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How to Gain Clarity and Boost Your Life


Clar-i-ty: the quality of being coherent and intelligible.
"for the sake of clarity, each of these strategies is dealt with separately" the quality of being certain or definite.
"It was clarity of purpose that he needed,"  the quality of transparency or purity.

"The crystal clarity of water"
“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”
— John Keats

Two firemen go into a forest to put out a small fire.
Afterward, they stop to rest. The face of one is all smeared with black, while the other man’s face is completely spotless.

Which of the two will wash his face?
That’s a silly question — the one with the dirty face, you might think.  But you are wrong.

The fireman with the dirty face will look at the other one and assume that he looks like him. And, vice versa, the man with the clean face will see his colleague’s
face smeared in with black and think: “I must be dirty too. I’d better wash it.”

This parable by Paulo Coelho illustrates how people is distorted mirrors. What others reflect on you, is not what you want.

Looking outside is deceiving, always look within instead.
Therefore, regaining clarity will boost your life.
Fears Make You Hazy “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” — William Blake

“I’m afraid of being fired.”What we do is a critical part of who we are. That’s why most people fear to lose their jobs. It’s part of their identity.

But what about what we don’t do?    What you procrastinate or put on hold, defines you too; determining the person you will never become.

People are okay limiting their potential, but not okay with losing their jobs. I struggle with this paradox when facilitating team workshops. Some folks prefer to
silence their best ideas rather than push back or ask for what they want.

That’s why people don’t drive change at work: they are afraid of being fired.  Being a former CEO myself, I heard that same excuse — even from senior executives — when encouraging folks to take more risks. Trying new things, same as making decisions, requires courage, not power.

“He who holds me by a thread is not strong; the thread is strong.”
–Antonio Porchia

What you are afraid of becomes your master. Fear takes your story away from you, making someone else the screenwriter of your life.

One thing is losing your job; another is to be afraid of not finding a new one. The first depends on others (being fired) while the latter it’s on you (getting a new

What you hold on to makes you hazy. When you don’t own your destiny, you turn your fears into an excuse.

And lose perspective of what you want.
That’s what paralyzes most people: expecting someone else to make things happen for them, rather than being in charge.

You Won the Lottery. Now What?
“Definitions create conditions.”
― Alfred Korzybski

Most people use money as an excuse.
But what happens when you remove money from the equation?

Imagine you just won the lottery. The prize is 20 million dollars. What would you do now?

I’ve run this exercise many times, to help people overcome excuses and realize what they (really) want to do. Money is not the problem, lack of clarity is.
It’s hard to fight for what you don’t know you want.
The exercise has many iterations. I start adding “conditions” to cash the prize.

First, you must donate 5% to a charity of your preference. That’s a natural choice for most people. Who cares about giving away $1M when they can keep $19M?

Sounds like a great deal Things get more complicated as I start adding more rules.

You must commit to working for free at the non-profit you selected. At least five hours per week. Most people rethink their original choice. They want to be
thoughtful on where they’d spend their valuable time (remember they are millionaires).

Throwing money away feels easier than deciding where to spend your time.

The last round is when things get interesting.
That’s the biggest lesson. Your fears cloud your judgment, not (the lack of) money.

When you gain clarity, everything feels easier.
Seeing what you wish for makes excuses disappear. Knowing what you really want drives you into action. When you are busy accomplishing things, you don’t have time for excuses. You just stop listening to your fears and overthinking.

How to Find Clarity: Look Inside
“The more of me I be, the clearer I can see.”
― Rachel Archelaus

Don’t wait for clarity to come to you. Create a discipline of finding it. Eureka moments happen but are infrequent.

Look inside: that’s where the answers are.
Deepak Chopra recommends: “to examine your reality in here, which is where clarity can be found.”
The author outlines three key elements that make our life hazy:

• Confusion: this manifest as not setting clear priorities which contributes to making the path ahead less clear and you feeling indecisive.
• Distraction: this manifests as a hundred small things that pull your attention in every direction instead of the one you want.
• Disorganization: this manifests as a lack of orderly thinking that leads to being productive and creating concrete results.
If your goal is clarity, build a practice to focus on finding it.

“I take showers to think.” — J.R. Rim

Make time every day to let go of your thoughts and excuses; look inside. When things become hazy, I pause to reflect. Then I get ‘back to work’ feeling calmer,
more focused, and productive.

Here are some ways to get you started.
1. Eliminate excuses:  “Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.”
— Oscar Wilde

What would you do if you win the lottery?

