Personal development is about what you can do to make yourself better. There are simple ways to improve yourself and you can begin right away as don Miguel Ruiz explains in his classic book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.
don Ruiz uses the word “agreement” to describe how we relate to each another. If someone makes a suggestion that you accept, you've agreed to it.
Be impeccable with your word – only say what you mean. Think before you talk.
Don't take anything personally – when someone says something negative about you, it says something negative about them.
Don't make assumptions – don't be afraid to ask questions. Explain yourself clearly so that other people won't need to make assumptions.
Always do your best – don't just say it or think that you did. Actually strive for it.
The Four Agreements is the book that I won in Lorna Doone's Something Good mini-group writing contest. It was a quick, easy read.
don Ruiz writes as if he's talking to you and it works very well when he's explaining how and why the Four Agreements can change your life for good.
A lot of what don Ruiz suggests is common sense. In saying so, I'm reminded that common sense really isn't all that common. We should only say what we mean and never assume anything, but… what? The book will help you understand how to get rid of that ‘but…' in overcoming detrimental thoughts that have become rooted in your mind over time.
I believe that most people will have the most difficulty with the Second Agreement, Don't Take Anything Personally. As children we are often told to reinforce this idea by saying that “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me”. Yet words do hurt if you agree with their message or assessment of you.
As for me, I'm constantly trying to remind myself about the Third Agreement and how I can speak to you as clearly as I can.
This article is part of Gleb Reys' What Is Personal Development? group writing project.
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