Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. The Four Agreements.
I have been taking my time reading this book here and there, figuring I would no doubt read what I needed to when I did. Which brings me to today, when I got to the forth and final agreement. Always do your best.
Imagine this. I've had a rather exhausting week. Last week I travelled to Chicago where I spent Thursday and Friday. I returned home for not even 12 hours before taking off again bound for Phoenix Arizona and a work conference (which included a day of exploring on Saturday then being in conference from Sunday). I signed up to the conference travelling alone. As in while I might see a couple of familiar faces, I wouldn't have the safety net of a close colleague or peer.
Whilst I'm a pretty social person and quick to make friends this is still out of comfort zone stuff. It got easier every day as I built more connections. But I still decided after a few days that I really just wanted to go home, I wanted to be with my peoples (including my dog peoples!). The fact that rather than home my next stop would be work meetings in another city (San Francisco) for sure influenced this melancholy.
What happened next? Let's cut to the final night of the conference..... I had a little too much fun with new friends (what I mean is by my own measure too many drinks). Which took me to this morning and the voice in my head (along with the ache) being all 'judgey'. My internal dialogue was pointing fingers in my own direction......with words like, hopeless, shouldn't, serves you right and more. And to be clear I had done absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. NOTHING. Unless if you count going to bed at 10pm?
Then I got on the plane and read the Four Agreements and the forth agreement. And it dawned on me I did do my best these last 4 days. In fact, of all the agreements, this one I would have to say is the agreement I have already made with myself on a subconcious level. But, I haven't been giving myself anywhere near enough credit for it. And in future I will.
The journey of life is not easy, there are twists, turns, inclines, declines and plenty of obstacles thrown in your path. Your best will be plenty different dependant on all these factors and more. By turning up to each day in your best way possible, however, you have the opportunity to free yourself from so much internal warfare. And it can be a war in there (at least in my head). Because whilst none of us are perfect, we can all give life our best. And if we are aware we are doing just that, then the war is far less brutal.
This isn't a get out of head free card though. You do actually need to do your best. Whether that's at the office, how you treat your friends and family, or most importantly how you treat yourself. If you can commit to just this one agreement as a start point, it has the power to transform your life. I know it, I feel it. And now I am aware of it. Which makes all the difference.
So do your best. And when the voice of the judge in your head pipes up, quieten it and give yourself some peace. Because if you did your best, then that is enough. You are enough. You are always enough.
This holiday season you are highly likely to hear 'the judge' in your head. So get out in front of it now. Commit to do your best. Do your best. And send the judge packing. Happy holidays.