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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 16: How to achieve clarity

Desire happiness from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.

Henri Matisse, French artist

The path to becoming a clear thinker is not an easy one. The best method is to try to eliminate any lack of clarity. Start with your own thoughts and speech: it is always wiser to remove the bush in your own eye before you tackle the leaf in your neighbour’s.

You won’t be short of work, because the enemies of clarity are legion. They include thinking that is sloppy, inconclusive, blurred, cloudy, muddy, confused, doubtful, foggy, fuzzy, muddled, obscure, unclear, unintelligible or vague.

One tip to remember is not to confuse clarity with precision. As Aristotle said in his Ethics: ‘It is a mark of ...

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