SIMPLE TOOLS TO LIVE AN HONOURABLE AND JOYOUS LIFE
J. K. Rowling once said: “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
When we live with honour, we embrace our true nature. We live in alignment with our values. We respect the expectations of others yet live to our individual expectations.
We know the good opinion of others is but a shadow to the good opinion of self. We are aware that we cannot change anything unless we take responsibility for how we feel, think and act and we know that the choices we make in this moment and the next determine who we are, how we live, and what we feel.
I have used the Four Agreements as a tool to keep my life on track, develop new practices and a stronger sense of self. I trust they may be of value to you.
According to Don Miguel Ruiz, renowned spiritual teacher and international author, these four agreements can guide us through personal freedom, true happiness, love and growth.
Agreement 1: Be Impeccable With Your Word
Our words are powerful, for, through them, our true intentions are revealed, they describe our experiences, unleash our beliefs, define our future and the reality we live.
‘Be impeccable with our word’, is not a license to unleash your anger, frustrations, criticism, blame, nor does it support expressing your opinions as fact. Instead, it teaches us to speak with truth, honesty and kindness, taking responsibility for what we experience and what we communicate.
Being impeccable with your word is simple and not necessarily easy. It is helpful to take a moment to pause, listen, observe, and speak with integrity, saying only what we truly mean.
Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing anyone says or does is because of you. Our actions, behaviours, words, reflect how we feel and think based on our conscious and unconscious experiences, conditioning, beliefs, and biases. Even the opinions we have about ourselves are not necessarily accurate.
When we practice this agreement, we naturally build resilience, confidence and trust in our unique nature. We become independent of the opinion of others and are able to hear and access our wisdom.
Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions
“Assumptions make an ASS out of U and ME”. I love this saying.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are addicted to making assumptions, which turns us into mind readers. We assume we know what others are thinking, or why they do what they do. We then react as if our misguided assumptions are accurate, which only causes pain, conflict and drama.
You only have to recall a situation wherein you were the victim of unfair assumptions to understand the suffering that follows.
First, seek to understand, ask clarifying questions if you want to have an effective communication and loving relationships.
Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best
“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.” Don Miguel Ruiz
Doing our best is not about overachieving, winning at any cost, and meeting expectations. It is about focusing your energy and attention on whatever you are doing and living each moment to its full potential. It doesn’t matter if you are washing the dishes, finalising a deal, or walking the dog. Your best is always enough.
I believe these four agreements are essential guides to living an honourable and joyous life.
Try then out and let me know how you go.