In the book ‘The four agreements” written by
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle
The 4 agreements;
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personal
- Always do your best
- Don’t make assumptions
- Words are powerful in and of itself. I would personally change this line in “Be impeccable with your emotions, thoughts, words and actions”. Words aren’t the only things that shape the stories of our lives. It is also the emotion, thought and action that orchestrates whether we are honest towards ourselves and others. Integrity also means to be whole or healthy, and achieving health is more then just talking about it in the right way. By using every instrument of change we make sure we are as impeccable as we can get in our emotions, thoughts, words and actions. E-motion puts us in movement, thoughts makes us think, words make it concrete and action does the job. By aligning all these mechanisms with the knowledge of who we are and what we want, we live a life of more honesty and grace. This is a life in accordance with your own values and norms, and making sure you don’t have a gap between what you want and what you do, or what you say and what you do or what you promise and what you do. In my experience I feel as if I am floating on a boat in the sea when I follow this first agreement religiously. It is as if I truly experience grace and liberation. Fully aware of what my true north is, and knowing that I have complete ownership on my life and, therefore, I feel fully liberated.
- This was and still is a very hard nut to crack for me! I am absolutely the first person who will take things personally! I used to take everything sirius, and always found myself still thinking about an opinion of someone else days later! And in doing so, wasting valuable energy, thoughts and time over silly things. But nevertheless, I have become better at this one after a lot of conscious practice. I am now at the level in which I just need a few hours when someone is really trying to push my emotional buttons with false assumptions, harsh judgement or unfair expectations. The thing is that I also don’t fully agree with this agreement. The truth for me is that some people can actually give very good constructive feedback when you are having some blind spots in yourself and not listening to them because you don’t see it as something relevant towards you as a person, might be a missed opportunity to grow. Not taking it personal means to me that you see yourself objectively, and, therefore, it is impossible to be emotionally involved and to react with defense and anger. You are in this meditation simply an object, and not a subject. This makes it much easier to see if the given feedback is bullshit or really beneficial for your growth and well-being.
- We never really know what lives throws at our plate. It would be dole if we would be all knowing. The only thing we can know is that we are living in this present moment. In this moment we can choose to interact with our environment. Only in this moment can we choose to do our best with whatever that thing might be at this particular moment. Tying your shoes, cooking your food, helping your parents or cycling on a bike. It could be absolutely anything, but by making sure we do our best we follow the ancient old principle of consistent improvement, KAIZEN (Japanese LEAN management) or evolution. How can you improve if you don’t follow this agreement? The only reason why the limits of human potential are extended is because of someone who still wanted to do their best after the so called ‘limit’ had been reached.
- Communication is a crucial key for me personally. As a salesmen, writer and mentor, I absolutely hate miscommunication! You cannot build anything on miscommunication. It is like trying to build a concrete house on water, I will probably sink xd Assuming is fine for me as long as one remains aware that one is assuming. Assuming is like guessing, not surely knowing if it is really true or not. Sometimes you have to guess, because their is a lack of information and you simply cannot get a grip on it. But more often then not, we can simply ask why? Without asking the right questions, we might fantasies are own comfortable answers. This is very dangerous and can create conflicts without any reason. Therefore, this agreement makes sure we never stop questioning in our pursuit for truth. A very useful skill to have in a world filled with lies.
This has been my personal experience so far!
Share me with yours, and lets help each other in growing stronger 😉