The quote “Can two walk together unless they agree?” is a biblical verse, found in Amos 3:3 (KJV). It denotes a spiritual reference to the relationship a Christian believer has with God in terms of believing in him and that same believer has any dealing with humanity. It is solely spiritual, but I believe it has multiple implications, not excluding spiritual, but including financial, business, work, family relationships, friendships, and most importantly romantic relationships.
It cannot be suggested enough that who you engage to marry makes a difference, and that difference is based on essentially possessing a connection and recognizing compatibility. Now I did not make marriage a priority in my initial intent towards engaging the dating market. In fact, I didn’t even date. I never thought dating was productive because when you date, you run the risk of having multiple partners and engaging in casual sex.
Even though some people might find dating and by extension having casual sex as empowering, it is not truly productive because you end up wearing down your body, mind, spirit, finances, and psychology. No one can considerably manage and facilitate a diet of one-night stands and even those encounters that lead to some aspect of long-term development. Your life really cannot take too many hits!
Going back to my point, I did not make marriage a priority. I made shacking a priority. I have only shacked intentionally two times in my life, the first being in 1994 for a few months and the second incident in 2013 for nearly three years. In between those periods, I completed college and graduate school, I kept a place to myself, I moved hastily into a roommate’s apartment out of fear, and I struggled with being homeless during the period of the financial recession. In other words, I did not have time to shack with anyone. I was too busy surviving, struggling, a little overcoming, and surviving again. Oh yeah, there was some failure mixed into those situations.
Regardless, I am in my process of overcoming, and if you do not know that overcoming is a process just as surviving, then you should add this to your bucket list of things to do when you are exiting the setback process. Oh yeah, setback, exiting that is, has its processes too! Don’t fool yourself into believing that just because you got out of a situation hastily, maybe unscathed, but breathing that you did not experience a setback and that you are still in that setback until you receive and obey instruction out of it. See my books titled Overcoming Setback: Five Keys for Entering and Exiting Correction and Overcoming Setback Workbook: Processing Towards Life Recovery for more information on what setback truly is, how to exit it through accepting instruction, and how to pursue and sustain overcoming.
As I exit my own setback and correction processes and enter the processes of overcoming and sustaining that argument, I am reminded of the times in which I relied solely on the misguided belief that I would just merely take someone at their word concerning their relationship with me, their attitude towards me, their belief about my connection to them, and their desire to evict me emotionally once they realized they could not get what they wanted or once they realized that there was no true consensus regarding the friendship, relationship, and/or family dynamic.
It is a difficult thing to reach consensus, or agreement, with someone with a different view, especially when you feel duped by the representative he or she sends. Remember, people get our representative before they truly get us, and I’m not sure people ever get the real us. There is so much damage done and to be had in relationships that people would rather hold onto their anxieties than to explore fully their vulnerabilities. That’s sad. I never realized just how broken and cynical we all are concerning love and how much work we still need to do if we are going to rebuild the community that is both individual and the collective.
Even though we come from community, we operate as if community does not reside in us. The person who pushes and pursues drama and chaos abandons the concept of community for the experience of destruction. The person would rather see the fire burn, metaphorically, than to see someone with a hose come and put out the fire. People would rather shoot than talk. It used to be that the consensus was you fought with your hands. I don’t ever remember anyone bringing a gun to school.
I graduated from high school in 1993, born 1n 1974, and graduated with at least two years of job experience. I did not have much direction because some of the things I wanted to do did not pan out like I thought I had planned. In other words, I did not have an effective, executable plan. However, I did have a visual of something and somewhere I wanted to be and do and hope for even for the short-term. Of course, I still did not write out the vision, which is another scripture. That, too, is walking in agreement and walking with consensus.
Therefore, here are some keys to consider as you reflect on the agreements you have made in the past, the decisions you must make for your present, and the boundaries you need to set now for your future. Without attention to walking in agreement, you are bound to continue repeating some of your negative behaviors, hoping for change but never reaching it.
Write the Vision
You cannot operate and function correctly and appropriately if you have no visual image of who you are, what you want to do, where you want to go, how you want to achieve your dreams, when the time is right, and why it is necessary for you to be the one to get the job done!
