Four Agreements for Personal Freedom
In today’s busy world we are bombarded with messages and information from everywhere. Our ability to pay attention gives us the filter to keep out what we don’t need and to help make purposeful choices. Attention is key to the Toltec advice given by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as women and men of knowledge. Ruiz believes if we follow the Toltec advice we can attain “personal freedom”.
There’s nothing inside The Four Agreements that you don’t already know (just in case, you can watch, listen to or read the full summary here). You may even think there are more important things a leader should be focussed on. But before you get on with your day, I want you to consider something The Four Agreements contains everything you need to know about dealing with the people you lead, and maybe more importantly, how to deal with yourself. The book has held a prominent place on my bookshelf for years. The Four Agreements are:
Here’s a quote from the summary:
The Third Agreement – Don’t Make Assumptions
Ruiz points out, the problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking “we take it personally” then we blame them and react by sending “emotional poison” with our words.
Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions, and believe we are right; we then defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. Ruiz suggests its always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for a fall.
The power of this book isn’t about new or groundbreaking information. It’s in the reminder that there are a few things we can all do on an everyday basis to become a better steward of the mission we are on, and to the people, we lead.
It’s up to you, but this book might just be what you need today to jumpstart your weekend. Want to learn more about how “The Four Agreements” can serve to guide leadership behaviour in your organization?