with your word.
2. Dont take anything personally.
3. Dont make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
How elegantly simple and, as some might say, a no
brainer! But simple wisdom isnt common practice.
While most of us believe we are impeccable with our
word, we know others who are not. And most likely, others,
from time to time, consider us far less than impeccable.
The Four Agreements are deceptively simple, yet
difficult to apply. With practice, theyre extremely
effective, providing a way to experience inner peace
and happiness, while creating stronger relationships.
Each agreement is self-directed. Its not
about what you can do to change someones behavior.
Rather, the guides teach us how to respond appropriately
to others difficult behaviors and maintain smoother
So, how do you apply these principles at work?
Lets examine each one.
1. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity.
Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak
against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the
power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Words are powerful, and your speech establishes
(or undermines) your credibility and trustworthiness.
With language, you express your creativity, knowledge
Unfortunately, we often speak too quickly, without
thought. Speaking comes so easily and effortlessly
that we fall into the trap of using clichés
and automatic phrases that often dont do justice
to our ideas.
This first agreement means much more than not
lying, cheating or stealing. It requires you to make
honest, positive statements that reflect who you really
are, letting go of the fake persona that
may occasionally creep into your communication.
Just as your word can form solid relationships,
it also has the potential to destroy them. When we
abuse the power of wordsspreading verbal poison
as we express anger, jealousy, envy or hateour
gossip pulls others down, creating a climate of fear
Remember: Your opinion is nothing but your point
of viewand not necessarily true. It reflects
your beliefs and ego. We spread gossip and opinions
so we can defend our point of view.
Ironically, spewing destructive words can also
hurt someone closer to home: you. How often do you
speak against yourself, even in a semi-humorous, self-deprecating
Self-judgment is one of the worst transgressions
when we examine the first agreement. You cannot practice
tolerance and patience for others if youre self-critical.
Having high personal standards means developing a
nonjudgmental attitude that chalks up mistakes to
learning experiences. Take responsibility for your
actions, but avoid self-blame.
2. Dont take anything personally. Nothing
others do is because of you. What others say and do
is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of
others, you wont be the victim of needless suffering.
Each of us lives in our own world, in our own
mind, set off from the larger worldview. When we take
something personally, we assume others know whats
in our worldand we then try to impose our world
Even when a situation is personal, insulting you
directly, it has nothing to do with you. What someone
says or does is merely his opinion. If you buy into
this opinion, you eat his emotional garbage, which
then becomes your garbage. Refuse to take it personally,
and youre free to act in accordance with your
Similarly, your opinions of yourself are not necessarily
true, so dont take them personally. The payoff
will be greater freedom and renewed energy.
3. Dont make assumptions. Find the courage
to ask questions and to express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid
misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this
one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
We make assumptions about everything, believe
them to be true and then act upon them. A better solution
is to ask for more information so you can clarify
what others mean and ultimately want.
We often assume the worst, creating a reality
that erroneously becomes the gospel truth. We may
know better, but its hard to consciously catch
yourself making assumptions. You do, however, have
a choice: Clarify and question.
It may feel risky to admit you dont know
something with 100% certainty, fearing youll
appear dumb. You may try to avoid conversations in
which you must reveal your assumptions, leading others
to perceive you as less than brilliant. Consequently,
you miss opportunities to strengthen relationships.
4. Always do your best. Your best is going to
change from moment to moment; it will be different
when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any
circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid
self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
When we put forth our best efforts, our colleagues
know they can rely on us. We appear fully engaged
in our tasks and passionate about our work. Doing
your best also brings out the best in others.
Become more mindful. The next time you begin to
gossip, assume something or fail to clarify, stop
yourself. If you sense youre taking something
personally, back up and think before you speak. Ask
yourself, How can I make this situation better?
It may be difficult to learn and apply the four
principles simultaneously. But conscious attention
to them will help you learn alternative ways to react
to difficult people and situations. Your coach can
help you set priorties and develop strategies.
Youll be amazed at the number of workplace
opportunities to avoid gossip, personal assumptions
and performing at less than optimal levels. When you
practice the Four Agreements, youll feel invigorated,
exhibit innovative thinking and enjoy stronger relationships.
Instead of trying to change another
person, make an impact on someone you can really change:
Should you find yourself wanting to explore Don
Miguel Ruiz book
"The Four Agreements"
in more detail, it is available from Amazon.........see