There are few things that frustrate me more than someone who takes a stand for something without first doing their own thinking. You know what they say about everyone having an opinion. I'm all for people having an voice and taking a stand for what's important to them, but do your homework first and don't do your homework from the same teacher, or the same book or the same speaker every time.
It's human nature for us to filter everything through our own belief system and to accept what we hear on certain television stations or from certain people that we seem to have a lot in common with. I don't claim to have all the answers, but someone came into my life about 20 years ago, who continuously asked me why I believed what I believed about everything! That was so incredibly annoying (I just can't tell you how annoying!) and yet it was one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given. Because I didn't know why I believed what I believed. That was the beginning of my learning to doubt everything to the point that I could search for and find my own truth. We can't afford to take someone else's word for what's right and what's wrong, for where to invest our money, for who to vote for, or what to purchase. If you don't think you can make those decisions on your own; don't just believe what you're told...do your homework! And if you haven't had time to do your homework or you don't care to do it, then just say, "I don't know" or "I've not decided yet."
Most of you have probably read, don Miguel Ruiz's great book, The Four Agreements. It is so profound that I recommend it to all my clients. The basis of this book is that we have all made sub-conscious and limiting agreements in our own minds and with which we interact with the world through. These agreements are based on what we've been taught since birth (beliefs, teachings, stories, religions, by watching others) and we've just accepted these to be truths. We can change this, we can decide what beliefs are true and what are not. We no longer have to operate on blind faith or assumptions. We each have the power to write our own lifetime story and by following these five agreements we can have a life of joy, freedom and ease as opposed to emotional drama and looking through the eyes of victim.
Before I tell you about his new, The Fifth Agreement, below is a reminder of what's presented in the first book. The new book does a really good job of addressing the first four before delving into number five.
Be Impeccable With your Word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself (stop that voice in your head that is always putting you down) or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don't Take Things Personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream, their own story. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
Don't Make Assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always Do Your Best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will 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.
The Fifth Agreement, just out this year and written by both don Miguel and his son, don Jose Ruiz, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Borders and at www.miguelruiz.com.: Be Skeptical, but Learn to Listen - Don't believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.
"The fifth agreement is ultimately about seeing our whole reality through the eyes of truth. The result of practicing this agreement is the complete acceptance of ourselves just the way we are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The rewire is our eternal happiness, " says don Jose Ruiz.