So I just finished reading a book titled The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is a fascinating book. It is basically a self help book that will have you reevaluate the way you think about what you say and how you deal with people as well as how you deal with what people say and do to you.
The four agreements are as follows:
1. Be impeccable with your words – nobody likes a Chatty Patty or Gossip Gary. Words really do have meaning. This is not the typical stick to your promises but rather your words have meaning and power. If you say someone is sounding stupid they will perceive that they are stupid but if you say what they are saying doesn’t make sense they may perceive that there is merely a misunderstanding and may look for a different way to explain things. Words mean things.
2. Don’t take things personally – people will project their evil or bad will onto you. That doesn’t mean that they really feel that way. A perfect example in the book was of a mother that came home from a stressful day at work with a major headache. Her young daughter was unaware of how her mother felt and was singing and dancing around and having a great time. It gets to a point where her mother can’t take it anymore and tells her to stop and that she has an ugly voice. She doesn’t really mean this but words mean things. Her daughter subsequently never sings again and becomes withdrawn and shy around people. She took it personally. When people do mean things it is a way of deflecting the evil off of them and on to you. Don’t let this affect you.
3. Don’t assume anything – when you assume things you are more than likely going to be wrong. Instead of guessing whether or not people understand you, make sure that they do.
4. Do your best – whatever your best is just do your best no more no less.
The toughest thing is to try and apply these agreements to your everyday life. Remember that if you fail at one of the agreements just start over. We all fall short at some point. The strength is in how we adapt to that setback and move forward.
This is a great book and I would definitely recommend checking it out.