Personal Development Toolbox

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Finding Order in Chaos

Article provided by stevepavlina.com

By Steve Pavlina

 

We could say that we live in a pretty chaotic world and that the desire for clarity is an attempt to impose order on the apparent chaos around us.

We tame nature and build cities. We build roads across natural landscapes. We seek scientific rules to predict the behavior patterns of matter and energy.

When we bring order to chaos, there’s a certain beauty to it. A well constructed city can be beautiful. A well-organized home or office can be beautiful too.

Yet what do we do once we’ve created order? Something feels like it’s missing, so we add some chaos back in – but in a controlled manner. We put plants in our homes. We add parks to our cities. We have children. Even when we’ve created a strong sense of order, we invite some chaos back in for balance.

Too much order leads to boredom. It stifles our creativity. Every day feels the same. Life becomes overly predictable.

Too much chaos unbalances us too. It’s hard to feel grounded in chaos. We feel out of control. We may even feel helplessly adrift.

So where does clarity fit into all of this?

Clarity is actually a lens. It’s a way of looking at reality. It’s a perspective, a viewport, a spyglass focused on an island in an endless sea of possibilities.

Clarity is a way of looking at reality that imposes order and structure. Clarity makes us feel grounded. Clarity helps us define a direction, a pathway through the chaos.

Clarity is also a choice. Since it’s a perspective, we can pick it up or put it down. We can use the lens of clarity, or we can decline to use it. We can drift around in the sea, or we can focus on the next island and set a course.

Sometimes we may feel like we’re lost in the chaos, and we can’t make sense of it. In such situations the desire for clarity and the willingness to look for clarity can eventually guide us to the clarity we seek. Even when we don’t see any islands yet, we know there are islands out there, so we can actively look for them.

This is an important key to clarity. You must know it’s possible to find it. You must decide to bring order to the chaos. If you desire clarity, then look for clarity. Don’t be passive when you have the energy to look.

Know that these islands of clarity are out there. Know that you can find them if you look for them. Frame your clarity challenges as problems that you can solve.

One thought on “Finding Order in Chaos

  1. Great insights. Clarity is a lense, perspective, and choice. I would add clarity is holistic, so although it appears as orderly like insight it is right-brained. That’s unexpected. The right brain is not the first thing someone thinks about when the terrn orderly is mentioned. It’s like the linear powerpoint vs. Nonlinear Prezi. Both organize data but each form has its limitations and strengths. Integration is key.

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