Many people are in jobs for which they have no passion, no agreement. They are just doing the job. They may have a work ethic, and they can be depended upon to manage and complete tasks, but they are very unhappy with their decisions to stay at a company for which they feel provides any value. That is sad because I believe all of us have an opportunity to pursue difference, to pursue change. Pursuit might be inconvenient, but staying on that path to completion has its rewards.
For example, the person who wants different but complains about having to take college classes for improvement will find himself or herself still complaining many years later. It is a risk you take for yourself, but the way the systems are set up, it is much easier to take the risk, get money to pay for it, and learn and grow to the next levels. To not try but complain is symptomatic of a larger issue dealing with laziness, lack of confidence, and failure to see the bigger picture.
This means that the only agreement you are walking in is the one that perpetuates and supports your belief that you cannot or do not have to make it out of where you are for something better. Even a job can feel like a trap, but if the vision is to work the job for two to five years, take classes to elevate yourself into another position, and then finally reach the conclusion of that goal, then that is the first start to writing down the vision and seeing the vision to completion, i.e., to agreement. The vision and your corresponding action agree!
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.Habakkuk 2:2-3 (KJV)
People stay where they are because they lack vision AND because they fail to write down the vision. You have to envision yourself walking out of your setback and writing it down so that you can attend to it. This means that you have to agree with yourself, and you have to know to what you are agreeing.
For example, if your goal is to take some classes at the local community college to improve your chances at your job for moving up professionally, then that is simply a plan and not necessarily a vision. However, it is on the road to creating a vision for yourself which requires that you sit down with pen and pad and write down where you are and where you want to go. It is the gap assessment that I discuss in multiple audio lessons and articles, and it is another important key.
Conduct a Gap Assessment
Conduct a gap assessment to determine the difference between “what is” and “what should be.”
Conduct a gap assessment to determine “what is” and “what should be.”
You can find the full content for the gap assessment topic on this website by clicking the appropriate tab. You can also find this and various related topics on YouTube. Although you can find these video lessons in various places, it is important to consider the topic for this article.
Conducting a gap assessment to determine whether there is agreement and/or consensus within multiple areas of your life is an important strategy. If there is a gap between one part of your understanding and another, then that is an issue you must address. For example, if there is no consensus between the current credit card debt you have and the need to pay that credit card debt to completion, then there is a problem with agreement. In other words, there is disagreement between your belief about having credit cards and your inability, unwillingness, and/or failure to pay such cards. Both you and your credit cards are not walking in agreement.
Here is another example. In a recent blog article titled “Favors Love Rants: When a Man Feels Forced,” I addressed the need of women to begin thinking about how they force men, through ultimatum, into marriage by bluffing and/or calling their partner’s bluffs. A woman who feels a need to issue an ultimatum is not working in tandem or agreement with a male partner who is unaware that marriage is even on the table. In fact, the woman does not know if the man desires marriage in the first place let alone marriage to her.
This is an important gap assessment to consider because expectation and reality are disjointed. They are not parallel. We all remember parallel lines and the difference between them and lines that intersect.
To parallel means to extend in the same direction, never converging or diverging. In other words, it is important to have parallel goals, decision-making, and ultimate vision for a romantic relationship, for finances, for spiritual growth, for career development, and for your life. When you find yourself deviating from those initial goals, then that suggests a divergence, which further suggests a gap in your thinking. Conducting a gap assessment would correct those ideas roaming around in your head that you believe are functional but are truly contrary to what you are trying to accomplish.
In other words, the young kid who is on the path of completing high school gets sidetracked in his thinking and decides to join a gang believing that in joining a gang he is truly being productive. What the kid does not realize is that he is out of alignment. His beliefs about completing high school conflict with his newly held beliefs about sustaining membership in a gang where school or achievement is unnecessary for acceptance. Where there is a gap in understanding, there is also disagreement.
The irony is that the more you and your partner or you and your finances are aligned, paralleled, and in agreement, the more your beliefs intersect. It is like your ideas run into each other because you have the same vision for the relationship and/or for your individual life. Conducting the gap assessment permits you the opportunity to determine the gaps in your thinking and how best to close out those gaps with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.
