The fourth and final of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: Always do your best.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
It makes sense to put this one at the end after heaps of introspection and the development of self-awareness.
Also after the assumptions and judgement piece in Agreement Three, because let’s be real … other people’s “best” comes into question on the regular, now doesn’t it?
As it happens, it’s wise to remind yourself that they are, in fact, doing their best in any given moment. It may not be your best, sure, but they’re on a different journey. It is a great practice to drop the shoulds and we would all lead much happier and healthier lives. For shiz!
The only person we can change is ourself, and perhaps each time we catch someone else “slacking” it is our call to step up our game. If we rise to the occasion, rather than stoop to their level, we’re leading by example and living in our highest purpose, which is the best we can do. And that’s the goal, right?
As for ourselves, living our best life is living in alignment. For starters, how we act and what we say actually resemble each other. We, essentially, walk the talk, and are on the path to self improvement–the admirable road to simply being better than we were yesterday.
The fourth agreement also touches on self forgiveness, which I battled for years and now work with my clients on. Living in dis-alignment is making 150 New Year’s resolutions and then under the weight of loaded commitment none get accomplished. Good intentions, unfortunately, are not enough to get us closer to living in alignment. Instead, we set ourselves up for failure, pissing on our own productivity parade.
We come into this life with the inherited habits of our family and other significant and influential people in our lives. By the time we are capable of developing awareness, if you start early (high school), if you’re more like me (29-30), we have already accumulated years of poor habits, from: culture and society, religion, classmates and teachers, ego development, etc.
This is where the forgiveness piece comes in. Of course we are going to make mistakes. Our default settings aren’t even that of our own. Yet, recognizing that–just that–is the first step to becoming your best, not theirs.
No one has ever succeeded in berating themselves better. #tyomd (tweetable)
Remember, it is all about the journey … not the destination. If we get to the finish line, but were miserable the entire way, what exactly have we accomplished?
Compassion for oneself is, in essence, living a life of service. Because without compassion for oneself, it is much easier to point the finger. The standards have been set too high, the bar beyond reach.
It all boils down to love. Your best is love. Love for oneself, love for life, love for the planet, love for your passion and purpose, love to others through service, and all those wrapped with ribbon equate to love for God.
I leave you with this: Bring the love.