What's up everyone!
With such a long post prior to this one I thought I would make this one based of a small but powerful book. I finished this book in a matter of three hours at work. I could not put it down and it is also so small. If you find this post and do not frequent reading, please start with The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book was published in 1997 and widely spoken of in any lore of novels.
The book is 138 pages with seven chapters and final piece titled as prayers.
Getting straight to the point I want to start with the Four Agreements themselves:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Do Not Take Anything Personally
Do Not Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
This book is certainly one to read over and over again with ease and swiftness. Ruiz believes that the first rule is the most important and the hardest to abide by.
Be impeccable with your word. We are the only creatures on the planet with the ability to speak and use words. Our words are our creative power with which we manifest our lives. "The human mind is like a fertile ground where seeds are continuously being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas, and concepts. You plant a seed, a thought and it grows. The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile!" (28). You are your thoughts! During my recent journey of life in the last 4 years, one of the biggest things I knew I needed to do for change was think differently.
Breaking down the genealogy of the word impeccable, it translates to "without sin". It has Latin roots "pecatus", which translates to "sin" and the "im" means "without". I appreciate a number of Ruiz's metaphorical perspectives when it comes to religious or spiritual thoughts. "Religions talk about sin and sinners, but let's understand what it really means to sin. A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything" (31). Stated purely beautifully and I completely take this to heart!
Do not take anything personal. Sometimes we allow the things people say to sink into our minds and affect us negatively. "When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong. You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions" (50). I love what Miguel says in this paragraph following this quote, in so many other words he says: I do not care what you think about me, and I do not take things you say personally. Whether it be something nice because one would be in a good mood or something malicious if one is in a bad mood.
On the very next page, I would be remiss to not include this quote. Such a beautiful way to opine on life if you asked me. "No, I don't take it personally. Whatever you think, whatever you feel, I know is your problem and not my problem. It is the way you see the world. It is nothing personal, because you are dealing with yourself, not me. Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them" (51). YOU ARE YOUR OWN ENEMY. The emphasis was necessary lol. Whatever you believe and think will be your destiny. Stay kind and love yourself!
There may be instances when you have ideas that do not come from your own self, but you still perceive them in your mind. You have the complete right to accept or reject these voices and whether they affect you personally. Taking things personally sets you up for suffering for no reason at all. "Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you" (57). What more can I say?
When you make it your personal business to never take things personally, you avoid a number of upsets in your life. Anger, jealousy, and envy will evaporate and even your sadness will be gone if you never take things personally.
Do not make assumptions. As humans, we tend make assumptions about everything then the issue arises when we believe these assumptions. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking then thinking back to the second agreement we take it personally and things could get messy or possibly ruin good friendships and relationships. "We make assumptions, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing" (64). Ruiz posits that all the drama and sadness in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally. Good argument, if you ask me.
Bringing things back to the relationship idea. "Making assumptions in our relationships is really asking for problems. Often we make the assumption that our partners know what we think and that we don't have to say what we want. We assume they are going to do what we want, because they know us so well. If they don't do what we assume they should do, we feel so hurt and say, '"You should have known'"(66). Anyone have these issues before? Great way to change your mindset and help improve things.
Just as a heads up I have two more quotes prepared for this agreement, however, this is another precaution, I will be quoting a whole page, albeit this a small handheld book lol. This quote is also relationship centered and one that I have some experience feeling. "Often when you go into a relationship with someone you like, you have to justify why you like that person. You only see what you want to see and you deny there are things you don't like about that person. You lie to yourself just to make yourself right. Then you make assumptions, and one of the assumptions is 'My love will change this person.' But this is not true. Your love will not change anybody. If others change, it's because they want to change, not because you can change them. Then something happens between the two of you, and you get hurt. Suddenly you see what you didn't see before, only now it is amplified by your emotional poison. Now you have to justify your emotional pain and blame them for your choices. We don't need to justify love; it is there or not there. Real love is accepting other people the way the are without trying to change them. If we try to change them, this means we don't really like them'"(70). POWERFUL.
The last quote on this agreement is one that I feel strong about. One word in there that sticks out for me is communication. One must also be inquisitive! "The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the commutation is clear. If you don't understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as you can be, and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation. Once you hear the answer, you will not have to make assumptions you will know the truth" (72). Where I'm from we would say closed mouths don't get fed. However, I must say for myself personally, during conversations with others I always ask them things to be clear that I understand what it is being conveyed because mindsets and perceptions always differ.
Always do your best! The fourth agreement combines the others by doing your best to stay firm to all in totality. You should that your best will always differ in every waking moment of your life. Regardless of the quality or effort that believe you are given be certain that it is your best because you could be having a day. "Just do your best -- in any circumstance in your life. It doesn't matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don't judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been under" (77). Most of what Ruiz wrote in this book I could not say any better.
You are your best self when you do your best. Very cliche, my apologies lol, but not many should argue that statement, hopefully. "When you do your best you learn to accept yourself. But you have to be aware and learn from your mistakes. Learning from your mistakes means you practice, look honestly at the results, and keep practicing. This increases your awareness"(81). Not sure there should be any opposition to simply doing your best. I forgot who to give credit to this quote for but always fail forward!
I am going to close this post out with one last quote which is such an eloquent conclusion for the reader and the soul. "We don't need to know or prove anything. Just to be, to take risk and enjoy your life, is all that matters. Say no when you want to say no, and yes when you want to say yes. You have the right to be you. You can only be you when you do your best. When you don't do your best you are denying yourself the right to be you. That's a seed that you should really nurture in your mind. You don't need knowledge or great philosophical concepts. You don't need the acceptance of others. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others" (84-85). Once again, I will not say anything to analyze what was previously said.
Be great! Here is my motto and acronym for 2023
Take everything B.A.C you deserve and took from yourself by laziness and procrastination !
P.S. - check my video out that may coincide with the ideas in this post.
Next post will feature stock related material!