Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ― Mohandas Gandhi
What does that mean?
This is all about being congruent. Some people will say what they believe is expected, not what is actually going through their mind. Others will do what they think is expected, even though it’s not what they think or believe to be correct.
These conflicts within yourself are one of many ways to rob yourself of happiness. Yes, I said rob yourself. No one else can steal happiness from you in this manner, only you can. If you do what you say, and say what you think (and truly believe), then all is in alignment, and you have the opportunity for happiness. When they are out of alignment, you have internal conflict, and happiness will be hard to achieve.
Why is congruence important?
At thefreedictionary.com, congruence is defined as a list of synonyms, specifically “Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.” Congruence within yourself lays the foundation of your life. If all is congruent, you have a foundation of harmony, calm and peace. If you don’t, you have a foundation of disagreement, agitation and conflict.
Which life will likely be happier, the one built on a foundation of congruence, or the one built on the shaky, incongruent foundation? If I were a betting man, I know which one I would bet my happiness on. How is your life? Are there incongruities within it? When you think of them, do you feel a sense of calm or do you feel agitated?
Where can I apply this in my life?
How about you, how congruent is your life? For example, do you tell your kids not to smoke as you light one up? Do you tell your kids not to drink as you pour another beer? Yes they are minor things, but they may indicate you have more incongruities lurking within you.
Are there things you do late at night, so no one sees you doing them? Do you sneak a little something now and then? If so, you might have an incongruity in your life. For me, it’s usually chocolate that I’m sneaking out to get, late at night. Occasionally, it’s something salty instead (like the bag of chips sitting next to me as I type).
The smaller incongruities are probably no more than small cracks in a foundation. That said, if you were buying a house, would you want one with a few small cracks, or one without any cracks at all? Prudence suggests that we work on all of our incongruities, to patch all our cracks.
Personally, I’d start with the big ones, and let the chips fall where they may (but be sure to clean up, lest you attract ants!) So, what are your big incongruities? We’ve been focusing on the do/say pair, but don’t forget the think/say and think/do pairs as well.
What of your values do you hold in your mind, and heart, that you don’t always act on, or speak up for? Is there a cause you believe in, but you don’t say so in conversations because it’s politically incorrect? Does that silence lead to greater happiness, or greater stress within you?
Grab some paper and write down whatever incongruities you can bring to mind. Feel free to take a few moments and reflect on where in your life these incongruities might be. List them all, big or small; of thought, word or action.
If you’re not up to writing these things down, I wouldn’t blame you. This isn’t the thing we’d want to talk openly about, or we would already be congruent, right? Just do the same exercise in your head. Now select one that you find to be fairly distasteful, one that you think would change your life the most if you could make it congruent.
Begin with the thought that starts the chain. Are you sure you stand by the thought? Think of all the reasons the thought is proper. Take your time and argue both sides of the thought. The point of the exercise is to make sure you have the proper thought as your base. If it has changed, consider how the other parts are impacted by this change. Are things more or less congruent?
Now, with your thought fairly well defended, what should you say to remain congruent with the thought? Why don’t you? Are there certain places, times, or people that bring out the incongruity? Which is more important, those situations, or your congruity? What are you going to say next time, and what will you do to make sure you are absolutely, positively, 100% certain that you will do so?
With thought and word squared away, how well do your actions fit? Is there room for improvement? What do you think you should do, and why don’t you do it? Again, are there specific places, times, or people that bring out the incongruity? Which is more important, those situations, or your congruity? What are you going to do next time, and how will you make sure you are absolutely, positively, 100% certain that you will do what is congruent?
This won’t be easy. You are shifting both a habit and a social norm. Neither is easy. Doing both at the same time will be hard. But I believe it will be worth the effort. You may alienate a few acquaintances who were masquerading as friends. You may find that you are no longer considered as “cool” or as “hip” as you once were. The tradeoff is you are being truthful to yourself and to the world, congruent. And that brings peace of mind.
From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mohandasga105593.html
Photo by Cordey