Weekly Relationship Tip
One of my favorite and engaging authors is Miguel Ruiz. He is the best selling author of a number of great books but the one I keep coming back to again and again is The Four Agreements. In it he discusses four simple yet life changing agreements that you make with yourself to change the course of your life (if it needs changing) or to improve the quality of all of your relationships (and I’ll bet there is at least one relationship in your life that could improve in some way). So here is an abbreviated version of his four agreements from my perspective. But I urge you to read the book – you won’t regret the time spent and the benefits you can gain from just a couple of hours of reading time. Or you can get the 2 CD set (the full text narrated) for a bargain on Amazon.
Be impeccable with your word
What exactly is being impeccable with your word? Well it simply means that when you speak your words are driven by integrity, accuracy and action. When you talk to yourself (and most of our communication on a daily basis is self-talk) you are clear, honest and open to the consequences of your communication. You don’t hide behind; ego, arrogance, disrespect or any negative or manipulative agendas. When you speak whether to yourself or someone else you always come from a position of truth – not as you have come to believe or accept but truth as it is. For example – each of us has a mind full of lies or stories we have told ourselves over the years about ourselves or others. We have accepted these lies, and they are lies, as who we are and how we define ourselves. If you believe you are less than perfect in any way, then you have accepted a lie whether it originated in your own mind or was planted there at some point by another.
When you speak from a mindset that you are not perfect but have flaws, you are not being impeccable with your words – because you are perfect. This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be better in some way as life unfolds but to see yourself as imperfect is to accept a lie. When you make excuses, misrepresent, or tell half-truths for fear of another’s reaction or response you are failing to be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personal
Sooner or later we all take a comment by another person – personally. What exactly is taking things personally? For starters it implies that someone else knows, feels or believes that what is good or better for you than what you know is better or good for you. Someone says you lack confidence or need to change something about yourself or need to improve in some way – these are their attitudes and are not an accurate reflection of who you really are. They are their opinions only. You can accept the opinions of others or you can learn to see them as just that – their opinions that are grounded in their view of the world, values, judgments or conditioned beliefs. But in the end these do not define you unless you choose to let others rule your life, beliefs, behavior or world in general. So when you take things personal in essence you are turning your life over to the people you are surrounded by rather than maintaining your personal integrity and accepting who you are unconditionally.
Don’t make assumptions
Everyone makes assumptions every day. Little ones that have little or no impact on the quality of their life and big ones that increase stress and cause us to lose our inner peace and often happiness. What is an assumption and I’m not referring to the common phrase that everyone is familiar with? It is simply accepting a belief, statement, action, comment or the lack of these without any proof, validation or verification. Stop for a moment and think about an assumption you have already made about a situation or person today? I’m serious – stop reading and just take a moment and think about either a recent conversation, a rumor you heard or something you want to be true but this desire is rooted only in your own mind and isn’t based on any proof whatsoever.
Assumptions cause us to lose sleep, time, productivity, happiness and create a whole hose of other negative mental as well as physical consequences.
Always do your best
Always doing your best doesn’t mean always doing things right, good or even acceptable. Doing your best is not about always pushing or maneuvering yourself to achieve more or better. Doing your best simply means that no matter what you attempt, act upon or do – you bring “your best” – whatever that means to you – to the action activity, decision etc. Doing your best doesn’t mean doing things perfectly, on time or to the satisfaction of others – it is just you being the best you you can be at whatever you tackle.