Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Have You Checked Your Alignment Lately?

It's Wednesday and I've accomplished absolutely nothing this week. I just can't seem to get motivated. I guess it's time to check my alignment once again.

What's that? Check my alignment? Why whatever do you mean?

Let me explain. About eight years ago, I was in the same situation. I had lost all motivation. I just couldn't find the excitement and the passion for my work that I'd had in the past. I actually dreaded having to go to work each day. Then I read an amazing article. It said that just as your car will squeak and make unpleasant sounds when it is not in alignment, so too will your soul when your business tasks are not in alignment with your vision, mission and values.

Before investing more time and efforts to take your business or organization to a fascinating new level, you must re-evaluate first what your primary values are, how you prioritize them inside you, and, see if your business activities support and are in alignment with the priority of your values.

For example, eight years ago my father, who had Alzheimer's, moved in with me. At the time, I used to travel quite a bit to speak to specific groups of people to market the business for the company I worked for. To be successful and get promoted, I needed to travel and speak and network more frequently. There were lots of late nights and long weeks and too many weekends when I was not at home.

But, family life is on the very top of my priority list, in a place higher than business or career success. So, whenever my work required that I travel for an extensive amount of time, my inner self experienced a misalignment. I still went ahead and did what my “head” told me I was supposed to do, but my heart was centered to my values. When the head pulls the whole body to do what it dictates it to do, the heart starts to send out signals to you that if you don’t make adjustments, you will not stay in wholesome health any longer. The heart sends out signals by decreasing your enthusiasm, motivation and self-esteem. You start seeing yourself get down more easily, you feel lonely, not understood and you feel that you get angry easily or you get blamed for shutting your emotions. And that is exactly what happened. Whereas I once enjoyed traveling and meeting with our clients, now I simply wanted to get the trip over with so I could get home. I started making excuses to cut trips short or to send someone else. And when I had to go I was sick and depressed most of the time. I did not give clients the attention they had come to expect. I knew I had to do something or instead of getting that promotion, I would be looking for a different job!

In the article, it said that one of the easiest ways to figure out what your values are and in what priority they are in is to make a “Desire List.” Ask yourself , “What do you want?” Then, begin to jot down your list of answers. Don’t judge yourself for your wants. You need to create a safe and open environment for yourself so that your true self gets uncovered. Don’t be ashamed to say, “I want to own a house by the lake with an amazing view to the mountains and a dock for launching your very own boat.” Or, “I want to be the most influential leader and the expert of experts of my field.” Or, “I want to be a famous dancer!” Just let things flow. Let the same question come at you for 10 to 15 minutes. You may start getting bored of the same question, but you may start seeing what is hiding under those wants. Your initial “wants” are really saying, “I want to be recognized.” “I want to be trusted and respected.” “I wanted to be loved by my family members.’ “I want to be understood and loved for the real me.” “I want to make a difference in this world.”

Your wants and desires express your values.

Take your top 5 values and complete the following questions to get an inner alignment:
1. What are you doing on a daily basis to support these values?
2. What are you doing on a daily basis that does not support these values or that are in conflict with these values?
3. How can you modify your business life so that you support your most important values? How can you eliminate or start eliminating business activities that are in conflict with your values? If these business activities are important to the growth of your business, what else is out there for you to consider for the replacement of such activities. Take the example above; ask yourself if you can find out ways to market the same audience through the phone, internet and other ways? Hold a teleseminar? For me, the answer was fairly simple - and terribly scary! I decided to quit my job and start a business that I could run from home at least part time.

If you are a busy business owner or organizational leader, you will have many activities and to-do’s everyday. Form the habit to run your business tasks through these results-proven questions and get your alignment checked periodically. It's the best way to keep yourself headed for success. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Starbucks for a lube job with a Grande White Chocolate Mocha and an alignment. Once I get myself straightened out, I'll run much more efficiently!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous post--wise and beautifully written. I'm a career and life transition counselor and I always suggest that my clients examine their values. In fact, these are often termed, "windows to the soul."
Thanks for your important message.