#071: How To Get Clarity And Focus [Podcast]

Over the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to talk on the phone with a number of consulting clients. I was startled to hear virtually the same phrase come out of each of their mouths: “I need clarity on what I'm supposed to be doing, and help focusing on it.”

Time to Focus - Clock of Concentration
Why do we feel we lack clarity? And why do we have trouble focusing? Most importantly, how can we get clear and focused? I've got an answer for you in today's episode.


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Tip Of The Week

GoodReader for iPad allows you to markup PDF documents using a stylus. This is great for editing, proofreading, and notetaking.

Lifestyle Business Segment

Featuring Stu McLaren of Wishlist Products and Rhino Support. This week:  creating more meaning in your work.

Spiritual Foundations

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1

Have you ever made a big mistake, and been filled with regret? Recently I made a major decision without consulting my wife. I gave the appearance of consulting her, by writing a highly persuasive, highly logical justification of my decision and presenting it to her and asking, in essence, “you agree with me don't you?” In other words, I blindsided and bulldozed her. How she supposed to respond? I hurt her feelings. The decision may have been right, that the way I presented it was all wrong. I felt like a creep. How could I do that to the person I loved most in the world?

Pause… that feeling that I experienced, right there, is called condemnation. It's the feeling that we need to be punished for something we have done. My example is just one from real-life. You could substitute your own. Maybe you have had an angry thought, shaded the truth, cut the corners on the business deal, delivered less than your best, spoken words in anger, had a lustful or greedy thought, been inpatient or intolerant of a family member… I'm sure you can come up with your own examples. The Bible calls these things sin (which means to “fall short of the target”), and left on our own, our sin condemns us.

But, as those who follow Christ, our sins have been forgiven. Past, present, and future. Condemnation is a tool of Satan uses against us to disempower us. If he can get us thinking, “what kind of Christian are you anyway? If people knew what you are really like, they would be shocked…” Then he can get us to become isolated from others, and ineffective in our calling and our mission.

There is now no condemnation… it's in the present tense. The next time you feel tempted to do something you know is wrong, repeat this verse out loud. Use it as a “fighter verse”. It's the Word of God, and the Bible tells us that even the Angels “heed the voice of His word”. That His word “will not return to Him void” (in other words, it will not be ineffective).

And if you realize after the fact that you've done something wrong, remind yourself of the same thing… there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  As Pastor Joseph Prince writes:

The power of Jesus to overcome every temptation kicks in when you remain conscious that even at the point of temptation, Jesus is still with you and that you are righteous in Him apart from your works (Romans 4:6)! When you do that, you reject the condemnation for the temptation that you are facing. You are now able to rest in your righteous identity in Christ apart from your works, and release the power of Christ in you to rise above the temptation.

Feature Segment: How To Get Clarity And Focus

  1. Know your reason WHY.
  2. Think through WHAT outcome you want.
  3. Plan HOW to achieve the outcome.
  4. Have SMARTER goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound, Evaluate, Re-Evaluate… November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran.)
  5. Build systems that run without you.
  6. Create margin.
  7. Sharpen the saw.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Question: How do you get clarity and focus? Click here to leave your comments.


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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.

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  • Wow, was I shocked to hear you say my name toward the end of today’s episode. But then, you said all those nice things about the my podcast too!

    You made my day Ray. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement you gave me. I am humbled by your comments and truly appreciate the inclusion on your show. I will have to return the favor for sure.

    By the way, yours too is flawlessly executed (one of the reasons I enjoy it so much) and filled with great content. Your insights and tips every week are a huge help to me, especially during this time of ‘career transition’ as they say.

    Best to you and all you do. If you find yourself in the middle Tennessee area any time soon, I would love to treat you to lunch.

    Thanks again!

    • Jeff,

      I meant every word I said. I’m really knocked out by your show and the guests you’ve been able to engage. And when I’m in the middle Tennessee area, which I undoubtedly will be at some point, I hope we are able to get together. That would be a real pleasure.

      Ray Edwards
      Founder & CEO
      Ray Edwards International, Inc.

      2910 E 57th Ave
      Suite 5 #330
      Spokane, WA 99223

      Ph: 509-624-2220

      PLEASE NOTE: I only respond to email ONCE per day, Monday through Thursday. It may be 1-2 business days before I respond to your email. If it’s urgent, please call the office at 509-624-2220.

      MY BLOG: http://rayedwards.com
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      :: This note is off the record (blogs and tweets, too) unless we agree otherwise in writing. :: ======================================================

      • I should add that your suspicions of a radio background are indeed accurate. 🙂 26 years in the biz until last month.

  • Ray, I never miss an episode, and SO enjoyed our visit by phone a few weeks ago. This one, however, is so timely for me. There are so many great things happening, but sometimes it is difficult to maintain clarity and focus. Thanks as always for the sincere (and timely) input.

    I am really enjoying the Three Day Intensive you recently launched. Great stuff. Looking forward to treating you to a meal when you come to Dallas in November. See you at Platform!


    Brian Holmes

    • Thank you for those encouraging words, Brian. Look forward to seeing you in November.

  • Wow, that Lifestyle Business segment was incredibly inspiring. Thanks for including Stu, Ray!

    • Stu always has something of value to add. Thanks Aaron.