Optimism




The Four Agreements

Introduction to the Four Agreements
THE ROLE OF AGREEMENTS IN DEVELOPING OUR REALITY
We store information through agreement. When we believe something is true, it becomes an
agreement between us and the world. As soon as we agree, we believe it. This cycle leads us to
develop rules or “laws” that govern what we see as true. We come to base our judgments and
decisions on these agreements and laws. When we, ourselves or others, break our “laws” we
experience the negative aspects of conflict or drama.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best
Agreement One:
Be impeccable with your word
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
To be impeccable with your word means to:
Speak with integrity
Say only what you mean
Avoid using words to speak against yourself
Avoid using words to speak against others
Use the power of your word for truth and encouragement
OUR WORD
Our ability to use words sets us apart as humans, but this ability is also a two-edged sword. Words
can create and words can destroy. When we misuse our words, we can create major problems, but
using our words impeccably heals and empowers others.
GOSSIP
Not only does gossip destroy others, but it is also produces conflict and creates drama. Gossip works
like a computer virus. Once it is introduced, your thoughts become mixed up and you stop
producing good results. With gossip, one little piece of information can break down other
communication. Gossip infects everyone it touches. With a computer virus, we have safety
precautions that tell us “Don’t open this file” because once you do, it’s too late. When we gossip, we
act like hackers who intentionally spread a virus to destroy how others think and to cause drama.
The Four Agreements can provide us with guidelines to determine what is gossip. Three questions
you can ask yourself when you hear or consider giving information about another person or
situation are;

1. Is it my story to tell? How do I know the information?
2. Do I have the right to speak the information?
3. What is my intention in speaking the information?
BEING POSITIVE AND TRUTHFUL
Keep in mind that your opinion is just your point of view and not necessarily true. Remember, your
opinion comes from your own perspective and experience, your own beliefs and “rules.” When you
speak well of people and yourself, and when you stop yourself from demanding everyone live by
your rules, you feel good and at peace with yourself. Use your words to speak truth and to
encourage yourself and others.

Agreement Two:
Don’t take anything personally
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
Nothing other people do or say is because of you. What people do or say is a result of their own
dream world. When we take things personally, we feel offended and react by defending ourselves,
creating drama.
It is important to understand that people may give compliments or criticism, but what they say is
about them and how they feel at that moment and about their own needs. What they say is not just
about you.
When we avoid taking words personally, we take away the power other people try to have over us.
We become immune to manipulation. If you refuse to take things personally, even if someone is
trying to draw you into their dream world and is being critical, you can remain peaceful.
SETTING LIMITS
When someone asks you to do something, listen intently and repeat what the person is asking. Don’t
take the request personally even if it is presented with criticism or with a compliment. You can
simply ask, “You would like to…” or “You want me to…” to clarify the person’s request. Be sure to
clarify if you correctly understand what someone is communicating to you.
Set limits by being impeccable with your word. Use your words to speak truth and to encourage
yourself and others. There are several techniques that can help:
Use “I” statements.
Don’t put yourself down.
Don’t use excuses or blame others.
Offer any possible alternatives.

Agreement Three:
Don’t make assumptions
INTERNAL ASSUMPTIONS
The ABC’s of emotion tell us about how and why we make internal assumptions. First, there is an
Activating event that helps us set up an assumption. Then, we establish a Belief system. This belief
may be either rational (based upon observable, factual data) or irrational (not based upon facts).
Finally, we develop a Consequential emotion that is triggered by our belief. It is important to
recognize when an irrational belief could be beneficially changed to a rational one.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
We create drama by making assumptions, by taking it personally, and by gossiping about our
assumptions. We perpetuate this by not asking for clarification, defending our assumptions, and
trying to make someone else wrong based on our assumptions.
To avoid making assumptions, it is important to gather more facts about the situation and about our
own beliefs. It is also important to gain knowledge about the facts, about how others perceive the
situation, and about your own beliefs.
Communicate, communicate, communicate!

Agreement Four:
Always do your best
YOUR BEST
Your best is never going to be the same from one moment to another. Regardless of the quality,
keep doing no less than your best. Accept your best and recognize that it feels good to give your best
because doing your best feels productive and is not based on expecting a reward.
Do your best to live up to the other three agreements:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
HOW TO DO YOUR BEST
Work for “Win/Win” instead of “Win/Lose” results. Since dissatisfaction drives people to change,
you should do your best to uncover the dissatisfactions of others. Remember to avoid focusing
on the problem, but rather to work toward a solution. Focusing on a problem reduces energy,
results in blaming, and leads others to see their resources as limited.
Develop a “preferred future.” Ask what it would look like “If I got it right…”
Set rules for brainstorming. Good rules for brainstorming include:
 Don’t judge ideas
 Don’t discuss ideas
 The more ideas the better
 Build on others’ ideas
Bring new resources to the table.
Set your first steps to explore other’s opinions or implement an agreement. - See more at: http://taylor-smith.healthcoach1.integrativenutrition.com/positive-thinking#sthash.Yz5e1oYL.dpuf