Sunday, January 4, 2009

Getting Congruent

If you consider your life, how you live it, who you share it with, and what matters about it, consider the congruency or lack of congruency within it. Are you living the life that "fits"? Does it feel right? Are you always finding that others are doing things to you that you have no control over? Do you believe that where you live is holding you back from being the person you were meant to be? Do you find yourself angry often, but when you look at the reasons why you are angry and really step outside of the situation, you see that you are reacting to something out of proportion with the actual event?

All of these things effect our congruency in our life. Anthony Robbins, the father of "life coaching", said "Your decisions are what shape your destiny." What kind of decisions are you making? Are you soley thinking about what is best for you? Or are you taking into consideration a more global perspective, or at a very minimum, the familial perspective? Our actions directly affect others. Period. The decisions that we make now are the catalysts for changing our universe. Sound big? Sound unrealistic? Well, it isn't. It's a complete truth. What we do, where we go, how we choose to live our lives in conjunction with others directly influences the world we live in. So, upon inspection of your life, are you living congruent with your deepest core values?

Consider this as one example of becoming congruent, a friend of mine and her husband were very up and coming. They were making a name for themselves within our community as successful real estate investors. They were living a rich life full of family and fun, mostly debt-free and happy.

However, the friends that they shared their spare time with chose to not have jobs, to live off of welfare, in rundown rental houses and apartments. They enjoyed using recreational drugs as well as the benefits of frequent and excessive alcohol consumption. They talked about what they did in high school, local and global gossip, and what the new technology was creating for stimulating video games such as Grand Theft Auto. These people weren't bad people, just lackadaisical and uninspired with life.

I asked my friend one day, not out of judgment just base curiosity, what drew and kept her to being friends with these folks. I was curious because they weren't the sort that were challenging, uplifting, spiritually nurturing or anything else positive that I could really see that was aligned with who I saw her to be in this world. She wasn't really sure of the answer. In fact, it initially was upsetting to her. Later on though, she and her husband talked about it and they realized that they were remaining friends with these people mostly out of a shared history and habit. They were frequently frustrated by this group of friends lack of interest in the world we live in or having much of a contribution to it. When they finally saw the big picture, they realized it was time for them to move forward in their lives in a positive, intelligent way. They invited their friends to "grow up" with them, but that wasn't to happen, so they parted ways fairly peacefully.

Now, I never put her friends down. People are people and it takes a variety to make the world interesting, but something in my questioning of their relationship lifted a veil from my friends eyes and she saw them in a different way. She knew that although there were benefits to the friendship (in this case, they were the big fish in the small pond and it made their egos feel good), but ultimately, these were not people who were aligned with her core values and they would not help her as she grows and learns in this world. And, she realized that that was important to her.

She and her husband have since cultivated fresh relationships with neighbors, other investors and people along the way that they have positive, reciprocal relationships with. They are active examples of people who are striving to live with congruency.

As we learn who we are on the inside, what matters to us and what our contribution is, we can actively reflect that on the outside. Choosing our friendships, our mentors, our advisers, what activities we do, where we go, what we listen to, read about, watch on television, these are all ways in which to become more congruent with who we really are. We are an active work in progress. Small incremental positive changes in whichever direction we need to go, is precisely what we need to do to create mammoth positive changes in ourselves and the world over time!

I challenge you to go forth and live congruent with you core values!