A while back I ran into 2 old friends. After the usual chit-chat one of my friends asked the other:

Are you happy in your job?

Talk about a loaded question. For the next 10 minutes our friend poured out his heart and his questions:

  • Should he change jobs?
  • Should he leave his profession altogether?
  • Should he relocate to a new state.

His confusion hung like a thick cloud. It reminded me of bowling alleys back in the 90s—tough to see much of anything. He went on to tell us how he and his wife needed answers, and quickly.

After listening to his angst I asked a simple, but revealing question:

“Do you want clarity?”

“What do you mean,” he replied.

“If I knew a path to help you get answers would you take it?”

He got strangely quiet. But in a matter of moments he offered a response:

“I’ll get back with you in a few months.”

His answer didn’t surprise me. For as much pain as people say they want clarity, most prefer to stay stuck. They’re not willing to pay the price.

There’s a danger in clarity. Once you know what you want, you’re dissatisfied with anything less. (Share on TwitterFacebook |Google+ | LinkedIn)

My friend knows what we all intuitively know. Clarity comes with a cost.  As much as he disliked feeling confused, he disliked the price of clarity even more.

Here’s what clarity costs:

Price Tag #1—Action

Many people like to hear themselves complain about feeling confused. It helps us feel heard, important, and validated. Taking action requires taking ownership of our situation and circumstances. “Owning” our confusion means we’re responsible for our results. Most people would rather blame their results on someone or something else…like confusion for example.

Price Tag #2—Accountability

The moment you have clarity, you’re now accountable. Confusion can be addicting because you’re never sure if you’re moving closer to your goal or further away. You can be extremely busy, but never productive. Effort and energy doesn’t accomplish anything, unless its linked with clarity. Digging ditches might seem like hard work, but if you’re digging in the wrong place, you’re wasting your time. Clarity helps us stay accountable to the real goal in front of us.

Price Tag #3—Adaptation

The final price tag is a high one. It requires humility. Pride says, “I know the way.” Humility admits, “I may need to adapt my direction.” I’ve seen many people resist clarity because their pride won’t let them make a course correction. The passengers on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 are thrilled Captain Sully didn’t let Tower Control steer him into their confusion. His clarity about the situation gave him the humility he needed to make an adaptation to the flight. He landed safely in the Hudson River rather than following their orders and crashing before reaching another airport.


Now it’s up to you. Do you want clarity or confusion? The choice is yours to make. If you say you want clarity, I’ll  ask the same question I asked my friend:

“If I knew a path to help you get answers would you take it?”

If your answer is YES, than that “path” is my free coaching call on Monday night. All the details are here and space is limited. Hope to see you there.


  • Martyn J Wood says:

    So many people lack clarity and the reasons can be as unique as the individual. They may have started with a willingness to pay the price but either pain or price became too much or they believed they could short cut the process and when it proved they didn’t get what they and they bailed just before experiencing breakthrough if they had just persisted

  • Excellent points Kary. Clarity though it is must nowdays (if you want to communicate your message in a manner that it is been understood and not mis-understood). I think the #1 & 2 are the most common denominator for be a responsible communicator. Don’t you think?