On congruency and alignment

30 July 2018

Reading Derek Sivers’ update on his current projects I found an interesting idea I hadn’t considered before.

He writes this (emphasis mine):

Since May 1st, I’ve had almost no sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, or wheat. It’s about being congruent — making my actions in line with my beliefs. These are all things I’d have, then regret, repeatedly. Old habits. Mild addictions. Un-necessary tools. Now I’m interrupting the short-term impulse and remembering the long-term gain.

And then he follows it up with this:

(I said “almost”, above, because with each one I’ve tried the “ah, I’ve gone a week without now, I can have a little” approach, but didn’t enjoy it, and deeply regretted it. It feels better to be 100% congruent.)

Hmm, congruency

It’s not a very attractive word, but there’s something in it.

We could also say “alignment”. In fact, if we say “alignment”, then let’s include this post by Amber Rae which I stumbled upon moments after reading Derek’s post.

She writes this:

A big shift for me over the last decade has been moving from an achievement mindset (getting ahead) to an alignment one…when my actions are an expression of my true self and core values…

Values + alignment = harmony

There’s a deceptively simple formula gagging to be plucked from the tree here.

  1. figure out my values
  2. make conscious steps to make sure my actions & behaviour are aligned to those values (or at the very least, do not contradict them)
  3. find some kind of harmony…?

For example, I know that living environmentally sustainably really matters to me. But my actions are not in line with that value. I still use plastics, still throw away too much. Hence a gnawing sense of being out of harmony.

What I have never done before is actually sit down and consider what my values are. (What is a value, anyway?)

But the three steps above feel like a worthy contender for a new year’s resolution.