It’s a funny question, isn’t it? Congruent. Now, I’m not talking geometry here. I’m talking about a concept that originally came from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing).
In NLP, congruence is a name for that state in which every fiber of your being is in agreement.
According to Merriam-Webster, another definition of congruent is “being in agreement, harmony, or correspondence.”
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 – and perhaps they truly are – 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 Entrepreneur who is so burdened with “doing it all” that she hasn’t read a book, or picked up her violin, or made a date to visit Dad in months…
• 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…
• 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…
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, 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! “As soon as” never comes.
So… if you were on your deathbed, looking back at your life, 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 your life 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!