My mother would often say, ‘You write your own life script.’
I remember -- as a belligerent teenager -- that I nastily responded: ‘What does that even mean?’
Now with maturity and lots of work on myself, I see how wise my mother was. You are the only one who can write your own story.
It’s not that easy of course because life isn’t easy. Which is why having a simple framework as a reminder to hold yourself true to can be both eye-opening and rewarding.
What happens in life doesn’t happen to us, it happens because of us. We create the world we want to live in. Too often people use circumstance and excuses as a measuring stick for their success or lack thereof.
I’m so inspired by the book The Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz. The 4 Agreements are a framework to help and guide you as you write own story.
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.
So simple that even a child can understand, yet to fully respect the power and the meaning of the 4 Agreements requires some deeper consideration.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
If you read anything, read this chapter.
“When you are impeccable,
you take responsibility for your actions,
but you do not judge or blame yourself.”
Delivering on your word seems simple, but life has a way of getting in the way. And while we rarely break a commitment or a promise to our boss, teammate or family member, we too often break promises to ourselves.
Time and time again we promise ourselves that we’ll lose the weight, cut back on the drinking, go for that promotion or new job, but time and time again we easily break those promises.
Say no to the easy invitation to break a promise to yourself.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Some would say I’m super sensitive. I do take a lot personally. I’m learning when I take offense to something that someone says, I have to stop myself and ask if I could possibly know their context or what’s going on in their mind. More often than not, it’s likely not to be about you. If you don’t know for sure, don’t take it personally.
I’m also in control of what I take personally.
“You are never responsible for the actions of others;
you are the only responsible for you. When you truly understand this,
and refuse to take things personally,
you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.”
3. Don’t make assumptions.
Almost everything you tell yourself is an assumption. The sun comes up and sets at night. That is a fact. But our imaginations have us finding evidence to support stories that we tell ourselves.
“95% of the beliefs we have stored
in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer
because we believe all these lies.’
We humans have an incredible imagination. Each morning when I look at my calendar of appointments, I imagine how my day will unfold. I make assumptions and jump to conclusions. I need to explain and justify the day.
This is where conflict often comes from.
‘Assumptions are nothing more than lies that we are telling ourselves.
This creates a big drama for nothing, because we don’t really know if something is true or not.”
When we make assumptions, we are asking for trouble. Assumptions are the accelerant of misunderstanding. The antidote to making assumptions is to ask questions. Whenever you go down the negative, anxiety-driven rabbit hole, stop making assumptions and start asking questions.
Always do your best.
The first three agreements only work if you do your best.
‘By doing your best, the habits of misusing your word,
taking things personally, and making assumptions
will become weaker and less frequent with time.”
When we do our best, we feel good.
Do your best. Do what’s right. Even when life gets in the way. Even when it is hard. And when you fall short of your best, don’t take it personally, take it as a reminder that tomorrow you will work to do your best.
What I love most about the 4 Agreements, is that they leave no room to be a victim which produces the blame, the guilt and the shame.
The author ends the book by saying, “I am planting that seed in your mind. Whether or not the seed grows depends upon how fertile your mind is for the seeds of love. It is up to you to make this agreement with yourself: I am impeccable with my word.”
What would your definitions be for each agreement?
How do these agreements show up in your business and your work?
What would be different for you if you lived by them every day?
Read the book: HERE.
Visit the website: HERE