Ruiz’s The Four Agreements reminded me
of the elegance of simplicity—and the power of integrity.
I am in the author’s equivalent of a jockey’s homestretch. The page proofs for my new book (Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? 3rd edition, Pearson Education) are nearly complete; I have submitted the last chapter of the Instructor’s Manual; and my nights and weekends will soon be mine again! Well, for a little while at least.
In any event, as I was completing this weekend’s writing session, I came across a book I read a number of years ago. Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements reminded me of the elegance of simplicity—and the power of integrity. And as I re-read this code for life, I was reminded of the work I still need to do.
1st Agreement: Be impeccable with your word: Speak with integrity
- This agreement tells us to speak honestly about others and about ourselves. Words are powerful tools that should be used for good purposes, not ill.
2nd Agreement: Take nothing personally
- While others’ words and actions may be hurtful, those words are a reflection of them. Their judgments may simply identify them as people who need to judge others. In his book There Is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, Wayne Dyer states, “When you judge another person you do not define them. You merely define yourself as someone who needs to judge.” (New York: Harper Collins/Quill edition, 2003, 133). Ask yourself when someone judges you harshly, “Is this person speaking with integrity?”
3rd Agreement: Don’t make assumptions: Communicate clearly
- You may think that your words convey one message but the people listening may hear something different in your words. Express yourself responsibly so that your words are clearly understood. Do not assume others know what you mean.
4th Agreement: Perform to your best ability—always
- You have experienced difficult situations in your life. And you will, no doubt, encounter trying circumstances as you progress toward your goals and dreams. No matter the circumstances, never do less than you are able to do. Again, Wayne Dyer states, “True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be.”
Video recommendation for the week:
Click here for a video presentation of The Four Agreements.
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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