Over the past few months – and this month as well in Capital Region Living Magazine (www.crlmag.com) – we honor the best in food and entertainment . Congratulations to the winners in the polls - they work long and hard to achieve – they give their personal best.
I am often asked what this means – to give your personal best – in career & work situations, as well as life. People want to do their best but sometimes they do not know what that means. Does it mean showing up on time for work every day? Does it mean sucking up to their boss? Does it mean leading the birthday committee?
I don’t think so. Being your personal best isn’t the things you do. Rather, it is a state of mind one achieves that drives all their actions and behaviors. I was introduced to a book, and subsequently a methodology, by my own “personal best coach” – my wife Vikki. She knew I had one behavior several years ago that kept me up at night and held me back – I made assumptions – assumptions about everything and they raced through and clogged my mind.
Vikki introduced me to The Four Agreements (www.toltecspirit.com http://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319); it was a life-changing experience. Written by don Miguel Ruiz, the Four Agreements provides a methodology for life that can bring happiness to all aspects of your life, and change mindset that can be counterproductive to growth. The Four Agreements (btw, this book was on the New York Times bestseller list for 8 years when published in 1997) provides a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform your life to a new level of freedom, true happiness, and love. Some describe this as an inspirational code for life – I like this description best; that is what it was to me.
The books foundation is found in ancient Toltec wisdom, originating in Southern Mexico several thousand years ago. The Toltec’s viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy - material or ethereal - is derived from and governed by the universe. If you have visited Cancun and went to the ruins of Tula – that is where the Tolec’s flourished.
So what are the Four Agreements?
You will find them below. I asked that this be formatted in this manner so you can cut these out – and put them where you can see them, everyday. This is important: If you can see it – you will be reminded to live it.
If you commit to living the Four Agreements – really commit and not just say it – you will be released from behaviors and thoughts that take you nowhere and stop you dead in your tracks. You will be stronger – you won’t take yourself too seriously and you won’t take everything personally.
You will focus on doing your best – only your very best – in everything you do. And you will be free from allowing assumptions crawl into your mind to mess you up – and man do I know that! I stopped assuming and when I see myself going down that path, I “talk” to myself – stop it Moran!
Assuming, doing just what is needed and not your very best, not being true to your word that be career & life killers, hold you back and never allow you to achieve. I see it in my practice every day; I coach many a client to just stop that wasteful mind noise and move on – and they do, usually.
Be your personal best and start today with a new mindset. Let the Four Agreements guide you and thank you for reading this. Cut these out – make copies and post so they are always in sight. – Dan
The Four Agreements®
don Miguel Ruiz
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
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.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
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.
4. Always Do Your Best
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.