Keep that spirit in mind. Lack of time (or money) is just an excuse. Increasing awareness of the reasons you use drives. When you know, you can act upon.
Stop waiting for the perfect moment to arrive. The best time to start something is always now.

2. Reduce distractions:
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
— Hans Hofmann

Distractions are reduced by getting better at focusing your attention. You are what you feed your mind.
What you watch, read, or who you hang out with — even what you eat —  determine your chances of success in life.

“Garbage in, garbage out.” — the saying goes.

If you fill your life with distractions, don’t expect to accomplish anything. I’m not advocating for cold showers, running at 4 AM, eating tofu while levitating or only reading Aristotle’s.

There are many shades of grays. Finding your balance drives clarity.

You achieve what you prepare yourself for.

3. Write your own destiny:
“A solid answer to everything is not necessary. Blurry concepts influence one to
focus, but postulated clarity influences arrogance.”
― Criss Jami

Your life’s purpose is important but setting smaller mundane goals is more attainable. And you’ll avoid overthinking.Sometimes not knowing something is the best form of clarity.

Knowing what drives your life, the impact you want to create, is important. But don’t let searching for your ‘perfect purpose’ hold you back, rather than forward.

To publish a book, you must write the chapters first. One at a time. The same happens with a chapter.

Writing the first paragraph is how you get started.

4. Clarify your priorities:
“For those who confuse you, recognize that their confusion is theirs and your
clarity is yours.”
― Barbara Marciniak

When you commit yourself to one thing — and not another — clarity is a natural result. The word decide comes from the Latin decidere, which means “to cut off from.” Prioritizing means to cut away other possibilities.

By having your priorities straight, you avoid confusion.
Try this exercise to help you establish your priorities.

5. Spend time observing yourself “We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”
― William Gibson

Gaining clarity is the most effective way to stop your thoughts from eating you alive.

Meditation is an obvious choice. But, if you find it hard or don’t think it’s for you, there are other options.
Seeing (what you want) is the first step towards achieving. It will boost your life.

Try guided visualizations that are much easier to follow. There are thousands available for free on YouTube. Start with the lighter ones.

Practice pausing with a purpose from time to time. A pause is an incubation period, as I wrote here. It helps you reflect, detach from an “always-on” life, and
reconnect with what you want in life.

You can even turn chores, like doing the dishes, into a moment to reflect and become appreciative.

Local Stories

VoyageDallas interviews "Meet Jeannetta Collier of Imaginary Glass Ceiling"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeannetta Collier.

Jeannetta, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up as a little girl, I often wondered “How high can a balloon float in the air?” and “Will there be something in the universe to stop it or force it down?” My parents taught us to dream big and that there was nothing that we could not achieve in life.

They were inspirational not only to me and my six siblings but to everyone who had an opportunity to meet them. They always took time to speak power into our lives. Their legacy lives in me, and I will always be grateful for what they gave me — the ability to dream, live my life without fear, and to give back through acts of love.

As I grew older and started my own life’s journey, not everything went according to plan. I realized that everyone did not see the beauty of dreams and encouraging others to dream as well.

Especially, if those others did not look, act or conform to the way that they saw the world. Right out the gates as a young adult, I learn quickly how I was viewed. Fortunately, I was lucky to have found a female mentor early in my career who looked like me.

My first career opportunity was as an Asset Manager for a mid-size real estate investment firm. At my mid-year review, the company’s vice president of my department gave me feedback and helped me navigate through the process of being a woman in corporate America. I received a glowing review on my job performance but, to my dismay, that was not enough.

My lack of not fitting in was the main topic of conversation. All this time, I thought my job performance was most important. It seemed that by me working through lunch or using my lunch to go to the gym, I was considered “not getting along with my peers.”

Keeping in mind that my “peers” were white males that went to bars and played golf; I did neither. My mentor instructed me on how I should dress in a majority all white male environment per my Vice President. I guess he didn’t feel like bringing my attire up in the review, so he asked my mentor to address me. However, he did suggest that I wear dark color suits and not too many dresses.

My mentor explained that the upper manager felt that it would make the executives more comfortable working with me in a one-on-one setting. I guess since I wasn’t walking around looking like a hot mess they couldn’t focus on what they needed to do…… which is their work. By the way, within 2 years I was promoted to Director of Operations for the firm.

I learned I had to change my thought process from “work hard, and success will follow” to “work hard and conform, success will follow, and make changes when you get to the top.” After becoming gravely ill, we decided as a family to move back to Dallas so that I could get the medical care I so needed and be around the love of my family.

