The Four Agreements

Dorothy Martin-Neville, PhD 

I had an interesting conversation with a friend/business associate this week, and one of the key points I made was about the necessity of knowing what your integrity looks like. It will frequently be challenged by numerous situations which arise, some offering you options to short-cut, to let a touch of integrity go, or to rationalize to justify a particular decision.

It reminded me that our values need to be solid. We need to know what governs us, and how we want to define ourselves and our interactions with everyone we touch. My standard reference to the necessity of meditation, mindfulness, or prayer is a standard reminder of what supports us in knowing who we are and what values we want to live our lives by. Not one of us is perfect but all of us can be real and divinely human.

In the world of the entrepreneur, or the small businessperson, there is so much that goes into everything we do when we want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of so many. Whether it is to bring joy, peace, health, or success, we work to support and to serve. One of the key ways integrity comes into play for us as I see it, is through conversation. Am I being honest or creating a need that doesn’t exist? Am I supporting those who follow me in offering my best to them? Am I giving my best at any given time? How can I ask them for their best when I am holding mine back?

Our conversations, our interactions, consistently call out the best of what we offer, and the best of who we are. Can others trust we will keep our word? Can they trust what we say? Can we be relied upon? I find that frequently, there is no nefarious intent, it is simply that we can be so uninvested in what we say or somewhat invested while we say it but we forget about a commitment made because we did it so randomly and with little thought. We gave so little meaning to our words.

Don Miguel Ruiz writes in The Four Agreements, Be Impeccable with Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. Those are great guideposts for all of us. If we are to be taken seriously, if we are to be trusted, we must always remember that someone else is hearing everything we say and trusting our words. In a world where truth is seen more and more as an option, and lies and/or distortions are commonplace, what a refreshing gift it is when you know you can trust what someone says.

The purity, the cleanliness, of such an interaction is a gift. With the unlimited power we each possess, look at the power we each have to speak truthfully, to be impeccable with our word, while bringing an energy into our interactions that reminds all of us of our higher selves. We define the energy we walk in, the energy we bring into the world. In your quiet times this week, assess your ability to live the four agreements. In addition, walking consciously, and purposefully, in your life, calls others to do the same.

Imagine if everyone in your inner circle, and your circle of influence, knew that you were impeccable with your word, that you wouldn’t take things personally that had nothing to do with you, allowing them to be honest and real with you knowing you can simply let them talk or “unload”, and that you didn’t make assumptions and, finally, that you would always do your best with them and everyone else. Imagine also, what that would feel like knowing that that was how you lived your life? What a gift to you as well as to others.

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