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Action or Alignment?

In the fields of self-help, personal development, and spirituality, there are two schools of thought concerning how desires are most effectively manifested; Action & Alignment.

Action is usually understood in terms of physical discipline. It involves doing the work and taking the practical steps necessary to bring an idea into fruition. This perspective is brilliantly represented in such books as “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield and “Poke the Box” by Seth Godin.

Alignment refers to the process of selecting thoughts that are in agreement with ones desires. It can also be expressed as a state in which one focuses their attention in an empowering or encouraging way. The notion of alignment typically coincides with the ideas of “emotional guidance” and the “law of attraction.” Emotional guidance is the notion that your feelings function as a feedback mechanism or internal navigation tool which lets you know if you’re focusing your attention in a life-giving way or not.

When you feel resistant emotions, that’s an indicator from your guidance system that you are thinking in a disempowering or discouraging manner. Since the Law of Attraction teaches that we attract what we predominantly feel, the best way to manifest a desire is to habitually entertain thoughts which induce positive emotional states. This perspective is beautifully elucidated in books like “The Astonishing Power of Emotions” by Esther & Jerry Hicks (The Teachings of Abraham), “The Vibrational Universe” by Kenneth James MacLean, and “Thought Vibration” by William Walter Atkinson.

In some circles there is a debate as to which method is the preferred way to “get stuff done.” Should we follow the “no pain, no gain” mantra or should we focus mostly on alignment and allow the law of attraction to deliver the results to us?

As an avid student of metaphysics, I have a huge soft spot for words like the following:

“We do not create through action. Action is how you experience and enjoy what you attract through the alignment of energy.” – Esther & Jerry Hicks (The Teachings of Abraham)


Is that really all there is to the story? What about old fashioned hard work? Isn’t there SOMETHING to be said about excercising initiative and making things happen? Isn’t there something we all recognize as noble when a parent wakes up really early to take care of their child even though they don’t feel like it? Isn’t there something admirable about the person who “forces himself” to get out there and go jogging because he’s committed to being healthier?

What are your thoughts?

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll give you a few of mine.

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