Aligning with the others in your life

Alignment is a key to happiness.

When your day-to-day life (your “lifestyle”) aligns with your values, you’ll typically feel good, because you’re doing things you want to do. Conversely, when your lifestyle doesn’t align with your values, you may feel like something is missing or like you are continually doing things you don’t want to do.

One obstacle to finding alignment can be the other people who are currently in your life.

For example, if it’s important to you to spend lots of time outdoors, but your significant other isn’t into that at all, then your desired lifestyles don’t align. Your values clash. And you might end up not spending much time outdoors.

So it is important to find people who align with your values—people who desire a similar lifestyle to yours.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to find people to join you in your favorite activities?
  • Are you making lots of compromises with your significant other on what to do in the evenings/on the weekend/on a trip?
  • Do you feel free to express almost all of your thoughts to your friends, your family, and your significant other, without filtering them? (Or do you worry that they would judge you or not accept you if they knew what you were really thinking?)
  • Do you find yourself judging your friends often (because you have different values)?

If it turns out that your desired lifestyle doesn’t align with that of the people who feature prominently in your life right now, then you might be experiencing social drag. (“Social drag is what happens when you undergo a significant personal shift, yet everyone around you still treats you the same”.) Or perhaps you were never compatible to begin with.

Either way, it can take a while to adjust who you spend time with. It takes time and effort. And it can be unpleasant.

But, as usual, step one is realizing that something is wrong. So, are you in alignment with the people you spend a lot of time with?


— Peter

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