Relationship is everything.
In the longest study on happiness that’s ever been done – over a span of more than 80 years – Robert Waldinger has found that the key to a fulfilled life is the quality of our relationships.
And yet being in relationship is often a challenge. Making assumptions, taking things personally, feeling offended – to name a few – are lurking in the dark to fuel the drama. We all want peace, a sense of connection and belonging. Despite all the hardship in the world, this is what people truly want in their hearts of hearts.
So where to start? Gaining awareness and working on the relationship with ourselves and with the people around us. Personal development.
In his book ‘The Four Agreements’ Don Miguel Ruiz writes about the four key principles that you can apply to everyday life instantly. The book is often referred to as a life-changing book, whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. It provides an inspirational code for life; a personal development model, and a template for personal development, behaviour, communications and relationships.
Be impeccable with your word
The power of self-talk and to speak with integrity about yourself and others.. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Say only what you mean. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t take anything personally
Unhook yourself from praise and critism. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream as the book calls it. Nothing others do is because of you. When you are unhooked from the opinions and actions of others, you are no longer a victim of needless suffering. Leadership from within.
Don’t make assumptions
We try to ‘read’ others in order to feel safe. This can lead to assumptions and interpretations, which often lead to misunderstandings, sadness and drama. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always do your best
Doing your best will vary from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Doing your best is not over-doing it; this will drain you from your energy and will turn against you. Like long to-do lists that never seem to be done or perfectionism that leads to self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. Just simply do your best, under any circumstance.
As a challenge I would like to suggest to practice these strategies in everyday life. Find out how it applies to you and your leadership. Experiment, observe, journal.
And remember be mild and impeccable with yourself. Just do your best. More meaningful relationships with others, starts with the relationship with yourself.
Click here to download a hand-out of these four agreements.