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Book review: Clarity by Jamie Smart

“How would it feel if you could declutter your mind?” This is the question put to us in Jamie Smart’s Clarity. In 270 pages we are told how we can achieve the holy grail of “a clear mind, better performance and bigger results” – if life was only that simple, eh?

And it is an interesting premise. I have talked before about the power of positive thinking and what can be achieved if we genuinely believe anything is possible. From my perspective, if you believe in something so strongly you are already halfway there to achieving the outcome you desire.

Mr Smart’s volume covers a lot of ground and I suspect that different readers will get different things from it. But to me the overarching message fits neatly with the theme of belief. The book encourages us to open our minds and urges us to stop imposing our own restrictions. We learn that we create our own experience of reality – so there is much to be said for being the owner of this reality.

At the outset we learn how we can actually set ourselves up for a fall by creating “false horizons”. Mr Smart informs us that if we build our worlds around “I’ll be happy when…” then we are doomed to feel unsatisfied by our own design. If we think we will achieve success by getting that promotion, losing that weight, buying that car – the chances are this satisfaction will only be fleeting as we go on to build ourselves new, bigger (perhaps unachievable) goals. For me success should not be the end goal, it is a continuous journey to strive for better outcomes.

Mr Smart also has a good stock of illustrative stories and turns of phrase to represent his points. For example the desire for bigger and better things is described as the “hidden hamster wheel”, a pretty good analogy for something we doubtless all feel from time to time.

Unlike some self-help books Clarity feels like a gentle pep talk rather than a military boot camp. It guides you along the way rather than asking you to set out specific goals within strict time frames.

There is also a useful “reflection point” summary at the end of each chapter (24 in total) and a link to Mr Smart’s website, section by section. Here you have access to further videos, blogs and views from other Clarity readers. There is even a QR code to take you there directly.

So can this book give you the clarity of mind to “focus, solve problems and succeed”? Well, it probably depends on you as an individual. Is it going to change my life overnight? Probably not. But has it given me some food for thought about thinking? Yes it has.

The book suggests that true clarity of thought leads to “better decision-making, innovative thinking, more time to focus on your priorities and more of the results that matter to you”. Worth a read.

Published by Capstone