Your vision — whether for your life or a specific project — is the foundational element of your guiding compass. But having a vision isn’t enough to guide you. If your vision isn’t in alignment with other elements of your compass, you’ll quickly find yourself stuck.
What do we mean by alignment?
Alignment literally means positioning something in a straight line, or, more broadly, in the proper placement. It also means to be in a position of agreement. Alignment of your vision and the other elements of your compass means that they are all in agreement; there is no conflict between the different factors that guide your actions.
Here are a few examples:
Think about a set of dominoes. If you arrange the dominoes on the table spaced at just the right distance, and lined up properly, you only need to tap the first one for all of them to fall in succession. The dominoes flow. But if the dominoes are not aligned, everything stops.
If a car’s steering is out of alignment, you will feel the car drifting or pulling to one side or extra vibration. You must work harder to keep the car on course. When your car is in alignment, your drive smoothly.
To align the car, your mechanic will adjust the angles of the tires, which affects how they make contact with the road.
Your musculoskeletal structure is the framework for your body. When your bones and joints are properly aligned, your muscles are supported and you move with greater ease. Misalignment creates stress on muscles, tendons, and ligaments, creating dis-ease in movement. Also, when your structure is out of alignment, breath has difficulty moving through the body, depriving our cells of the oxygen they need. Just like in a car, misalignment of the our physical structure causes uneven and premature wear-and-tear on our physical systems.
Why Alignment is Crucial
When the foundational elements of your structure are in alignment, life flows and you move forward with ease. When they are not aligned, execution is difficult. Things get sticky. They don’t move. You feel stuck. Maybe even in pain.
Feeling this in your body is the best way to appreciate what happens when structures are misaligned. When you’re injured, or sick, your physical energy is directed to healing or to shoring up the weak systems leaving you without energy to do other things you want to do.
This concept applies equally to your vision and how it relates to the other elements of your compass. When your vision is aligned, bringing it to fruition happens with ease. Everything flows. This doesn’t mean it’s “easy” or there’s no work — “with ease” is not the same as “easy.” When you’re in alignment, you’re not fighting through layers of resistance or meeting roadblocks.
If your vision isn’t aligned, everything feels like a battle. It’s like driving that car with faulty steering, or walking on an injured leg: you expend so much energy on trying to keep yourself on the path that you don’t have much left for moving forward.
Check Your Alignment
If you were going on a long road trip, you’d likely have your car checked before you leave. In the same way, it’s critical to check your vision for alignment before you set out on your path to implementation.
This isn’t a one-time thing. Alignment checks are necessary as you travel the path, especially in periods of major change. As you grow and discover new things about yourself and the world, the various elements of your compass will change, which will require recalibrating your alignment.