Return to site

Clarity Of Purpose

Part One: Preparation

Know what you want, 
Show up ready 

Clarity of Purpose is about Preparation 

Mental, Physical and Spiritual.


The highest emotion on the emotional tone-scale that provides the awareness to want to be present and be prepared to face of a challenge:

  • To breathe, settle down, go deep, and be clear of your expectations that go with the activity and that you put on yourself.
  • To build confidence and expand your perception of what’s possible.
  • To incorporate the learning from the past and recognize the need to increase or decrease the intensity of your efforts to feel ready.
  • To have the compassion for your self and others and give back to the sport (or whatever it is that you DO.


I remember a time I decided to travel to Atlanta and participate in the 4th of July Peachtree Road Race, a 10K run. I got there two days early to prepare. The first day I went out for jog around noon to test my readiness. After a few minutes, I had to stop, the heat and humidity was too much. The next day wasn’t much better.

On the 4th, the race was early in the AM so the conditions were a little better. But 25,000 runners and a huge crowd that was over whelming. Struggling with the distractions, I wasn’t able to settle-down to settle myself and get a pace going. The frustration wore me down. At the finish, I was just glad it was over. As the day wore on, I started thinking about what I should have done.

Enter Mike Spino the track coach at Georgia Tech. Mike introduced me to the mental side of running. He also gave me a tape for competing in the Peachtree Road Race that covered mental training from start to finish. It included guided imagery that allowed me to visualize myself handling the start, getting in position to establish the right pace and tempo and having fun with the people and the celebration that went with the event.

There were techniques for enjoying the energy from the crowd and staying present each step of the way. One month before the race, I listened to the tape every night before I went to sleep.

On race day, I felt calm and ready. I was clear of my focus. I wanted to run the distance in a little over 8 min miles and finish at 50 minutes. I got a great start, settled into a pace that suited me and enjoyed every bit of the competition, the crowd, the mass of people and especially the finish.

At the end of the race, the route finished in Piedmont Park. Peachtree Road turned into a cobblestone, single lane road that dated back to the Civil War. Imagine that, running over a road that had been there for so long!

As I ran over the finish line, the clock that was on top of the huge arch read 50:00 minutes. I was so stoked I had reached my goal.

Later that day as I debriefed the results. I reflected on how effective the tape that Mike had prepared was in getting me ready to have fun and reach my goal. From that moment forward, I have worked with and written about the ability of your focus to enhance the ability to be ready and produce the results you desire.

Listening to the positive thoughts that describe your metal preparation and state of mind over and over become a reality during your performance. The same is true for negative thoughts which destroy your confidence and must be reframed and avoided at all cost.

In truth, what you focus on, in the words of Kaulana Yoshimoto. “Will often determine what you think or feel about yourself, the situation, other people, et cetera. In that way, where and what you focus on becomes your reality.”

In terms of your eagerness to perform under pressure, the thoughts that represent every aspect of your preparation will need to become feelings of fire and passion and sensations that represent proper form, tempo and intensity. This is the work of Gratitude and Excitement working in harmony for you to perform at your best.

That’s HiLevel!