(This is the 4th and final 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 3rd agreement, “Don't make assumptions“, 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 fourth agreement: “Always do your best”. In this book Ruiz elaborates on the fourth agreement with the following passage:
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.
This agreement brings to mind the lyrics of a song called “Louder than Words” from the not-so-famous musical called “Tick Tick Boom” written by the late great Jonathan Larson, more known for writing the smash musical “Rent”. The lyrics are:
Why should we try to be our best
When we can just get by and still gain?
Maybe you have had these thoughts in your lifetime. Maybe while working at your current place of employment or a previous job? Well Ruiz would probably respond by saying that you will probably regret just getting by or maybe you will regret not giving your full effort. I think we all are probably guilty of cutting corners in our lives. But deep down we all probably regret cutting those corners instead of giving our all. The company I work for in my day job expects me to give my full effort and they pay me well to do so. Have I always done so? No, probably not. But if I didn't, it certainly would not feel right to me. It would bother me. I am guessing that it would also bother you and this is what Ruiz is alluding to in the passage above.
So, in conclusion, the four agreements are guidelines in life that, if we follow them religiously, could certainly transform our lives for the better. What's more important to me is that Don Miguel Ruiz certainly feels that your life could be transformed by following these straight-forward, common-sense rules.
After reading this book I printed out a copy of the four agreements on one page and posted them next to my desk at work. I can honestly say that I refer to them often. I also refer to them as “words to live by”. I hope you will take Ruiz's advice and heed these four agreements and make them work in your life.
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