The last book that swiped its way across my Kindle was The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This was a quick read and definitely worth the time. Now if this reader could apply everything they learned…
The agreements were astute. The first asked that the person agree to be impeccable with their word followed by advice to take nothing personally and then the agreement that you don’t make assumptions and finally the admonition to always do your best.
This has the feeling of a “book report” – one of those has not left my finger tips for, oh, 48 years or so – but it really is not. While there are references to the contents, this is more a picture of how my life tries to wrap around the book.
To be impeccable with your word the author mentioned loving yourself. That has always been an issue to some extent by always feeling a little less than what could be true and blaming that on my core. However, my core is based on trying to be honest and saying what is true and what my thoughts are. Not telling the truth is really hard for me. When something needs to be withheld and the subject cannot be avoided, my mind looks for what can be said that’s true without betraying confidences. My basic core supports the concept of being impeccable with my word, so what’s with this loving yourself thing that isn’t perfect? Oh, there are other agreements?
Taking things said about you personally, even from those formative years, is really looking at the source. The fact is that people say and do things because of their beliefs or feelings or opinions and not because of mine. To take what they believe, feel or opine personally, then, transfers their belief, feeling or opinion to me. But, those are not mine. Those things are held as beliefs, feelings or opinions by them, not me, and there are those that are possessed by me that may be different – right or wrong. Seeing those beliefs, feelings and opinions as theirs frees me to consider what I believe, feel or opine, taking theirs into consideration as needed in evaluating me.
Making assumptions should always be avoided – this one is easy for me to accept. Truth is the goal and sometimes you have to ask questions. My career was spent asking questions. The beautiful point made by the author in discussing this agreement is that you cannot change people. Give it up. All you can do is focus on what you perceive to be truth. To seek the truth through exploration, questions, and so forth is your objective. There is still a need to fight those making incorrect assumptions from a factual position, but the bottom line is that you cannot change people without them wanting to change.
In the end, you always do your best. Doing more wastes energy and takes you longer to achieve your goals; doing less leaves you frustrated and taking longer to achieve your goals as well. Your best may not measure up to another’s opinion of “best,” but did you believe you did your best? See above if you need to understand what you believe.
The book cannot be done justice in this review or making comments about it. Only reading the work yourself can help you see the concepts clearer. It is well worth your time. There are a lot of little things that need to be done better by me in my opinion (versus anyone else’s), but these principles form the basis for accepting the results while still trying to create better results. Life is good…