Apr 012016


Jim Jacobs - Life

I recently had to make the trip to the tire store to get new tires.  I know nothing about tires, so this is always an adventure for me.  Ultimately, I chose what they recommended.  Then, they wanted to talk to me about alignment packages.  I could purchase this now and supposedly save money later.  It sounded good, so I signed up for it!

What is alignment anyway?  On my car, it means all the tires are evenly matched, lined up straight, and pulling me directly down the road.  When tires are out of alignment, the car will pull to the right or left, the tires will wear out improperly, and the steering wheel might shake.

WVM April 2016 Jim LIFE ImageNone of these things are necessarily life threatening in the moment, but not good if allowed to continue for a long period of time!  Good, solid alignment is essential to smooth travel down the road!

Strong and solid alignment is even more essential for people.  If you want to travel smoothly and safely down the roads of life, you have to be aligned.  If you don’t want to wear out too quickly, get pulled in wrong ways, and stay solid, you must be well aligned.

So how does alignment work for people?  What do you need to know?

Most difficulties for individuals come when behavior and belief are not in alignment.  In short, when you believe one way and you act in another way, you are out of alignment.  This can be a major cause of depression, anger, anxiety, and a host of other emotional and relationship challenges.  Alignment between belief and behavior is so very important.

For instance, if deep down in your heart, you believe in being honest, but you are cheating on your papers for school, you are out of alignment.  If you espouse a strong work ethic, but spend work days wasting time on social media, you are out of alignment.

You get the point.  Believe one thing-do another, always equals difficulty.

Check out these simple steps to get to better personal alignment:

First, make a list of the things you truly believe about yourself, about life, and about how you believe people should conduct themselves.  Write down only the things you strongly believe in.  For example, my list would say “I believe in the importance of regular physical exercise.”

Making a list of what you truly believe is helpful because it causes you to really reflect, examine your priorities, and decide what you really feel.  Take some time to do this.  Your goal is not to “one and done” and get everything on a piece of paper in a single setting.  Add to it as different ideas come to mind.

Second, examine the things that irritate you the most about yourself and others.  If you pay attention, these can be the “dashboard lights” to indicate a belief beneath the hood.  For example, I hate it when people speed ahead and then swerve over at the last minute.  If I follow that irritant to the root, I find myself seeing respect and integrity.  I believe in these things.

Third, as your list starts to come together, start asking yourself questions like “How does my conduct measure up to my beliefs?”  For example, I mentioned that I believe in the importance of regular physical exercise.  Is my current behavior matching that belief?  Not too difficult to see.  Am I exercising regularly right now?  If yes, I am in alignment.  If not, I might wish to make some changes!

Finally, when you find something out of alignment—when a belief and a behavior do not match up—consider setting a goal to make a change.  Set goals based on what you believe.  When you start to match up your actions with what you believe, you get personal power to make change.  You tap into that part of us that always wants our beliefs and our behaviors to match.

Alignment is important for cars.  It is essential for people!  When the wheels of behavior are aligned with the axle of belief, you get top speed through life!  Even more, life just moves more smoothly when what you espouse matches what you do!  Let’s get things lined up!  That will get us there!

Jim R. Jacobs, LCSW is an author, professional speaker, counselor, and professional coach.  He lives with his wife and 4 daughters and 1 son in Denver, Colorado.  His book is Driving Lessons For Life: Thoughts on Navigating the Roads of Life.  A fun and refreshing ride to better living!  ContactWebsiteFacebookLinkedInBlogYoutubeBook

Photo Credit – adamr