Blog > Noise

January 3, 2009

A lot of posts at this time of year seem to be concerned with noise. Not the loud type of noise at New Year Eve parties, but the noise that gets in the way of clarity. The noise that distracts us from our true purpose – the noise that prevents us from even knowing our true purpose.

Clarity is hard to find. 

It comes from doing less, from taking away, stripping back to the bare bones.

Thiagi has an activity called Essence. It goes something like this. Write down the description or purpose of your business in exactly 16 words, no more, no less. Then cut it to exactly 8 words. Then when you’re happy with that, cut it again to exactly four words.

Guy Kawasaki, in his book, Reality Check, talks about mantras – “three or four words that explain why your product, service, or company should exist.”

Harrison Owen has a mantra for Open Space Technology: do one less thing.

And Chris Brogan suggests replacing unrealistic New Year resolutions with three words that anchor your resolve and pull you forward at the same time!

And here’s the paradox. To strip back you have to first explore. See what’s possible, expand your potential, and try lots of stuff. Only then is it possible to cut, splice, know what’s the essence of who you are and what you do, to write your own mantra. This is true if you are designing a slideshow, writing a film script, building a business or even writing a blog!

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