It’s a funny question, isn’t it? Congruent. But what does that really mean?
No, I an NOT likening you to two triangles with sides and internal angles of the same measure… Let me tell you a little about what I AM talking about.
According to Merriam-Webster, one formal definition of congruent is “being in agreement, harmony, or correspondence.” So let’s take that further, into the arena of how we live our lives. The way I use the word congruent with clients, is to ask:
When you look at your day-to-day life, are you allocating your time and energy in a way that is congruent with your deepest priorities and values?
Too often, we “say” that certain things are important to us – but when we look, we find we spend countless hours and significant effort in arenas that are not the essential ones, often neglecting the exact areas that we claim are most vital!
Take, for example:
- …the Executive who claims that quality time with his wife and children is his greatest joy, but who spends countless hours at the office, regularly encroaching on evening and weekend time…
- …or the Consultant and Mother who, between juggling clients, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and keeping the house just can’t squeeze in any extra time for exercise…
- …or the Entrepreneur who is so burdened with doing it all that she hasn’t read a pleasure book, or picked up her violin, or had a date in months…
It is so easy to lose sight of our own priorities. It feels like we must rush from this to that or else something terribly significant will fall through the cracks. I call this the “tyranny of the (seemingly) urgent.”
Granted, life is often busy and some things are truly urgent and critical. But there are also those seductive time-stealers that seem urgent, but are actually relatively unimportant in the scheme of things, that is, they rob us of the time to attend to our more heartfelt values.
When we live from the position of “as soon as” – “As soon as I finish all the things on my list, then I’ll find time to …” we ensure our own failure! But “as soon as” never comes. You will probably never finish your list, but you could very likely miss out on the things that are most valuable to you!
So… if you were at the end of your life looking back, would you say that you are living in congruence with what was most deeply important to you? What will you wish you had attended to, made time for, learned, accomplished?
It’s time to stop. Reassess. Take our lives by the reins. Say no. Say yes. All in service to being congruent:
I invite you to just move into an “observer” mode. For a few weeks, just watch. How are you spending your time? Allocating your energy? If life were over tomorrow, would you say that you had been living congruently with your highest priorities and values? If not, begin making change. Start with one simple adjustment each week until the new “balance” is set… and just watch the rewards!