We are the creators of our own sorrows because we react to stress in our world without actually thinking about the way we create and interpret negativity. I recently read “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz.
It offers four ideas regarding how to create a world of heaven instead of hell, and how you can live a happy, productive life by changing your behavior.
Upon embracing these agreements, I’ve noticed a world of difference in the way I perceive my life and the way I relate to others. Below are the four agreements:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be confident with your words, and others will trust what you say. Don’t speak half-truths or gossip — these things will harm not only your reputation, but your sense of self as well. Lying is unacceptable; it is much more than an action, it can become a ritual.
2. Don’t make assumptions.
Our world is replete with assumptions. We use non-verbal communication to assume what we do not express with spoken language. We assume others know what we are thinking and we assume we know what they are thinking about us. We make judgments. But things are not always as they seem, so don’t convince yourself that you have all the answers. If you don’t understand something, or feel uncertain about whether something is true, just ask.
3. Don’t take things personally.
As individuals, we are all trapped in our own thoughts, and sometimes we forget that the world does not, in fact, revolve around us. If your partner, your friend or your boss gets upset with you, don’t automatically assume the negative mood is a reflection of something you did. Maybe something independent of you is happening in their lives, and you are just the unfortunate destination of misguided anger. If the anger is a reaction to something you did, just speak impeccably, but construct your words out of love and not anger.
4. Always do your best.
This is a recipe for success. Doing too little is lazy, but doing too much will burn you out and make you an easy target for someone to take advantage. Doing your best at whatever it is that you do will create a sense of personal satisfaction, but it also will impress those around you.
If you carry out your daily tasks in accordance with these agreements, you will see changes in the way you view yourself and the way others view you. When I find myself in a difficult situation, I think about the four agreements, and I’m usually able to resolve my issues. It all begins with thought monitoring, thinking about the way you think and recognizing the difference between your emotions and rational thought.
It may not always be possible to abide by the four agreements completely, but as long as you earnestly try, a world of good will manifest before you.