This is a follow-up to last week's post. I wanted to present some tips for incorporating the lessons of The Four Agreements in order to be happier.
The First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Our words can be used to promote truth and love, or for hate and negativity. We often give little attention to our language and how it affects us and those we interact with. Our words are a reflection of our beliefs but if we can be conscious of what we are saying, we can change our beliefs over time.
Think about what you are going to say before doing so. Try to reframe your thoughts or comments into a more positive expression.
An example as it relates to others: Instead of saying that a child is "silly" (a label that he/she will internalize and turn into a belief), we can say that they did a "silly" thing but they are still a good child.
Take responsibility for your actions but do not judge or blame yourself. The biggest sin is self-rejection. We need to use our energy in the direction of truth and love for ourselves. When we are Impeccable With Our Word, our minds become fertile ground for the words that come from love; we feel good, happy and at peace.
The Second Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personally
If someone says something negative about you, it is really about them, and their frame of mind. Personal importance, or taking things personally is the maximum expression of selfishness because we assume everything is about “me”. All people live in their own dream/mind; they are in a completely different world. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on theirs.
People will say things based on the mood they are in. When we take things personally, we get offended and our reaction is to defend our beliefs and create conflict. We escalate the situation because we need to be right and make others wrong. If you know who you are, then you will not have the need to feel accepted and you will not be affected.
The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions
Making assumptions = asking for trouble = take things personally = misunderstanding = blaming = drama for nothing. It is better to ask questions than make assumptions. Assumptions set us up for suffering.
We assume that others think/feel/judge the same way we do, which is why we fear being ourselves around others. So even before others have a chance to reject us, we have already rejected ourselves. Real love is accepting people the way they are and not trying to change them. If we try to change them, it means we really don’t like them.
Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be, and even then, do not assume you know everything about the situation. Find your voice to ask for what you want. Everyone has the right to say yes or no.
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
Under any circumstance, do your best, no more and no less. Best does not mean perfect and will vary depending on your ability at the time. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself, and it will take longer to accomplish your goal. But if you do less than your best, you will subject yourself to frustration, guilt, regret and self-judgement.
Doing your best is taking action because you love it, not because you are expecting a reward. If you are only looking for the reward you won’t be able to do your best.
Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way we deny life. It is sitting in front of the tv because we are afraid to be alive and take the risk of expressing what you are. Expressing what you are is taking action. We can have many great ideas but action is what makes a difference. Without action there will be no results and no reward.
Surrender and let go of the past. Allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment.
I am trying to incorporate these agreements into my life. It is certainly not an easy task but I think it is a worthy endeavor. Next week I will go over some strategies for overcoming old beliefs and creating new ones based on the 4 agreements.
John Salva, PT
"We help people in pain get back to the things they want without relying on surgery or painkillers, even if past treatments have failed."