(This is the third 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 we looked into the 2nd agreement, “Don't take anything personally“, which is discussed in the book entitled: “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book was introduced in my first post in this series. The book speaks to a code of conduct for attaining personal freedom and true happiness.
To revisit, 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 third agreement: “Don't make assumptions”. In this book Ruiz elaborates on the third agreement with the following passage:
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
I think this agreement is key in living our lives because assuming something is true can take you down a very wrong path. I have a life example of someone making an assumption which turned out to be very wrong. It happened with my daughter. Years ago, when she was about 10 years old, she decided to audition for a role in a local production of “Annie”. She was very nervous about auditioning as this was her first time. She has an excellent voice so we were thinking that she would at the least get a role singing background in the show. So the day came and she went into the audition room and my wife and I waited outside the door. We were able to hear her singing from where we were and she sounded great. She sang the song “The sun will come out tomorrow” (big shocker huh?) for the audition. She then came out of the audition room and immediately started crying. We were surprised because everything sounded great to us from outside the room. She stated that she thought that the stage director and the musical director laughed at her because she forgot one of the lines during the song. We didn't know anything about her forgetting a line until she told us.
It took us a while to calm her down in the car after the audition and we decided to take her out for lunch to help her feel a little better. Now here comes the kicker! The next day we get a call from the stage director and he tells my wife that they would like my daughter to play the lead role of Annie! My wife is perplexed, to say the least, so she tells him about the fact that our daughter was convinced that they were laughing at her when she flubbed a line in the song. He thought for a second and then told my wife what probably happened. When they heard my daughter sing for the first time they knew then and there that she was the one they were looking for the play Annie. So the stage director and the musical director looked at each other and smiled. This was perceived by my daughter as “laughing at her”. Making an assumption in this situation was totally off-base. I realize that this is a young child under emotional circumstances but I bet that some of you out there have had similar experiences where you made assumptions and they turned out to be way off the mark.
Ruiz talks about communicating with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. I am clearly guilty of making assumptions without having all of the facts. We can all avoid some drama in our lives if we heed Ruiz's advice as it relates to making assumptions. As far as I'm concerned, the less drama the better.
My next post will look into Ruiz's fourth and final agreement which states “Always do your best“.
See you then…
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