"What Happens in Vagueness, Stays in Vagueness…."
In a recent MEA workshop titled “The Roadmap to Your Soul’s Expression,” guest faculty member Ken Daigle unleashed this quote that felt like a thousand white doves emerging from a gigantic cage. Ken’s superb point was that naming and claiming your soul’s desire is an essential first step to creating your ideal life. Vagueness doesn’t help.
Though it might sound like a marketing line from a place that doesn’t resemble MEA, the statement is profoundly true, or as Brené Brown puts it, “Clear is kind.” Unclear is unkind.
By any definition, clarity leads to prosperity in all its forms (not just the kind you see in Vegas).
My uncle Bruce was a successful commercial real estate developer and broker. I was lucky enough to intern for him and his top two salespeople for a year when I was 20. This was 1980-81, when Silicon Valley was still full of orange groves. As my mentor, Bruce used to ask me all kinds of questions, but the stumper was this, “How much do you want to earn annually by the time you’re 25?” I had no idea how to answer that, so I just vaguely said, “Enough to make me happy,” which I thought was a perfectly fine answer, except for Bruce, who drilled down further:
“How will you know when you’re happy?” “Will you be happy if you’re making less than everyone else around you?” “What kinds of things do you want to have in your life?” “Will you be happy with $50,000 or $500,000 annually in five years….or is it $5 million?” Bruce dreamed big.
My lovable uncle was putting me through my American Dream paces. But, as a bit of a Henry David Thoreau in a Glengarry Glen Ross habitat that year, his questions didn’t land with me. I had a bit of an aversion to money, but I did appreciate his suggestion that I needed to be clear about what I wanted. I needed to set my intentions and then create actionable steps.
So, at 20, my clarity in life didn’t revolve around money. It was about traveling overseas to study, teaching a real estate course at Stanford to my fellow undergrads, trying out magic mushrooms for the first time, being accepted to the Stanford Graduate School of Business straight out of undergrad, and meeting my future wife in college. I was very fortunate that I achieved those first four intentions, and, as many of you know, I didn’t come close to meeting that fifth intention. LOL.
In sum, when our thinking and intentions are vague, our actions lack certainty or precision as well.