There’s a book you’ve probably heard of called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a quick read but thought-provoking and deep. It definitely falls in the camp of simple, not easy. It kept falling down the priority of my reading list because the four agreements seem so obvious (although tough to practice with consistency) – Be Impeccable with Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. Today’s post shares a deeper look at the first commitment, my going-in assumption (already broke commitment #3!), the more impactful version I took away, and how you can apply it in action.
Be Impeccable with Your Word. Everyone understands our honor, our word, our reputation is one of the few persistent things we must own and largely can effectuate. Simple, not always easy. How can there be a 22 page chapter on this simple concept? Should I skip to the second commitment? Reading through it changed my understanding completely and took me back to a topic we’ve covered in the podcast, posts, and with guests numerous times – the internal conversations we have with ourselves tens of thousands of times each day. That internal chatter is there all the time for most of us, but what’s the quality?
By this point in life we’ve all come to realize (through wins and lessons) the real power, impact, and consequences our spoken words have with others. With any level of EQ development you would have focused on curating the quality of those words you use in communicating with the people around you. But, do you take the same caution with the language you use with yourself? Are you equally positive, cautious, specific, and accurate with the internal conversation that starts first thing in the morning and continues throughout your waking day? Or are you reckless with how you speak to yourself? These questions are the real point I took away from the first agreement – being surgically impeccable with myself in the power of words and the impact of the internal voice.
Speak to yourself in and about the positive. Your brain doesn’t do much to parse perceived reality from visualized reality. It also doesn’t do much in differentiating the positive from the negative from the double negative. For example, if you’re repeating to yourself a mantra of, “I won’t quit” then your brain might just log, “quit…quit…quit.” Instead, try, “I will keep going. I’ve got this. I’m still in it.” Try it this week. Notice it. Be more consistent (Always Do Your Best).
It’s called the present for a reason. Enjoy the gift of another Monday and the week ahead!