The Choice of Congruence
I’ve listened to dozens of stories recently from Moscow, Istambul, London, Chicago, L.A., New York to Colorado Springs about the heartburn that’s produced inside of us when we live incongruent lives. What do I mean by congruence? Do your beliefs, values, and behaviors all lineup or do you do something very different than what you hold true?
I heard a story this week about a friend contemplating a job five states away requiring him to travel every week away from the family he loves. By the end of the story, he was hoping the situation won’t materialize knowing it will produce a gap between the value he holds, being present with his family, and the requirement of living five days a week in another state.
Another story from a leader carrying a company message that she knew was not entirely accurate. She understood the hard realities that require leaders to withhold information from team members like when an acquisition isn’t final, or people are being made “redundant.” What she was having a hard time with was her personal truth meter. She wasn’t sure she could keep paying the personal cost, the knots in her stomach and her soulful discontent.
I’m returning home after traveling for seven of the last eight weeks, mostly away from my family. I’m heading back out again Sunday evening through Friday. I know this intentional stretch of the week over week travel is not congruent with my value of being engaged with my wife and daughter in our daily shared life together. Temporarily, I’m choosing incongruence believing that I’ll get back in line again.
My friends, how congruent are you right now?
The choices your making, the obligations you are engaged in, are they producing the life you want? I find a lot of people ignore the question of congruence, but I know we would prefer keeping it real and even if we can’t resolve it quickly, we’d rather face the facts and acknowledge that we’re out of sync.
When we are aware, we can choose something different.