If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power.
– Miguel Ruiz
There are some agreements that are able to transform the way we live our lives. The way we think and communicate, the way we treat others. I would like to share with you some interesting thoughts from the book I recently red. It´s called ¨The Four Agreements¨ by Miguel Ruiz.
The most surprising about these agreements is that they are very simple. Or at least they seem to be simple. Let’s make the analysis, so called ¨scan¨ of our daily interactions with others and with ourselves.
Do we follow at least one of the below agreements?
These are four agreements that Miguel Ruiz, author of Toltec spiritualist, suggests us to adapt and experience the amazing transformation of our lives.
The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
What does that mean? Miguel Ruiz explains, that “impeccability means “without sin”. Impeccable comes from the Latin pecatus, which means ‘sin.’ A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. Being without sin is exactly the opposite.”
When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.
Do you honor your commitments? When you say you’re going to do something, do you really intend to follow through and then DO you? Or, do you say “Yes” to every request because you think you need to and you figure you can always flake later? We’ve all said “Yes” too often when a polite “No” would’ve been more appropriate.
Let’s practice honoring our word and commitments, let’s start practicing saying “NO” to something we are not able or not willing to commit to. Every time we say NO to something – we say YES to something else.
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
This part is interesting. Miguel Ruiz explains that we should not take personally what people project on us. Because what they project are their fears, their inability to face difficult situations and prejudice.
In other words every person has the agreement with their lives, with their values – and they see life according to these rules. However when we try to give an opinion about something, especially negative – these are our wounds and our unsolved situations. Imagine you receive negative comment such as “you are unreliable”, if you take it personally – you believe in what you’ve been just said, however this was just other person’s opinion, based on personal lifestyle, values and the way that person understands “reliable”. We take personally things that we hear from others, and once we accept this judgement, prejudice and fears from others – we receive a portion of toxic pill, which starts changing our perception of ourselves and starts to have a direct impact on quality of our lives.
So these are the questions to ask ourselves – Do we give the power to others to define ourselves? How often do we accept the “toxic pill”?
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
According to Miguel Ruiz, “we have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking—we take it personally—then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word”.
As Ruiz says: “The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be.”
Another exercise that I find very interesting is to ask yourself the following:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Could the opposite be as true?
Turn the statement around to the opposite and to the other – this is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe.
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
As per Miguel Ruiz, there is just one more agreement, but it’s the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.
Ruiz continues: “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”
These are four agreements that we can start practicing today.
I think the important here is that we start create awareness, awareness of how do we speak with ourselves, how do we treat ourselves and then how do we act with others. These agreements give us opportunity to see our own agreements which define who are we today, it might be that we made those agreements unconsciously or someone made them for us and we accepted.
For me this book is a great reminder that we always have opportunity to choose which agreements do we follow in our lives and what impact do we want to have on others.
Wish you a great week ahead full of agreements that matter!