The 4 Agreements: Why it's never really about you 🔥Oct 15, 2022
The Four Agreements Review 🌳
Thought of the week:
“You were born to be real not to be perfect.” — Unknown
Embrace your you-ness. Be weird, be competitive, be quirky. Dive head first into your curiosities and interests. Go against the grain, do things other people think aren't normal. Be you.
In this newsletter, I share thoughts on The Four Agreements, a book providing a framework for getting to the source of the beliefs and thoughts that hold us back.
The kind of beliefs that rob us of joy and perpetuate needless suffering.
Beliefs that get in our way as we try our best to live a life full of freedom, true happiness, and love.
This had been in my queue for months and was gifted to me last week.
As I was reading it over the weekend, it felt like it came into my life at the right time.
I find myself no longer denying the impeccable timing of the universe giving you what you need when you need it.
While the author comes from a spiritual healing background his 4 agreements are practical and immediately applicable to any life.
1st Agreement: Become Impeccable With Your Word
Your word is a powerful source to think, express, communicate, and create everything in your life.
This reminded me of an old Samurai Proverb that says "Be careful of what you say, for the warrior within is always listening."
The words you use matter. They matter when communicating with others, they matter when you have an inner dialogue.
One of the first things I ask guys to focus on is to start keeping their word to themselves 100% of the time. It can be something as simple as setting a tiny goal for yourself each day (ie do 20 push-ups each morning) or executing a larger plan (ie go without alcohol for a month).
But doing what you say you're going to do is critical when reestablishing confidence, trust, & belief in yourself.
The quality of your thoughts creates the quality of your world.
The author shares that we can think of our words like magic in this way and how the human mind is a fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted.
Your words, opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and concepts are the seeds.
Hold yourself and your word to a higher standard, and create seeds that will blossom into the future you want.
“If you don’t create a beautiful future, your brain will do it for you and it’s not good.” - Peter Crone
2nd Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personally
Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about "me".
Understand that nothing anyone does is because of you, it's because of themselves.
What we neglect to realize is that people bring to interactions with their own beliefs, experiences, perspectives, fears, insecurities, and emotions.
For example, if someone makes a negative comment to us, we take it personally and think "How do they know that? Is that really true? Do they know something that would make them think that?"
Even when something REALLY seems like it's about you, it never is - their actions are coming from their own programming.
Each person brings their own perspective, which is highly individual and subjective by nature.
One of the ideas that resonated with me a couple of years ago is that we would be the exact same as that person if we had the same life and experiences they've had.
We tend to project that someone acting a certain way is wrong or that we just couldn't believe they would do something they did.
But if we had their genes, parents, upbringing, education, life experiences, fears, and insecurities - we'd be living exactly as they are.
It doesn't mean that we have to allow others' actions to overstep our boundaries, but it provides a space for empathy & compassion to know they are just doing the best they can within their level of awareness.
When you understand this, you can become impervious to reacting to what others do. You fundamentally realize that everything others do is in accordance with their own programming and has zero to do with you.
Remember that hurt people, hurt people and you never see a truly happy & content person lashing out or hurting someone else.
3rd Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions
The author says, "All sadness and despair in your life have been rooted in making assumptions or taking things personally."
We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we create massive drama for no reason.
Maybe we expect things to be a certain way and when someone doesn't act in accordance with that expectation, we get triggered.
A driver cuts us off on the road and what's our initial reaction? We assume the guy is an asshole, did it intentionally, and doesn't give a shit about anyone else.
Do we know that to be true? Could there potentially be another outcome?
Sounds kind of ridiculous when you read it, doesn't it?
Maybe we text a new friend to hang out, but we never hear back. Ghosted.
Is it because they hate us, never want to see us again, or would rather do anything else than waste their time with us?
Or maybe they forgot to respond. Read the text as they were going into the gym and forgot to respond after (happened to me this week).
We're always dreaming up possibilities and potential outcomes. We don't have all the facts or fully understand something, but we'll make up conclusions either way.
Our mind enters fantasy land and jumps to the conclusion it's a reflection of us, but it never is.
Or one of my favorites: assuming makes an Ass out of you U + Me.
4th Agreement: Always Do Your Best
I still grapple with being my hardest critic when I don't have a level 10 output every day.
I feel like I should be able to consistently perform at my highest level every day no matter what.
One thing I loved from this book is the idea that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.
You won't always wake up with Level 10 energy, focus, strength, creativity, etc
We never get 10s across the board.
And just like in sports, you don't perform at the same level each and every day.
Your best is different in the morning when you wake up and are full of energy vs at nighttime as the day winds down.
We're better when we're healthy vs when we're sick. Sober vs when we're drunk.
I know that I've done my best every day regardless if my level of output is a 5 or a 10.
A realization that I still work on is that life isn't about productivity and being your 'best' all the time (which is subjective anyway).
As the author says, "The point isn't to sacrifice your joy and your life. We're here to love, to be happy, and to live."
The key is to have compassion for ourselves that we are doing the best with what we have any given day.
Recap of The Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word and raise your standard. The warrior within is always listening, feed it well.
- Don't take it personally, nothing anyone does is because of you, it's because of their own programming. The same goes for you - your actions aren't because of what someone else does. They are your choice and responsibility.
- Assumptions are a fairytale we create based on made-up thoughts, not having all the facts, and projections from our own programming.
- Always do your best and know that your best will vary day-to-day. Understand everyone is doing the best they can within their level of knowledge and awareness.
Let me know what you think.
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