notes on the four agreements

back in jnauary, we had a colab staff meeting where the topic of the day was the four agreements. the four agreements are ancient toltec wisdom, distilled into western language. they are:

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

  2. Don’t 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 won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

  3. Don’t 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.

  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.

miguel ruiz says of these words that they are simple to understand and yet it can take a whole lifetime to live them. that resonates with me, for sure.

i could dig into all of these for a long time, but it felt important back in january to write up at least the parts of them that were particularly challenging or resonant with me. it’s taken me until late march to make space for this, but here we are! and, as danielle always says, “you are moving at the correct pace”.

don’t make assumptions

the language of this agreement is challenging for me. as a story-based strategist, assumptions are one of our key sources of power. so the phrasing of this doesn’t exactly work for me, but it’s really just a technical detail. i don’t actually think the agreement is to not make assumptions; i think what it’s actually saying is “make explicit your assumptions and ask direct questions to understand the assumptions of others.” finding “the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want” is… difficult to put it lightly.

always do your best

i love the idea that your best changes from moment to moment. it’s so real and yet i have such a hard time living like i understand that. sometimes i have a great day at volleyball. sometimes i don’t. but the days that i don’t, i create unnecessary suffering for myself when i say (to myself) things like “i’m better than this, i know it!” the truth is that i’m as good as i am on that day. and that day isn’t all days.

anyway, these are such good, wise words and i really would like to integrate them more into my life. maybe they’ll become a part of my rule of life as i have more conversations with angie and casper about the novitiate…

words / writing / post-processing
483w / 12min / 6min