In 1972, Johnny Nash sang “I Can See Clearly Now.”
This song is not about clarity of vision, clarity of purpose. It is about clarity of obstacles.
Let’s quickly look at the first verse:
“I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the bad clouds that had me blind,
It’s going to be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshiny day.”
At no point is Johnny’s goal in question: the sunshine, the blue skies, the rainbow. Rather, he is clearly focused on the obstacles in his way. After that, he can break down the barriers and come out on the other side a success.
Don’t believe me? Well, Johnny Nash was an American singer who hoped to bring the reggae sound to America. In the process, he was the first non-Jamaican to record in Kingston, Jamaica.
While he was doing that, Nash used a few of The Wailers, and it was Nash who recorded and produced Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up,” Marley’s first song that found success outside of Jamaica.
You probably didn’t have to Google “I Can See Clearly Now.” You probably started singing it. Same with “Stir It Up.”
The Take Away:
The speaker in “I Can See Clearly Now” is not singing about moving back in with his parents to find his purpose; he is not singing about student debt and not being able to find a job in his field. Before you spend time trying to find your purpose, you must first identify your distractions.
I don’t care how you do it. Do you check FaceBook too much? Email? How many hours of TV are you watching?
I used to drink too much beer. It finally occurred to me that it is hard to wake up early or save money if you drink a lot of beer.
So I stopped drinking beer and started going to bed earlier.
I used to say that I want to write, but I spent my time reading. See the problem there? Put simply, writers write. So I started this blog. It keeps me writing, and – here’s the best part – you, my audience, keep me writing because you keep me accountable.
Pretty simple. You may find, as I did, that my distractions were linked (I would stay up because I was engrossed in a book and wouldn’t mind ‘just one more’).
I’m not saying it will be easy to break some bad habits, but it will become much easier once you are able to see all obstacles in your way.