I recently re-read THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz. In his book, Don Miguel Ruiz lists four rules to live by which he calls The Four Agreements.
The First Agreement is; “Be Impeccable with your word.” Never take your word lightly and when you do give your word make sure your intention is to do as you have promised. Our character is built upon the power of our word. When we keep our promises we build trust. Others know they can depend on us and we have the benefit of knowing we are a person of honor.
Being impeccable with our word also means being honest with ourselves. When we promise ourselves to do something….. develop our talents, or get in good physical shape, those promises must be kept as surely as our promise to another. When we take care of ourselves and are honest with ourselves, we gain confidence and peace of mind.
The Second Agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” This agreement requires us to tame our ego. We love to be right and we love personal recognition. What we need to remember is everyone has an opinion, right, wrong or indifferent. When that opinion is expressed as a negative statement, the statement is more about the one expressing their opinion than it is about us. When we know who we are and have confidence in our abilities, any negative opinions do not matter. There is a difference between a negative opinion and a constructive statement. A constuctive statement helps build our abilities, but negative statements hold no value. When we let them upset us, we are agreeing with them and are making our own devaluations.
Don Miguel Ruiz writes; “It is not important to me what you think about me, and I don’t take what you think personally. I don’t take it personally when people say, ‘Miguel, you are the best,’ and I also don’t take it personally when they say, ‘Miguel, you are the worst.’ I know that when you are happy you will tell me, ‘Miguel you are such an angel!’ But when you are mad at me you will say, “Oh, Miguel, you are such a devil! You are so disgusting. How can you say those things?’ Either way, it does not affect me because I know what I am. I don’t have the need to be accepted. I don’t have the need to have someone tell me, ‘Miguel, you are doing so good!’ or ‘How dare you do that!”
The Third Agreement is “Don’t Make Assumptions.” The problem with assumptions is we believe them to be the truth. The third agreement requires us to talk to others to find out what is expected or wanted from a relationship. An example of this is when a couple fall in love and decide to get married. Each assumes the other believes in the same core values as they do. After the marriage they realize they do not have the same ideas about marriage, children, finances, or spiritality, at all. And some couples actually have the mistaken idea that their spouse should ‘know’ what they want because they know one another so well. Never make the assumption your partner ‘knows’ what you want. If something is important to you, tell your partner. Never assume they ‘should know’. Talk about marriage expectations prior to marriage. And as you and your partner change, as we all do, keep the conversation going. When communication is clear, relationships grow stronger.
Never enter into any agreement whether its business, friends, family or associates assuming you know the intentions and expectations of the other. Ask questions and never assume the answers are obvious. Communicate clearly: “This is what I want, and this is what you expect.” Many of our world’s problems would be resolved if clear communications were used.
The Fourth Agreement is “Always Do Your Best.” The fourth agreement allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. Remember your best will change from day to day, so accept that. You will do better when you’re healthy and rested and you will not do as well when you’re tired or not feeling well. But do your best under all circumstances and you will not be plagued with regret. Doing your best means taking action because you love what you are doing, not just because there is a reward. If we like what we do and we always do our best, life will be enjoyable. You’ll avoid the boredom and frustration that come from taking action just for a reward.
You were born with the right to be happy….to love….to enjoy…..to share your love. Say no when you want to say no, and say yes when you want to say yes. And when you say yes, always do your best. Only you can be you. You are God’s gift to the world just by being you. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others.
So, Earlynn’s just sayin: “Be impeccable with your word…..Don’t take anything personally…… Don’t make assumptions……and Always do your best. Sounds like a prescription for a very happy life.” Thanks, Don Miguel Ruiz for your beautiful insights.