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A few agreements you can make with yourself....

There are certain books that come along in your life that are “game-changers”. I read the book “The Four Agreements” about 15 years ago and it changed my life because it changed the way I think about life. When you change the way you filter your thoughts, you change your thinking. When you change what and how you think, you change your life. I realized at the time that I was violating a lot of these agreements and wanted to change. I still try my best to live these principles and have shared them with many people. Recently, my mother, who is one of the biggest fans, gave my sons a framed poster with the four agreements on it. I hope that it teaches them and guides them as it has in my life. Here they are and hope that they make you stop and think.

The four agreements are this:

1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using your words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. This includes how you quietly speak to yourself. How do you speak to yourself? Reflect on this. Remember, words are free but how you use them may cost your dearly. One of the biggest ways that I violated this rule in the past was that I said “yes” to everything and everyone. It made me feel good temporarily but then a lot of times, I couldn’t fulfill my commitment. I would then feel horrible about myself because I had violated my commitment. Learn to say “NO” to things that aren’t important and that will steal your most important resource, your time!

2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY I use to take EVERYTHING personally. I think it was a reflection of my own self-esteem and how I felt about myself. When you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s easy to let what others say about you affect you negatively. Nothing others say or do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. I've learned that "hurting people hurt people" and there are A LOT of hurting people in this world. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. What other people say and do is a reflection of their reality, not yours. Their reality is none of your business. I often remind myself of a great line a heard from John Candy in the movie “planes, trains and automobiles”, “I LIKE ME”.

3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS I personally think this is one of the biggest agreements that most of us violate. We should find the courage to ask questions and to express what we really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings and drama. So many times we “assume” to know what the other person’s intentions are, and so many times we are dead wrong. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. Before you assume anything, try this crazy method called “asking the other person what they REALLY mean”. You’ve heard the expression, “when you ass-ume, you make an ASS out of U and ME".

4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST Ok, try this experiment? 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? There is a difference between pride and being proud. Pride is the outward projection of thinking you are the best. Being proud is the inward feeling of knowing you did your best.

I encourage you to get and read this book, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Best in Health,

Dr. Dane

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