The Four Agreements

I'm at a transitional period in my life. I've been finished with graduate school for four months and I'm looking to take the next step in my career/life. Uncertainty makes me feel uneasy. But I also realize the importance of pushing through uncomfortable times. Courage carries us through so many things. 

As I embark on this next chapter of my life, I have decided to read more books geared toward personal freedom and development.  Recently, I finished reading The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Talk about a game changer.

In his book, Ruiz explains how we are a product of our parents - just as our parents are a product of their parents. Domestication is how we learn to live and dream. External factors teach us how to be human and how to judge. We also learn to seek rewards and avoid punishment, often at the price of pleasing everyone but ourselves. We absorb a certain set of beliefs.

In order to break the chains of domestication and gain personal freedom, we must learn to adopt the four agreements. 

1. Be impeccable with your word

Our word is the power we have to create. It is the power we have to communicate, to express ourselves, and think. Being impeccable means taking responsibility for our choices and actions without judging or blaming ourselves.

2. Don't take anything personally

I'm most guilty of this. We have to keep in mind that nothing other people do is because of us, it is because of themselves. Whatever someone thinks or feels, it is their problem and not yours. Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one's truth but yours. 

3. Don't make assumptions

Guilty on two counts. It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption. Assumptions, inevitably, set us up for suffering. In other words, we only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. 

4. Always do your best

Keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. There isn't a set standard. No matter what, give things 100 percent of your effort.