Say only what you mean, and do what you say you’re going to do. Live with integrity and you will gain respect. Never blame others, never complain, and never gossip. These actions deplete our energy and form bad habits.
Be immune to the opinions and actions of others and never be the victim. Take responsibility for yourself and always find value in every situation. Use the advice from others to generate feedback, but always take it with a grain of salt.
“There is one recurring, persistent, perennial, and dogging personal problem which, more than any other, steals the force and peace of people and ruins projects and enterprises and careers. It is the habit of feeling hurt because of what others do or do not do and what they say or do not say.” – Ervin Seale, Take Off from Within
The opinions of others’ are based solely on their current circumstances. Never take insults to heart. Somebody who had slept well would react in a different manner than somebody who was up all night. Once you understand this, you can use their opinions as a different perspective but not as gospel. In the end, do what you feel is right.
When we make assumptions, we are asking for problems. So often our initial assumptions are misunderstood. Never assume you know why someone is acting or thinking a certain way. The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. With effective communication, you will not need to make assumptions. Be courageous and ask the hard questions. It will gain you respect and avoid unnecessary drama.
This last agreement is the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits.
“Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
Doing your best fills the void between your actions and your potential. That void can quickly fill with anxiety, depression, and stress. Fill that gap with positive action and feelings of gratitude, satisfaction, and fulfillment triumph.
“To make the quickest progress, you don’t have to take huge leaps. You just have to take baby steps—and keep on taking them. In Japan, they call this approach kaizen, which literally translates as ‘continual improvement.’ Using kaizen, great and lasting success is achieved through small, consistent steps. It turns out that slow and steady is the best way to overcome your resistance to change.” – Marci Shimoff, Happy for No Reason