- The Fis Letter
- no.19. Alignment, from Vision to Action
no.19. Alignment, from Vision to Action
Align your Vision, Goals, Projects, Action
Edition no.19. 30th June 2023
Here is a simple definition for Alignment:
You wake up every day with deep motivation and a strong sense of clarity. You're working on projects that are meaningful to you and…
…all you have to worry about are your actions for Today.
In other words, today's actions are in total alignment with your envisioned future.
Your life is aligned.
From top to bottom.
Alignment starts in your higher-most vision for life, goes through long-term goals, active projects and ends at your daily tasks.
You're working on the right things.
And you know it because the decision on what to work on comes from a place of alignment to your future self. Instead of making short-sighted decisions, you're actively working towards a bigger plan, a deeper purpose.
Life makes sense.
Here’s how it would look like in an image:
Alignment of goals. Credit: Glen Lubbert @Stamina Lab
This path starts with your Transformative Purpose and goes all the way until your Daily Actions.
I got this image from Glen Lubbert, during Building a Second Brain Cohort 13, and I immediately fell in love with it.
It portrays "alignment" with stunning clarity.
You're always inspired by the original source of motivation, the beginning of the alignment chain:
Purpose is split into two parts:
A Vision: "What you want?"
A Purpose: "Why you want it?"
To know WHY you want something, you must know WHAT you want in the first place.
Ideally, Vision and Purpose always form a pair with each other, as together they're much stronger. Many times, however, you'll see people use only one or the other, so keep in mind: the other half is always there.
Call it whatever you want:
Your Purpose (Vision) is where Alignment begins.
💬 4 Quotes
This is why alignment begins in your WHY (your purpose).
So you can bear any how in the path toward your vision.
You are fueled by your purpose to face the challenges of each day, week, and month.
That's because purpose is 🚀 Rocket Fuel.
That person with a true purpose is the one who gets the job done, more than any level of genius.
A purposeful person is absolutely committed to do whatever it takes.
Get insanely clear on WHAT you want and WHY you want it.
Once you know WHAT you want, and WHY:
It's time to set a clear and compelling goal to reach.
Clear goals drive focus and improve performance.
But clear goals depend on your level of clarity on WHAT you want, and WHY.
The trend is starting to become clear, isn't it?
Your goals depend on the alignment with your vision and purpose in order to motivate you and increase focus.
And this trend continues…
Goals are usually filled with great intention.
But realistically, good intentions get you nothing closer to your goals.
Luckily, 2 things do get you closer:
These are the foundations to reach goals.
To reach a goal, you need to finish projects and to put systems in place.
Sometimes one or the other, usually both.
Here's what I mean by each:
Projects are set of tasks, usually a deconstruction of a goal into actionable steps you’ll take to reach it. Probably that's in the form of multiple projects.
Systems are sequences of actions you repeat in systematic way to constantly induce a desired behavior. Usually systems interact with one another.
And how does this relate to your goals?
You guessed it!
By being aligned to your goals, projects and systems are also aligned with your vision and purpose.
And finally, here's how you keep everything in place:
The act of alignment is one of connecting different pieces.
You connect daily actions to projects, to goals, to a vision, to a purpose.
And an important aspect of this alignment is due to cycles. Your vision and purpose propagate to goals and projects across yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly cycles.
Connections are made by looking back after each cycle.
That's the key final component of alignment:
Reviewing (or Reflecting)
Reviewing is about Reflection and I like to split into 3 parts:
Assuming that reviews happen in each cycle:
Celebrate the positive aspects of the cycle.
Improve the negative aspects the cycle.
Redirect your goals, projects, and tasks for the next cycle.
You're constantly adjusting your direction.
📄 3 Notes
1. Alignment is a Cycle
Alignment is a cycle, not a straight line.
Wait! ✋🏼 I know I showed you an image of alignment with a straight line in.
That's because we naturally tend to think of alignment as a straight line. It's even in its etymology: the word a-lign-ment comes from with a line.
And that makes sense, alignment connects different aspects of life in the same direction.
But that's just a part of the story.
Now that we're deeper into the subject, it's time to better define alignment:
Alignment is a balancing feedback loop.
Balancing feedback loops are all about stability and equilibrium. Alignment seeks exactly this, to keep our Goals, Project and Actions in balance with our Higher Vision and Purpose.
Feedback loops are cycles. And so is alignment.
Alignment is a Circular Cycle.
The Alignment Cycle
This is how alignment looks to me.
It's a straight line that's perfectly bent into a circular axis, creating a cycle.
Each stage in the cycle feeds into the next one, while always keeping trace of the original Vision and Purpose.
Until the final, connecting, step, the Review.
This is where you update your Vision, Purpose and Plan for the next cycle.
Reflection is the missing key for alignment in people's lives. You might have a Vision, plan it all out, execute, hustle hard, and go for it…
But if you never stop to reflect, you'll never connect back to the original vision.
Hell… you might even forget your vision completely.
A Review is what makes alignment holistic.
