What you say counts…

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

Sometimes a book comes along that just gives really good advice.  The advice may seem like common sense to us but sometimes getting down to basics is what we really need in life.  One of those books that I have found which does just that is called “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  If you haven't had the chance to read this book it certainly would behoove you to do just that.  It 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 first agreement: Be impeccable with your word. In this book Ruiz elaborates on the first agreement with the following passage:

Speak with integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.  Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Just four sentences here but they are pretty powerful wouldn't you say?  It brings to mind the old saying “Choose your words wisely”.  It's a fact that you will be judged not only by what you do and how you do it but also by what you say.  The power of the spoken word is unbounded.  Maybe you're the type of person who tends to blurt out how you are feeling rather than thinking first and then speaking your mind.  Maybe this particular agreement is one in which you should pay close attention to.  The phrase “Speak with integrity” certainly says (pardon the pun) a lot.  The word “integrity” from Dictionary.com means adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. I think we have all been guilty of saying things that we wish we never said.  Well, after the fact, you cannot change it.  It has been said and it's history.

Being able to recognize that speaking with integrity is important may divert the next “outburst” from happening.  The avoidance of speaking out against yourself and others is another part of the above passage which will greatly affect how you are perceived by your loved ones and your peers.  It is very easy to join in on gossiping about others but what good does it do? None. It can only harm you and others.

This brings us to the end of the passage which states that you should use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. The spoken word is very powerful and to use it in the proper vein to promote truth and goodness will certainly lead to a happier and more fulfilling life for all of us.

Reinforcing this first agreement into your daily habits and lifestyle by trying to be aware of what you say before you say it should promote harmony and happiness in your life.  My next post will look into Ruiz's second agreement which states “Don't take anything personally“.

Until next time…

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1 thought on “What you say counts…”

  1. Hi Bob,
    What a great book that is. I read it a couple of years ago and I copied the four agreements and put them in my cube at work so I can see them every day. There is also a Companion book that is a follow-up to it. I enjoyed this post and look forward to the next three on this topic..



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