The Personal Alignment protocol helps you penetrate deeply into your desires and find what’s blocking you from getting what you want. Use it to discover, articulate, and achieve what you want. The quality of your alignment will be equal to the quality of your results.


  1. Want. Answer the question: “What specifically do I want?”
  2. Block. Ask yourself, “What is blocking me from having what I want?”
  3. Virtue. Figure out what would remove this block by asking yourself “What virtue—if I had it— would shatter this block of mine?”
  4. Shift. Pretend the virtue you identified is actually what you want.
  5. Again. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until this process consistently yields a virtue that is powerful enough to shatter your blocks and get you what you originally thought you wanted.
  6. Done. Now write down a personal alignment statement in the form “I want [virtue].” For example, “I want courage.”
  7. Signal/Response/Assignment. Create a signal to let others know when you are practicing your alignment, and provide a response they can give you to demonstrate support. For example, “When I say/do ‘X,’ will you say/do ‘Y’?” Optionally, turn it into an assignment by saying you will do X a certain number of times per day, where X equals an activity that requires you to practice living your alignment.
  8. Evidence. Write, in specific and measurable terms, the long-term evidence of practicing this alignment.
  9. Help. Ask each member of your group for help. They help by giving the response you would like when you give your signal that you are practicing your alignment.


  • Identify an alignment that will result in your personal change and require no change from any other person.
  • Identify blocks and wants that are specific and personal.
  • Identify blocks that, if solved, would radically increase your effectiveness in life, work, and play.
  • Choose a virtue that is about you and preferably one word long. For example: integrity, passion, self-care, peace, fun.
  • Ask for help from people who know you and/or know alignments.
  • Identify evidence that is measurable by an objective third party.


  • The most popular personal alignments are “I want (Integrity, Courage, Passion, Peace, Self-Awareness or Self-Care)”.
  • If you are struggling with figuring out what you want, adopt the alignment “I want self-awareness.” There is no case where increased self-awareness would not be beneficial.
  • A personal block is something you find within yourself. It does not refer to circumstances or other people. Assume that you could have had what you want by now, that your block is a myth that somehow deprives you of your full potential.
  • Ideally, identify both immediate and long-term evidence of your alignment. Write down results that start now (or very soon), as well as results you’ll see at least five or more years in the future.
  • As a default signal, tell your teammates or others who are close to you that you are working on your alignment when you are practicing it. If they don’t know the protocol, just tell them what virtue you are working on and ask for their help.
  • When members of a team are completing their personal alignments together (asking each other for help), the final step of the process is most powerful if done as a ceremony.

Copyright © 2010 Jim and Michele McCarthy

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