Challenge Day 23: Always Do Your Best

Today is my last day of exploring don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements.  In the last few days, I have challenged myself to three of the Four Agreements:

  1. Be Impeccable with Your Word
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions

Those agreements have been the most humbling of these 30 days of challenges because they really get to the heart of the things that make my life difficult.  They point to things subtly operating unnoticed and unchallenged in the background of my every day.  I speak carelessly.  I usually believe that everything that happens that hurts me was meant to undermine me.  How I see it must be the only way it is. That is truly a torturous life.  Yet we all live like that at some point until we realize that there are ways of looking at and doing things in life that simply don’t work.  They run the show and they run it badly, leaving our mental well-being in jeopardy.

The Four Agreements attempt to break up the gang of ineffective and sometimes detrimental behaviors to open us up to more options and give us an enhanced sense of freedom and peace.  What does life look like when I pay attention to what I say?  Am I telling the truth?  Am I speaking in a way that uplifts me and others?  What does life look like when I let go of the belief that people do things because of me?  What if the hurt I feel is because of my interpretation and not their intention?  What if I took the time find out what was really so for people in my life instead of jumping to conclusions?  What if I slowed down, asked and listened to what people were saying and requesting of me?  What would life look like?

Over the past few days of implementing three of the four practices, life is lot easier.  I’m not as attached to people seeing things my way or figuring out why people do things.  If I really want to know, I ask.  Then I accept what they say.  I believe the Four Agreements have a lot to do with becoming less attached to people, thoughts, beliefs and just flowing through life.  Practicing them gives you permission to be without necessarily having to know or prove everything.  It has been refreshing.  The last agreement lifts yet another burden.

Today’s challenge: Take on the fourth agreement.  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.

For me, this challenge is all about being gentle with myself and accepting where I am.  It isn’t a license to not achieve.  It is a license to achieve at different levels according to where I am and making that ok.  I will not expect myself to perform at the same level on few hours of sleep as I would after being well rested.  I will appreciate all that I can do and make sure that I do my best for where I am.  No slacking here, just the discernment to be able to answer the following.  What is my best right now?

Today’s victory: As part of my exquisite self-care I have been practicing giving myself permission to stop working instead of toiling endlessly.  The work will be there when I return.  I need to unplug and I make sure that I stop before I burn out.  Another victory is getting this post up well before midnight.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that. Yes!

Gratitude: I am grateful for the ability and will to figure it out.  I can strategize my way out of anything.  I am grateful for my mind and its acuity.

On the horizon: The elephant in my life

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