So as I was saying in my last blog, I have been purposely diminishing the use of my iPhone in an attempt to get some focus back inside my brain. Well, I’m not sure that I actually have a lot of focus back, but I found something else—clarity.
You might argue that these are very similar things. Merriam-Webster might even argue with me on the same point. Focus: a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding. Clarity: the quality or state of being clear. These sound very similar. What you don’t see are the 11 other definitions for the noun “focus,” plus the 7 definitions for the verb.
Focus is a verb to me, even as a noun. It implies action, work, doing something. Clarity is more observational than participatory, and it’s usually not as attractive to me because of that. I frequently find myself in a cloud of dust caused by the flurry of my own activity. From time to time, I also find myself teetering precariously on the edge of a cliff that I couldn’t see for the aforementioned cloud of dust. I very rarely find myself running off of the cliff like Wile E. Coyote, but I’ve been there, and I don’t suspend in mid-air, I just drop.
My point is, when I’m in the cloud, I always feel like I’m getting somewhere. The problem is, I can’t see where I’m going.
I like this painting. I want to be this guy. Not all the time, maybe just once a week. I can’t abandon my cloud—it’s where I live, at least right now. But I can stick my head out every so often and get my bearings back. I’ve had a chance to look around lately, and what I see is something that I’ve badly needed to see. I’ve gotten a lot done in the last year or so, I’m really pleased with all that I’ve accomplished, and I desperately needed to pause and appreciate it for a moment—just take a look around and enjoy the view. Turns out it’s the most productive thing I’ve done in awhile.