I recently attended a leadership training in which the book The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz was discussed in regards to advice with leadership development and improving communication skills. Since talking about the book that day at the training (I’d never heard of the book before), the main four points have continuously come to mind when dealing with work, friends, peers, family, and stresses that I have been having. The book doesn’t need to be read in full in order to be inspired by its insight. Take a moment to think about these four “agreements” that can be followed in daily life to establish a more fulfilling experience and outlook:
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don’t take it personally
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best
I believe each of these agreements are equally important and helpful for improving how we interpret and participate in life, but for me and where my life is now, #2 is most relevant and is where I need the most work! “Don’t take anything personally.” The statement is so concise and simple yet extremely difficult for me to do. I tend to take everything personally. What I feel is so important to share is that this agreement explains that other people act out of their own personal needs. What the author states is “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” Wow. When I heard this at my training I felt a strike of inspiration. When decisions are made by others on what they might say or how they might act, my feelings and who I am are not taken into consideration. That being said, I need to resist from reacting as though it’s personal. I feel as though this concept is freeing to me. It sure explains a lot if you sit back and analyze worries, stresses and disappointments you might be experiencing.
If you are consumed by how others are behaving and acting it is hard to lead your own life most effectively (and happily). I know when I am worried about others, I put myself second. When I have taken what people say or do personally, I can’t give of myself the way I would like to. I also don’t treat myself the way I should. For me, how others act (in the past and when I don’t consciously check myself) changes my ability to be my best self. My newest goal is to take the time to evaluate situations and repeat the mantra “don’t take it personally” before investing emotions and reacting to others.
I hope you, like me, feel that at least one of these four agreements, if not all of them, spark some inspiration on a new outlook. Take some time out of your day today to really think what the four agreements mean to you and how you might be able to improve your life through being impeccable with your word, not taking things personally, avoiding assumptions and always doing your best!
P.S. Thanks to one of my mentors, Leslie S., for your inspiration and training!