Do Your Best…

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I just finished listening to an audiobook by Don Miguel Ruiz called The Four Agreements.  A coach colleague had shared with me how living her life based upon the Four Agreements Ruiz speaks to in his book, has made a huge difference in her personal relationships. I was intrigued by the passion in which she described these agreements so I ordered it pronto!

Ruiz begins by telling the story about a human living 300 years ago.  This human was studying to become a medicine man but did not necessarily agree with all the teachings.  The story talks about this person falling asleep in a cave on the night of a new moon… a clear, star-filled night sky surrounding him…

The man had an out-of-body experience… or a dream might be a better way of describing his experience.  He dreamt that he moved outside of his body and could see himself lying on the ground in the cave.  When he woke, he had an AHA moment when he realized that he was made of light and that light was the messenger of life

Ruiz bases his Four Agreements on ancient Toltec wisdom.  In researching the Toltec teachings in Google,  I found that the Toltecs believed in two gods… one was the god of goodness and embodied the positive aspects of life, whereas the other god was the evil one… the god of war and tyranny.  As I read the descriptions of these two gods,  I envisioned The Wizard of Oz  – a good witch radiating light and beauty… and the evil witch dressed in black… the epitome of ugliness.

Ruiz talks about the Smokey Mirror which is based on the belief that perceptions are illusions and that the smoke in the mirror does not allow us to see ourselves as we really are.  We are critical of ourselves… we believe what others tell us about who we are… we see ourselves as negative… ugly… and possibly mean-spirited based on our perceptions and beliefs that we really are negative, ugly and mean…

Ruiz’ Four Agreements are pretty simple and together are the basic premise on how ascribing to these four simple agreements with ourselves… (not others… but agreements with ourselves), will give us the intent and action in achieving a fulfilling life.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable in your word.  Only say what you mean and do not speak ill of yourself or anyone else.  Do not gossip.
  2. Do not take things personally. What others say and/or do to us is about them and not about us.  We need to create immunity to other’s words and opinions… to not allow ourselves to fall victim to outside negative influencers.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.  We all have the right and should exercise that right to ask questions and keep on asking questions until we feel we clearly understand what is being said and that others clearly understand what we are saying and asking.  We  have the right to ask for clarification… others have the right to say no, but we always have the right to ask.  We need to take ownership in communicating with clarity when we are both the receiver and the giver within the communication process.
  4. Do your best. This is frankly my AHA moment… if we simply do our best, life will be fulfilling.  I highly doubt we will always be impeccable with our word 100% of the time.  We will take things personally once in a while.  We will make assumptions at one time or another.  If we do our best when speaking our word,  we speak with truth and with kindness/love.  If we do our best and not take things personally,  we will have pride in ourselves and we will ease hurt and pain.  If we do our best to not make assumptions,  we will communicate effectively and positively.

The Four Agreements are so simple yet many times we forget how important each of these agreements are to ourselves.  If we create the intentionality through repetitive practice,  we can achieve that fulfilling life… we can sparkle and shine like Glinda – the beautiful witch of the North and leave the darkness behind… think about what an awesome impact these Four Agreements can have on ourselves and others at home, at work, at play and within our own spirituality…

What are your thoughts about the Four Agreements as outlined by Ruiz?  Do you believe living within these Four Agreements are enough to create a fulfilling life?

6 thoughts on “Do Your Best…

    1. Carolyn,

      This was actually recommended to me by another one of our great classmates (Kathryn) and because of her passion and way of explaining it to me, I hung up the phone and ordered it immediately!

      Pat

  1. Pat, a friend (mentor) of mine gave me this book nearly 20 years ago. I was awakened by the message it delivers. I have had this book with me since and am grateful today for your reminder that I need to pick it back up on a daily basis, as I used to do. I believe strongly in it’s message. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Pat, I have purchased over 15 copies of THE FOUR AGREEMENTS. I have read it as many times and borrowed others the book, never having a copy returned. It has been years since I read the whole book, but I review the agreements often. I have always said it it THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED.

    1. Barb, thanks for sharing how powerful this book has been for you and others. Such simple concepts yet we sometimes forget to keep these agreements with ourselves… Hmmm guess it is our human “ness” that sometimes gets in the way… My goal is to get these cemented in my daily routine of reminding myself who I seek to be.

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