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  by Greg McKeown/ Harvard Business Review Blog Why don't successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call "the clarity paradox, cheap amitriptyline online" which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, cheap amitriptyline online it leads to success. Phase 2: When we have success, cheap amitriptyline online it leads to more options and opportunities. Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, cheap amitriptyline online it leads to diffused efforts. Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place. Curiously, cheap amitriptyline online and overstating the point in order to make it, cheap amitriptyline online success is a catalyst for failure. We can see this in companies that were once darlings of Wall Street, cheap amitriptyline online but later collapsed. In his book How the Mighty Fall, cheap amitriptyline online Jim Collins explored this phenomenon and found that one of the key reasons for these failures was that companies fell into "the undisciplined pursuit of more." It is true for companies and it is true for careers. Here's a more personal example: For years, cheap amitriptyline online Enric Sala was a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, cheap amitriptyline online California. Cheap amitriptyline online But he couldn't kick the feeling that the career path he was on was just a close counterfeit for the path he should really be on. Cheap amitriptyline online So, cheap amitriptyline online he left academia and went to work for National Geographic. Cheap amitriptyline online With that success came new and intriguing opportunities in Washington D.C. Cheap amitriptyline online that again left him feeling he was close to the right career path, cheap amitriptyline online but not quite there yet. Cheap amitriptyline online His success had distracted him. After a couple of years, cheap amitriptyline online he changed gears again in order to be what he really wanted: an explorer-in-residence with National Geographic, cheap amitriptyline online spending a significant portion of his time diving in the most remote locations, cheap amitriptyline online using his strengths in science and communications to influence policy on a global scale. Cheap amitriptyline online (Watch Enric Sala speak about his important work at TED). Cheap amitriptyline online The price of his dream job was saying no to the many good, cheap amitriptyline online parallel paths he encountered. What can we do to avoid the clarity paradox and continue our upward momentum? Here are three suggestions: First, cheap amitriptyline online use more extreme criteria. Think of what happens to our closets when we use the broad criteria: "Is there a chance that I will wear this someday in the future?" The closet becomes cluttered with clothes we rarely wear. Cheap amitriptyline online If we ask, cheap amitriptyline online "Do I absolutely love this?" then we will be able to eliminate the clutter and have space for something better. Cheap amitriptyline online We can do the same with our career choices. By applying tougher criteria we can tap into our brain's sophisticated search engine. Cheap amitriptyline online If we search for "a good opportunity, cheap amitriptyline online" then we will find scores of pages for us to think about and work through. Cheap amitriptyline online Instead, cheap amitriptyline online we can conduct an advanced search and ask three questions: "What am I deeply passionate about?" and "What taps my talent?" and "What meets a significant need in the world?" Naturally there won't be as many pages to view, cheap amitriptyline online but that is the point of the exercise. Cheap amitriptyline online We aren't looking for a plethora of good things to do. Cheap amitriptyline online We are looking for our absolute highest point of contribution. Enric is one of those relatively rare examples of someone who is doing work that he loves, cheap amitriptyline online that taps his talent, cheap amitriptyline online and that serves an important need in the world. Cheap amitriptyline online His main objective is to help create the equivalent of National Parks to protect the last pristine places in the ocean — a significant contribution. Second, cheap amitriptyline online ask "What is essential?" and eliminate the rest. Cheap amitriptyline online Everything changes when we give ourselves permission to eliminate the nonessentials. Cheap amitriptyline online At once, cheap amitriptyline online we have the key to unlock the next level of our lives. Cheap amitriptyline online Get started by: Conducting a life audit. All human systems tilt towards messiness. In the same way that our desks get cluttered without us ever trying to make them cluttered, cheap amitriptyline online so our lives get cluttered as well-intended ideas from the past pile up. Most of these efforts didn't come with an expiration date. Once adopted, cheap amitriptyline online they live on in perpetuity. Figure out which ideas from the past are important and pursue those. Throw out the rest. Eliminating an old activity before you add a new one. This simple rule ensures that you don't add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing. Third, cheap amitriptyline online beware of the endowment effect. Also known as the divestiture aversion, cheap amitriptyline online the endowment effect refers to our tendency to value an item more once we own it. One particularly interesting study was conducted by Kahneman, cheap amitriptyline online Knetsch and Thaler (published here) where consumption objects (e.g. Cheap amitriptyline online coffee mugs) were randomly given to half the subjects in an experiment, cheap amitriptyline online while the other half were given pens of equal value. According to traditional economic theory (the Coase Theorem), cheap amitriptyline online about half of the people with mugs and half of the people with pens will trade. But they found that significantly fewer than this actually traded. The mere fact of ownership made them less willing to part with their own objects. As a simple illustration in your own life, cheap amitriptyline online think of how a book on your shelf that you haven't used in years seems to increase in value the moment you think about giving it away. Tom Stafford describes a cure for this that we can apply to career clarity: Instead of asking, cheap amitriptyline online "How much do I value this item?" we should ask "If I did not own this item, cheap amitriptyline online how much would I pay to obtain it?" And the same goes for career opportunities. We shouldn't ask, cheap amitriptyline online "How much do I value this opportunity?" but "If I did not have this opportunity, cheap amitriptyline online how much would I be willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it?" If success is a catalyst for failure because it leads to the "undisciplined pursuit of more, cheap amitriptyline online" then one simple antidote is the disciplined pursuit of less. Not just haphazardly saying no, cheap amitriptyline online but purposefully, cheap amitriptyline online deliberately, cheap amitriptyline online and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, cheap amitriptyline online but constantly reducing, cheap amitriptyline online focusing and simplifying. Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, cheap amitriptyline online but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, cheap amitriptyline online which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones. GREG MCKEOWN Greg McKeown is the CEO of THIS Inc., cheap amitriptyline online a leadership and strategy design agency headquartered in Silicon Valley. Cheap amitriptyline online He was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Cheap amitriptyline online Greg did his graduate work at Stanford. Cheap amitriptyline online Connect with him on Twitter @GregoryMcKeown.