As you’ve probably guessed by the title of this site, I’m particularly obsessed with the concept of alignment. If anything in your life is falling out of line, thinking in terms of alignment is a wonderful way to get back on track.
My definition of alignment is that magical state where your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and words line up with your goals. Basically, it’s the art of getting out of your own way. When you achieve this, your entire world becomes the magical state of flow.
When you can hone in on unhelpful thoughts and replace them with beliefs that serve you, you make your life so much easier.
But all too often modern life can be exhausting. We get our attention pulled in a million different directions throughout the day, which doesn’t exactly support our alignment goals.
Maybe this seems familiar:
Eat well, exercise, meditate, be mindful, do your job (well), make money (lots of it), be an awesome wife/boyfriend/friend/daughter. Etc.
Sometimes it feels like you spend more time thinking about what you need to do than actually doing it. We’re forever feeling guilty about not doing something (or not doing it well) and promising ourselves we’ll do better next time. But this is exhausting.
We’re stuck feeling like we’re struggling and never actually fulfilling our real potential.
All those different interests of yours are important of course! But without alignment, they end up competing with each other. They pull you in drastically different directions and sometimes need you to be different for each circumstance.
For example, we let often strive to be spiritual in our personal life. But we often drop those principles entirely when it comes to the worlds of work and money. We couldn’t possibly be our true (loving) selves in these arenas–we’d be taken advantage of or seen as weak.
We all want the best for our lives and we set the bar pretty high for ourselves. And while there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting more, embracing different personas for different parts of our lives is running us ragged.
So if trying do our best isn’t working, then what can we actually do?
The answer is not doing way less. It’s not forgetting about some goals altogether.
Instead, it’s simply about changing our mindset–which then in turn changes up our results.
Our time and attention are two very real limitations. So when you turn your attention to improving your relationship, maybe your health begins to suffer. When you turn your attention to your job, then your relationship starts getting rocky.
Instead of applying different principles to different areas, what if we just lived by one set of rules? No more head scratching over doing the right thing. No more forgetting about one thing to concentrate on another. Just pure flow and movement with purpose.
Sounds pretty good right?
Honestly, it’s a pretty obvious answer. Yet few of us actually do this in real life! We’ve been taught to think and behave in so many different ways, we think compartmentalization is just normal and natural–even though it’s secretly running us ragged.
Nothing is separate. All those different areas of our life are much more connected than we think! When one area improves, you can more easily shift that improvement to another area as well. So it’s time to stop trying to achieve artificial balance and to create harmony instead.
Harmony between the seemingly different priorities and activities in your life is actual alignment in practice. It’s hard to feel aligned if you’re constantly dropping the ball in one area or another. Instead, improving one area gradually leads to improvements to all areas.
In practical terms, alignment comes constantly assessing where your attention and energy are needed. You can’t achieve alignment on autopilot! This is going to shift and change obviously so you have to become vigilant about staying on target.
Here are four questions that can help you get there. (You’ll know you’re on the path to alignment when the answer for each one is the same!)
4 Key Questions To Create Total Alignment
Alignment Question #1:
What do you want to do?
This question is all about honoring your desire. Yes, what you actually want to do is important–and it might be a lot different than what you’re supposed to do! So tune into yourself and ask your heart: in this moment, what’s piquing your interest? What direction makes you feel excited! This is always important information to be aware of.
Alignment Question #2:
What can you do?
Our ability will shift and change over time. Sometimes you have the energy to run a 5km run before breakfast and other times that same run will feel interminable! Some days you’ll have more free time than others. So don’t rely on what’s worked for you in the past. Assess where you are and focus on what you can do right now.
Alignment Question #3:
What should you do?
Should is definitely not one of my favorite words! It’s usually packed with judgment and maybe even some subtle manipulation. But we do have to consider the priorities of other people when it comes to relationships and career.
However, don’t let that overshadow your own should’s! Our own should’s often include things we know we want to do and have been putting off. But if you’re ready to make changes in your life, then it’s also time to stop just thinking about it and start doing. Pay attention to this one if there’s something that really needs to shift for you.
Alignment Question #4:
What must you do?
Some tasks eventually turn into top priorities. So always ask yourself: what do I absolutely have to do? This isn’t about just doing the bare minimum. Rather, it’s about prioritizing. We can so easily get distracted by things that aren’t even close to our “must do’s”. For example, if you open your inbox first thing in the morning, I can almost guarantee that this has happened to you! Spending the day fixing minor fires often leaves little time left over to focus on what’s most important for you.
When all else fails, go back to prioritizing love above all else. Instead of treating everything differently, begin to hone in on the most loving choice. When you’re in a state of loving yourself, what’s the right move? When you feel love towards other, what do you feel inspired to do? When you feel loving towards your work (or bank account) what attracts you the most? We vastly underestimate the power of love when it comes to the mechanics of our life but all fear and stress is really just an illusion! The loving choice will always be the powerful choice in the end.
I hope this post inspires you to think about alignment in a new light! We all have the power to go through life with flow and ease–which in turn makes you magnetic to the things you want so much in life. There is real magic and power here so please enjoy with care!
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