Don't take it personally!

(This is the second entry in a 4-part series of posts associated with the book “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.)

In my last post I introduced a book that I find gives excellent advice.  This book has definite words to live by.  The book can be seen to the left and it is entitled: “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book speaks to a code of conduct for attaining personal freedom and true happiness.

Don Miguel Ruiz states the four agreements as:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

In this post we are going to look more closely into the second agreement: Don’t take anything personally. In this book Ruiz elaborates on the second agreement with the following passage:

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.

What Don Miguel Ruiz is saying here is that people have their own reality and their own lives and what they do or say is because of their own beliefs and perceptions.  How many times have you taken pain onto yourself because of something that someone else said or did?  The point of this agreement is to not take anything personally because the actions of others are not caused by you but by them and their beliefs.  This is a tough one for me because I tend to be sensitive to the actions or behavior of others.  I think that over the years as I have aged I have become much better at not letting the actions of others affect me and my mood.  As long as you are behaving in an honorable way and utilizing the first agreement “Be impeccable with your word” as your guide then you should be rest assured that you are following the correct path.

Reinforcing this second agreement into your daily habits and lifestyle by being conscious of how you are feeling at all times and what is causing those feelings should help promote happiness in your life.  I think this agreement is extremely important especially in our everyday lives and our interactions with others at home and in the workplace.  I think I am the king of taking things personally and I think I’ve done my best, with the assistance of this book, to modify this self-defeating pattern in my life.  Whenever I find myself taking things personally I reflect on this passage and it really helps me deal with what once was a truly bad habit.

My next post will look into Ruiz’s third agreement which states “Don’t make assumptions“.

Until next time…

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