The Power of Congruence

I used to work sometimes in this building that belonged to a local broadcaster of TV. The building also served as a resource for various community groups. They had different cultural classes, from modern expressionist art to a how to class on making traditional Japanese slippers. In the entrance of the building were several pictures of different newscasters and TV personalities. Some very attractive people, as being on TV, that has traditionally been a requirement.

I used to teach a class in the building on Monday nights. Every time I’d walk past that bank of TV personalities, there was one lady that I thought was exceptionally cute. For some reason, however, she didn’t have a “traditional” sense of beauty. So whenever I inwardly admired her picture, I realized that she wasn’t a traditional beauty. There was something about her smile, I guess.

One night, the entire class was leaving together. When we passed the bank of pictures, one of the students asked me which I thought was the cutest. At first I hesitated, because for some reason I thought my opinion might be met with disbelief, as there were certainly other faces that were more beautiful, at least according to TV standards. What happened kind of surprised me. After a brief period of reluctance, I said whom I liked. There was pause, as obviously my choice was different than expected. What came next was interesting. Instead of question my choice, why I liked what I did, everybody immediatley looked at this TV personality in new light. As if they thought maybe I saw something that they didn’t.

It kind of reminded me of a story I heard a long time ago. While I’m not exactly sure of the content of the story, the moral, or the punch line, was that people are not moved by the content of your desires, rather than the congruence of them. If you have kind of a wishy-washy expression of desire for something, even if it is somewhat generally popular, people will tend try to pick apart your opinion, and tell you why their ideas are better. But if you express a congruent expression of opinion, desire, or interest, people will generally respect your expressed desires, regardless of the content. And if you are congruent enough, they will go to great lengths to try and learn exactly what it is that you find so intriguing about this.

It is not the content of the message that is expressed that sways the minds of people; it is the congruence with which it is expressed. With enough congruence, any content can be persuasive and influential. I think that sometimes people miss the forest for the trees. Because most people are unaware of the underlying congruence, we tend to put too much effort on the content, when it is really the congruence that we find so intriguing.

You don’t have to look to hard into the annals of history to find evil men that had enough conviction and belief in their message to persuade whole countries to buy into and follow them in their destructive intentions.

When you can come up with a plan that is beneficial to other people, and present it to them with full congruence and belief, you will be an unstoppable force, with the ability and support to achieve almost anything that you can imagine.