Earlier this year my husband and I went on a ski trip to Colorado. I don’t like skiing (but love Colorado) so spent a lot of my time scoping the gorgeous mountaintop views reading a book that came recommended by the one and only Miss Winfrey. Those of you who know me know that I love self-help literature like a blonde loves peroxide (but not me because I’m a natural blonde ~ wink ~).
There are lessons in every book I read, podcast I listen to and seminar I attend live (like the one I’m at right now here in California)!
This book was different. Almost every page made me go, “aha!” or “yeesssss!”, even “How had I never thought about that before?”
As I currently apply one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this author right now, I’m dying to share the with you my takeaways from this awesome book. If you are ready to experience some freedom, bliss and kick-ass heck yes! power in your life, here they are, from the incredible Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word
This doesn’t mean don’t break promises or change your mind.
It means speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself (or about other people). There are no exceptions! Choose your words carefully when speaking to others, as well as when speaking to yourself in the privacy of your own mind. It sounds very simple but it’s incredibly powerful. What if you never, ever, had another self-critical thought? You’d live a completely different life.
Think of words like thoughts. Your thoughts create your feelings, your feelings create your actions, and your actions create your life.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Well, well, well. What a juicy one this is! And by nothing, we mean nothing.
Friend cancel last minute? Oh well. Job interview unsuccessful? Next. Get blown off by a date? That’s OK, too. Because it’s not about you.
Truth: Nothing other people do is because of you! What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own experience. We also have no idea what is going on with other people when we assume the victim role and feel rejected. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering and worrying. At all. There is a tremendous amount of personal freedom you access when you take nothing personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions
I adore this one as it focuses on the importance of asking questions. Find the courage to ask questions to avoid assumptions (“hey – my boss won’t give me a raise!”) and to express what you really want with clarity. Communicate clearly with other people avoid misunderstandings, drama and a whole lot of guesswork. Our relationships would improve radically. Can you imagine how much less suffering there would be in our lives if we applied this rule? Here’s a recent personal example of mine. You have to learn to communicate your feelings and what you want because other people can’t. read. your. mind.
With just this one agreement, you can totally upgrade the quality of your life.
4. Always do your best
Sounds obvious, right? But do we really do our best – at work, at home, when listening to our spouse at the end of a frustrating day? This is not a pressure cooker lesson about demanding perfection because your best is going to change everyday. It will be different when you’re energized as opposed to exhausted. When you are feeling happy versus feeling low. Realize this, and your inner critic can take a permanent vacation. But under any circumstance, if you strive to do your best you’ll avoid self-judgment, that unsatisfying feeling of letting yourself down, and regret.
This week with a lot of travel, to-do lists and a jam-packed calendar I’m committing to do my best even though it ranges moment to moment. That includes this week’s post being written late. Right now – it’s the best I can do.
What lesson can you apply here this week?