When we think about what we want out of life, it boils down to satisfaction of an underlying need. For instance, on the face of a matter, we may want money, but what we really want is what that money would buy us: a feeling of security, a shopping spree, a vacation, etc. Still underlying those things are other desires that we may not be acknowledging, such as a a persistent boredom or malaise about what we perceive as a mundane life.

When we refer to spiritual clarity, we are referring to a better understanding of what we are really trying to achieve and a simpler path for achieving it. It is important to note that this is not an intellectual exercise. It cannot be achieved simply by reading or discussion. We have to spend the time necessary to observe our own minds to determine what is really motivating us, whether it aligns with what we actually want, and how to reconcile any difference between the two. Discussion and analysis are unnecessary distractions because the answers are plain and obvious and seeing them requires only that we take the time to look.

This process is what makes the Buddha’s teaching so special. He understood that each person needs to come to his or her own understanding through direct observation in order for real and meaningful changes to take hold.

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(2) Identify Your Goals, A. Success and Stress-Free Living