After approximately 3 years of rest, I was determined to jump back into the business world all while hoping that “Corporate America” had changed a little within those 3 years. I was so wrong! So, instead, I jumped into politics for 8 years, I started a mortgage company, and then I got into the commercial real estate, all of which were quite successful.

As a little girl, I was told that whatever I could dream, I could do. No one told me any different. Therefore that was and still is my reality. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Who said that other people get to write the rules of your life? I say, write your own rules.

Out of my life’s journey, Imaginary Glass Ceiling was founded.

Has it been a smooth road?
Haha, no smooth road for me. Being an entrepreneur can be challenging in all aspects! But it is your dreams that force you to want to do it all.

I have had my share of bumps in the road, but for me, that’s all it is. Bumps. And like so many other entrepreneurs I will have many more. And I’m okay with that!

One of my biggest struggles was understanding that I can’t do it alone. I needed to partner with like-minded entrepreneurs that has similar struggles and stories.

Networking gave me the ability to do more and, in return, gain more knowledge. So, if I can give one valuable advice to others is to “Network! Network! Network!” Ask for help and allow others to help you on your journey. It’s great to have an idea, but you need to prepare and plan.

Now, I have a full team on board, event planner, photograph, make-up artists, assistants, etc.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Imaginary Glass Ceiling – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Imaginary Glass Ceiling, the definition of the term glass ceiling, is an unacknowledged, an ultimately illegal barrier to advancement, especially for women and people of color.

The metaphor has been used since the 1980’s when it was coined as a phrase indicating that many professional women could not break through the “glass ceiling” to the upper level of management. This past May marked 40 years since the phrase “glass ceiling.”

My personal mission is to break the invisible barrier, not just the corporate glass ceiling, but also our own personal ceilings. You see, I recognize the power of personal motivation to empower women to break through their own barriers and, consequently, corporate barriers as well.

I am an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, a Published Author of The Best YOU: A 365 Day Motivational Journey, which utilizes short motivational passages as springboards for guided journaling. I host workshops, seminars, and give personal coaching sessions.

But what I’m most proud of as a company is the overwhelming feedback that I received from attendees of my workshops and seminars. The testimonies of from so many people starting that business that has been burning in them for so many years. The encouragement that they receive to start to move toward their passion.

The joy in their voices when speaking with them about how they never thought that having their own business as possible. Or just receiving a hug from someone that heard you speak and felt that “yes they can ask for that raise” or “go for that job opening.” The love I feel when people read my book and tell me that they life has been forever changed.

What sets me apart from others is that I believe that we are of one. We all have some of the same fears, doubts, pains and yearning for understanding and fulfillment of self. No matter what area of business you are currently in, it first starts with self! I started with myself.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Some of the things I like best about Dallas are the people.

Dallas is becoming more of a melting pot of people which is wonderful and some of the greatest networking opportunities is right here in the Big D. Dallas also has some of the friendliest people (but I’ve been told that I’ve never met a stranger), some of the best entertainment venues, restaurants and, of course, shopping.

Since I travel quite a bit, having the DFW Airport so centrally-located helps me get to my destination timely, and the majority are straight flights. Well, you’re asking a “born and raised” Dallasite, but we can work on a better transit system, so I can get around town without me driving. LOL!

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Jeannetta Collier on Networking Trends

Networking tends to be a low priority for many busy professionals, yet it essential to business success. Please understand, establish your network now, while you don’t need it, so it’s in place when you do.

I find that people want to help, not everyone only reaches out when they want something. Think of networking as a bank account. You must make deposits before you can make withdrawals. By helping others and establish yourself as a resource for them; these are your deposits, which you can withdraw from in the future.

Every interaction is an opportunity. Below are five ways to immediately cultivate your network.

A lot of people have trouble with networking because they are introverted, feel like they are using people and come off as selfish instead of helpful. Here are seven tips that will help you, even if you're not a natural schmoozer.

1.  Focus on the right people.

The secret to networking isn't to attend a networking event and pass out as many business cards as you can. It's not meeting as many people as possible in hopes something will work out. Instead, you need to concentrate on the people who you know can help will be able to make a difference in your career.

2. Create win/win situations.

It's very important that both you and the other party gain equally when networking. If you benefit more than the other person, he or she will feel cheated and used. When that happens, you won't be able to go back and built a long-term relationship.

