The Four Agreements

June 12, 2012 No Comments

In the 1997 book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author shares his Toltec heritage and wisdom based on sacred global truths. He provides modern-day interpretations for us to incorporate into our daily lives. Here are the agreements with my spin on their relevance and application in the work world. Trust me you will still want to read the whole book.

  • Be Impeccable with Your Word – Because our words hold “creative power” we need to choose them wisely and speak with intention and clarity about what we want and who we know ourselves to be. Words, whether written on a résumé or spoken in an interview, represent our thoughts, which are informed by our beliefs. What you say is as important as how you say it, hopefully with integrity, intention and authenticity. As for being “impeccable,” the author writes “When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.” Impeccable.
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally – This isn’t so easy to do when you were just turned down for a job, but it is hugely important. It doesn’t mean you are not self-reflective and seek to learn from past mistakes, but it does mean that you don’t beat yourself up and suffer from never being good enough. Instead, you develop confidence, self-love and the ability to see others as they really are. With that, you realize no one can hurt you; you need not fear rejection or anything considered negative. “You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices,” according to Ruiz.
  • Don’t Make Assumptions – You just know that you are the best candidate for the job. Or, you are certain that no one will value your management experience from 15 years ago when you’ve been in consulting since then. Maybe you assume that your boss shares your standard for accountability. You are assuming that these assertions are true. You are setting yourself up for disappointment or limited opportunities simply because you didn’t ask the question, but assumed you were right. “This is the mastery of intent…”
  • Always Do Your Best –This one seems obvious, but I daresay, we get so caught up with our work that we are not always conscious of how we are doing it. I recently read the following statistics:
    - 44% said they put in just enough effort to not get fired.
    - Only 23% said they work to their full potential.

These numbers suggest that people are pretty apathetic at work. We basically are on autopilot, half asleep and hardly giving it our all. Our “best” will vary based on any number of things, but “build the habit of the four new agreements, your best will become better than it used to be.”

 

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