Have you ever heard of the Four Agreements? Last year was the first time I ever heard of them. My best friend told me that it was kind of like a hippie bible. At the time that sounded really strange. But eventually, I took the time to go see what the fuss was about. It’s a book that was published a few decades ago, although its lessons are timeless.
I want to summarize what I read because I think everyone needs to hear these quotes and lessons about life. Even if you’re in a stable place in life, especially if you aren’t, wise words will help to direct you through your journey through life. Everyone can use some good wisdom. Here’s my personal rendition of these agreements.
1. Be impeccable with your words.
You should always say what you mean. What you say matters, so only say things that you really stand behind. Words really do matter, and they really can hurt people, even the person saying them. Don’t talk badly about yourself or anyone else, it’s a waste of air. You should always be using your words to speak the truth, and gossiping helps no one. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Although this is basically what the first agreement preaches, it’s important to note that not everything you say needs to be nice. Just stay from saying needlessly cruel things. And when you need to be stern, you can do so in productive ways.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
Nothing that other people do is solely because of you. They may consider you, but their decisions are their own and a reflection of how they alone see the world. You know how we each have our own life experiences and personalities? It’s also true that we have our own realities (or more correctly, ways we perceive reality). If you can accept this, you can escape the grip of needless sadness and anger caused by what someone else does that effects you.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
Instead of trying to understand things on your own, ask questions. When we try to figure out situations or people, we make assumptions that are wrong more often than not. Always ask instead of finding out how wrong you are later. This can cause big problems, and realistically probably has- even if you don’t know it. And it works both ways, communicate clearly to others so they don’t make assumptions. If you ask questions and communicate clearly – say what you mean – everyone can avoid misunderstandings. Think about how many misunderstandings you’ve either had or someone around you had.
4. Always do your best.
Your best isn’t going to be the same. Somedays you’re off your grind. Other days your literally Superman/woman. In any situation, as long as you’re doing your best, you’ll feel good about yourself and won’t have regrets.