3. Give before you receive.

In a networking situations, people expect you to ask them for help. If you turn that around and just offer some support, your networking partner will be grateful and want to return the favor.

4. Become a connector.

You don't always have to gain something in a networking relationship. If you can introduce people who can benefit from one another, it's just as effective. You can build a stronger rapport with multiple people and it makes you very good.

5. Remember to reconnect.

We've all had people who will contact us out of the blue after years of never touching base. When that happens, you typically don't want to go out of your way for them because they haven't put any effort into sustaining the relationship. After you choose the right people to network with, remember to stay in contact with them.

6. Use social networks.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are tools that you can use to connect in a personal way to different people in your industry. On LinkedIn for example, you can get introduced to new contacts through your current connections. You can also use LinkedIn as a professional database to find people who work in your professional at various companies you're interested in.

Now that you’re ready to expand your network, use this four-point checklist to make the most out of your networking:

-Establish your purpose. Ask yourself: What do I want to get out of this interaction? Is there an opportunity to leverage another’s expertise or gain a different perspective? Perhaps you have an open position to fill and want to reach out beyond your own contacts. Or you need help navigating a complex matrix organizational structure. Think through the purpose of your meeting.

-Do your homework. Find out more about the other individual and their interests and mention something you have in common when you meet with them. This helps the conversation flow more easily and establishes a connection early on.

-Make it about the other person. Ask how you can help them or explore areas where you can be a resource. It’s a great way to establish the reciprocal nature of the relationship from the onset — it’s not just about what you need.

-Express genuine interest. Be curious and ask questions. Practice active listening and remain open and curious to what the other person has to say. Being engaged demonstrates you are truly interested in helping them.

Today take at least one step to start — and make the most out of — networking.

Jeannetta Collier, founder of Imaginary Glass Ceiling, provides leadership development coaching and workshops

Weir: Jeannetta Collier on breaking through fear

Bob Weir and Jeannetta Collier (photo and video by Netsky Rodriguez)

Highland Village resident Jeannetta Collier is an entrepreneur, real estate expert, empowerment & motivational speaker, philanthropist, results coach and author. The following information was derived from material she provided for this article: During her motivational talks, Jeannetta brings her engaging personality, along with her powerful presence, to bring her audiences to the edge of their seats. In a speaking style that only she possesses, she will help you to the realization that your presence here on earth is more than space you currently occupy.

Jeannetta Collier has served or is currently serving on numerous boards, non-profit and for-profit organizations in the DFW area. She is the founder or partner of multiple businesses within various industries. “My goal is to impact as many lives as possible through positive works in the act of service. I firmly believe that we are here to serve and through service we as a people grow in knowledge and love.”

Jeannetta is the founder of Imaginary Glass Ceiling, an organization that helps you with empowerment through motivational speaking, results coaching, education and networking opportunities. The definition of the term glass ceiling is; an unacknowledged, and ultimately illegal, barrier to advancement, especially for women and people of color. The metaphor has been used since the 1980s when it was coined as a phrase indicating that many professional women could not break through the “glass ceiling” to the upper level of management. “This company was birthed out of the simple joy of wanting everyone to live up to their full potential,” she said. Jeannetta is also the author of “Imaginary Glass Ceiling” and “The Best You – A 365 day motivational journey.”

Ms. Collier goes on to say, “My passion is to help entrepreneurs all over the world to step into their own. I can do that by providing a personalized solution with proven strategies, through educational and networking opportunities, along with that one-on-one mentor you’re looking for,” she added. With more than 25 years experience in business and the corporate world, the spirit of entrepreneurism has a special place in Jeannetta’s heart. Moreover, her spirit is not confined to the benefits of business success. “Being involved in my community is one of my many passions. I have served on numerous boards & commissions and non-profits organizations.” Ms. Collier was also a candidate for the Highland Village Council a few years ago.

A passage from her website below: “Like many of you, I have accomplished many things throughout my life. At the young age of 19, I had my only daughter and decided to go off to college. While attending college, I worked as a singer in a nightclub, modeled on runway and print. A few years later I moved out of state and got married. That is when I began working for a global real estate franchise corporation. Soon after, I had my son and about 15 years later I moved my family back to Texas. After moving, my career took off. I became an entrepreneur, started multiple businesses, dipped into politics, and well, the list truly goes on and on and on.”

During the interview, Jeannetta talks about some of her other passions. “I love life, reading, world travel and beautiful shining things.” Check out her website:

Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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"Whatever you dream. You can do - do it" - Jeannetta




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