Here is Part 3 of my five-part “Unleash Your Potential” blog series. If you missed Part 2, click here. It’s NFL training camp 2012 and the media is clamoring to talk to Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3). As he stands in front of his locker, a simple statement posted there, “KNOW YOUR WHY” captures the attention of a local reporter. “What’s that about?” he asks Griffin.
RG3 replies that each team member has to know his “why” and also the “why” of the guys around him. If you have a “why,” it makes you more willing to sacrifice for those around you because you know their purpose, he says. Clarity is a byproduct of “KNOW YOUR WHY.” It seems simple but how many of us think about it and can articulate it? Why do you do what you do? Why do you spend 82,000 hours doing it? That is how many hours the average person works after college until retirement. If you aren’t clear on the “why” then those 82,000 hours are going to be slow and painful. Do you know your own why? The why of your colleagues you work beside? The why of the organization you work for? The “why” creates clarity. Clarity helps us to connect with others, and maybe even ourselves. It guides what we say “yes” to and “no” to in our lives. It allows us to be intentional about where we spend our time and our energy when it comes to relationships and responsibilities.
Sometimes it can be hard to say “no” and sometimes we have a tendency to drain our energy by investing in the wrong things and wrong people. Clarity makes it easier to act with intention. When I think of clarity, I picture summers spent on the lake in Michigan, looking through the clear water to the very bottom. The rocks might be 20 feet deep, but you can see them clearly through the depths. Clarity allows you to see deep down. I think of the rocks as our foundations in life—career, family, faith… whatever it may be for you.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Sometimes it’s tough to sort out; tough to see without clarity. How do we get clear? Start by asking yourself “why” more often. Be intentional about identifying the priorities in your life. Define what success in each of those areas looks like for you. If you need a reminder, take a cue from RG3. Tape a sticky note on your desk that reminds you to KNOW YOUR WHY. Clarity will follow.
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.