Happy Monday! I hope you have had a good week and managed not to make too many assumptions.
This week we turn our attention to Don Miguel Ruiz’s fourth and final ‘agreement,’ ‘Always Do Your Best’. I love this one! Yes, I realize I say this about each one but, in my opinion, each ‘agreement’ contains a lot of wisdom that can be applied to our lives to great effect.
When I was at school and worried about an exam my mum would always say “just do your best.” While her words were well intentioned, I often felt under pressure; what if my best was simply not good enough?! What then? Many of us, can relate to this, I’m sure.
As a teenager I didn’t have the insight to know that your best can change depending on your inner resources at the time and also your external circumstances. For example, studying for an exam in the morning after a good night’s sleep will usually result in a ‘better’ result than cramming last minute and late at night, for obvious reasons. Ruiz’s ‘Fourth Agreement,’ also illustrates that your best is better when you practise self-love and self-care rather than being self-critical.
When we are affected by ‘mental noise’ it is, in fact, impossible to do our best as we are battling the inner critic whose voice can drown out all of our ‘best’ attempts to do well.
When you practise true self-love your best is always good enough and it is not dependent on the result but on the effort that you made with the energy that you had at that point in time.
According to Ruiz, “when you do your best you learn to accept yourself” and this allows you to soften the internal critic. If you can put your hand on your heart and say to yourself “I did my best,” the invisible self-judge has no choice but to back down.
‘Always doing your best’ summarizes the ‘Four Agreements,’ as it allows us to discover that we are not perfect and that although our best may not yield ‘perfect’ results it is good enough! Looking back on the previous three ‘Agreements’, Ruiz helps ease any pressure to always achieve them by stating:
“Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word. Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally; just do your best. Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best.”
This makes so much sense and the beauty of it is that when you take the pressure off yourself your best will come much more easily.
Have a great week and as always please do your best to share The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit. I am also always so happy to get your feedback.
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