2. Dragon Dreaming
Some time ago, I came across this fascinating tool for project management.
It's called Dragon Dreaming.
Dragon Dreaming is based on liberating collective intelligence, creativity, cooperation and the power within ourselves and our communities.
Dragon Dreaming is inspired by: 1. Social and environmental activism, 2. the new physics, 3. Gaia and Earth sciences, 4. living systems and complexity theory, and 5. the ancient sustainable wisdom of indigenous cultures and Australian Aborigines.
Due to many aspects of it's design, Dragon Dreaming fosters a very strong sense of balance and alignment between:
Individual and Environment
Right-brain and Left-brain
Success and Failure
Thought and Action
Logic and Intuition
Work and Play
And of course, alignment between the 4 stages in the journey:
Dragon Dreaming Design Process
I'll end this note with a reflection.
Two of these stages make Dragon Dreaming totally different from conventional project design:
Modern society has lost touch with Dreaming and Celebrating, we're 100% focused on doing, doing, and doing.
Coincidently, or not, these are the most important stages for alignment.
Alignment is about connection and perception, it's subjective and it's intuitive. It is accessible during quiet reflection, not busy execution.
Society has become materialistic and out-of-touch with intuition.
We are out of alignment.
And nothing is disconnected, this lack of alignment has to do with the modern lifestyle and decisions humanity has made in the past.
But it's possible to change.
Dragon Dreaming is a powerful way to ground yourself and reclaim access to your intuition, higher self, and collective intelligence.
Reply to this email if you want to apply this.
I'd love to know more and help in any way.
3. Setting High Goals and Measuring the Gain
This final note is a combination of two powerful concepts:
Setting High Hard Goals
Measuring the Gain, not the Gap
There is a 3rd concept that perfectly connects these two:
Let's understand them one-by-one.
High Hard Goals
A High Hard Goal (HHG) is a concept coined by Steven Kotler in his book Art of Impossible.
HHGs are those very hard goals that take you thousands of hours to pursue successfully.
🧐 💭 "Fis!! Thousands of hours?!?!”
Yes, they are hard goals… (it's in the name).
But that's what it takes, because a common trait of HHGs is that they completely change your life.
And this takes time.
Another interesting aspect is that they spark A LOT of motivation because they are strongly aligned with your Life Purpose.
HHGs are measured in years and are the most powerful type of goal in terms of increasing motivation.
The Gap and The Gain
The Gap and The Gain is a concept from Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, that has been popularized in a recent book in collaboration with Dr. Benjamin P. Hardy.
Basically, here's what it means:
You actively choose how to measure your progress:
You're in The GAP every time you compare yourself to an ideal.
You're in The GAIN every time you compare yourself to your previous self.
How you measure your progress has a strong implication on your overall perception of your life.
If you've heard about hedonic adaptation, or hedonic treadmill, you know that humans adapt very fast to a new reality, and are constantly seeking a new and better ideal scenario.
The Gap and The Gain is an attempt at breaking this pattern by acknowledging all the progress you've already made, instead of what you still don't have.
It's simple and powerful.
Healthy Detachment is a mindset where you don't depend on an outcome to be happy.
In other words, you are emotionally detached from the outcome.
If it happens, GREAT!
If it doesn't, OK!
It's a powerful mindset which allows you to be heavily committed to the target but healthily detached from the outcome.
You are completely motivated and committed to make your goal come true.
And at the same time, YOU DON'T NEED IT.
It's the equivalent of "Hoping for the best, but expecting the worse".
Wrapping it all up
When you bring these 3 concepts together, you get to a very powerful place.
You're comfortable setting High Hard Goals.
This means you have a high ambition.
You're emotionally detached from them.
This means you're highly flexible.
You measure your progress, not how much is left.
This means you're constantly happy + motivated.
When you put it all together, this allows you to dream big, to have a deep sense of purpose without the fear of not making it.
Most people never dream big due to fear.
Fear of disappointment.
Fear of refection.
Fear of failure.
But if you follow these principles, there's nothing to fear.
You are psychologically trained to focus on your progress, to acknowledge wins and improvements, instead of failures and shortcomings.
High Hard Goals keep giving you a clear direction.
And you're not short-sighted or unreasonably obsessed with these goal.
You are flexible.
If something better appears, you take it.
And you're happy.
Because your reference point is always your past.
🔗 2 Links
Link 1: Collider Space
This is a collaborative project, not only between us 3, but in collaboration with the community itself. The magazine is being built for the community, and with the community.
Every month you'll receive a publication with articles from the community.
Welcome to 'where great minds collide'.
I'm excited to have you onboard!!
Subscribe so you don't miss the first issue.
Link 2: Dragon Dreaming
If you're interested in Dragon Dreaming, there is an official website where you can dive deeper into the methodology.
There you’ll find resources, explanations, history, and more.
I recommend taking a look at their ebook, it's very interesting and full of powerful practices.
Thank you for reading!
↓ If you enjoyed this, subscribe (or share) using this link: ↓
See you in two weeks, my friend!