel uncertain, wise counselors can make all of the difference. Surround yourself with many and you will gain mental clarity.
There was a time in my life where I would say, “Now I’ve seen it all.” But then something unimaginable would happen that would make me question my mental clarity. Here’s an example:
One day at the shelter that I used to work at in Washington, I arrived to see a tank in the parking lot. It turns out that the place was a good staging area for the SWAT team to visit our neighbors. I went home, shared pictures, and told my wife that I had seen it all.
Just a couple of months later, I arrived to see a camel in the parking lot. These were NOT life-changing experiences, but it goes to show that life is full of surprises. We need to not only be OK with the fog, but learn to enjoy it, too.
After all, what would life be like if everything was predictable?