The following are videos part of the gap assessment topics housed on the website. These are short but provide some insight into realigning yourself with your own belief system so that there is agreement. The content is wholly adapted. Not all audio lessons are represented in the following listing. However, the full video discussion is available at the end of this article. You can skip ahead of the snippet videos and view the full video discussion.
Understanding Gap Assessment
The gap assessment is a strategy typically used in business, and I have added it to one or more books, especially the one titled Favors Sample Life Plan: Using Psychology, SWOT, & SMART to Measure Financial Progress. The book is available on Amazon. You can find links for each book under the tabs “Books” and “About” on this site. The use of the gap assessment strategy in the book references finances and financial management. Here is a quick video on the concept.
Conducting a gap assessment for life planning is always important. Consider the following questions as informative.
Why is it important to conduct a gap assessment?
It is important to conduct a gap assessment in your thinking about where you are and where you want to be long-term. The gap assessment usually reveals what is going on in your present day and what you want to happen in your future. It reveals how you may have mishandled executing your goals. Here is a quick video about counting the costs before you make decisions in your life.
The gap assessment is significant because it is useful for all areas of your life, including academic, professional, personal, and financial. The last category is likely more important than any other area because if you do not have discipline over your finances, the knowledge gap will affect every other area of your life. Your finances matter, and how you manage your finances matters!
Where are you today?
This question encourages you to assess areas of your life that might reflect a knowledge gap or that might reflect a knowledge assurance. Before you complete the workbook elements of this discussion, review the following video.
Understanding where you are today is important because it requires that you be truthful about your decision-making, recognize facts that support those truths, and plan from that knowledge point to get to where you want to be.
Where should you be?
Where you should be is predicated on who you think you are, your capacity and capability, and your future contribution, i.e., what you want it to be. It is up to you to ensure you have what you need in the present for the future.
You must be sufficiently prepared for the future you want. The feelings of inconvenience because you are forced to learn in your present must be something you address but ultimately ignore because you cannot get anywhere living in the present with regret. This cannot be said enough. It is important to plan for your future. The following video is about conducting an assessment of your finances.
Think about the issues referenced within the video as you provide responses to the following questions.
What are your financial plans?
What is your financial vision?
What is your financial purpose?
To where do you want to take yourself financially?
Conducting a gap assessment should not stop with finances. You may easily use the strategy to assess romantic relationships, business relationships, and any other life area that you may be struggling with and needing resolution. Regardless, there must be agreement between your goals and how you want to accomplish them and/or how you envision yourself and the necessary steps you must take to reach completion.
In concluding this article, it is important to consider the business tool SWOT as you determine how best to close knowledge gaps that are are preventing you from reaching and sustaining agreement between you and your finances, between you and your romantic choices, and between you and your belief systems. Any time left trying to figure out where you went wrong is still important, but the goal must be to determine where there is disagreement and what choices are central for moving your life back into alignment.
When you think about whether your life is in agreement, consider the following questions:
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your opportunities?
- What are your threats?
These are general questions, but it is important to tailor the questions to your finances, romance choices, career preparation, and personal life. Here is an example:
- What are your romance choice strengths?
- What are your romance choice weaknesses?
- What are your romance choice opportunities?
- What are your romance choice threats?
The more time you spend in reflecting on your decisions, the easier it becomes to recognize when you are making decisions that do not line up with your core values. Of course, you must have core values, standards, expectations, and boundaries. Unless you know what those areas are and represent, you will continue to get off the path of your goals. This further suggests that you must create, manage, and pursue completion of your goals. You must have them!
An important life recovery objective then would be to assess your SWOT. This will lead to conducting a gap assessment and further to other areas of your life that need repair. Working through life recovery is no easy task, but it is important that you walk in agreement with yourself. When you do not, this is evident in your relationships, decisions, and setbacks.
Thank you for reading.
Regina Y. Favors, Owner/Operator
The vision of the site is to be the preferred online curriculum you need for life recovery.
Full Video Discussion
This is the full video discussion for Gap Assessment. Review it in its entirety for full understanding.
Copyright (C) 2022 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.
Your feedback is appreciated.