This has become part of my daily existence and has now become my simple philosophy to follow on a daily basis. It is my bible so to speak since it is such a simple set of rules to follow. Having ADHD presents a different set of challenges for someone like me and one of them is getting mired down with too much information and being easily overwhelmed by too much dogmatic thinking in general. So many opinions, so many different ways to do things and so many different ways to see things? What is right and what is wrong? Who knows these answers and who is right? It can be very confusing especially when someone else is telling you what to do and you come to find that what they said was only right for them...but they don't have ADHD. For me many times....in order to comply with what other people want....I simply have to find my own answers and do what I know will work for me despite what any one else tells me differently. Ultimately....it is what other people want from me even if how I get there is different than them. Part of having ADHD means that other people are not always going to agree with how I get there but......they never seem to disagree with the results itself if it is what they want in the first place. At times...this can feel like you cannot win but I also realize...this is just part of having ADHD and I have to accept that too.
So for me.....These Four Agreements makes it simple and easy. It has served to improve my abilities in dealing with my ADHD tremendously and for that reason I wanted to introduce it to anyone else who might find it useful to them as well. It's not a lot to remember, it's not complicated and it serves me on a daily basis to try and follow them as best I can. Doing your best is actually the fourth agreement itself. I thought for anyone who is looking for something easy to remember and a simple guide to follow....it is definitely a good place to start. If you are interested...the book is available just about any place that sells books either online or in most book stores:
"The Four Agreements", written by Don Miguel Ruiz .
"Nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves " Don Miguel Ruiz
“You need a very strong will in order to adopt the Four Agreements—but if you
can begin to live your life with these agreements, the transformation in your life
will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very
eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream—your
personal dream of heaven.
“The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best”
1ST AGREEMENT: BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
“The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honor. It is so
important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth. The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful.”
Impeccability means ‘without sin.’Impeccablecomes from the Latin pecatus which means ‘sin.’’ Religions talk about sin and sinners, but let’sunderstand what it really means to sin. A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself.Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. Being without sin is exactly the opposite. Being impeccable is not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.”
2ND AGREEMENT: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally... if I see you on the street and say,‘Hey, you are so stupid,’ without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid. Maybe you think to yourself, ‘How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am? ’”This is another theme that all the great teachers come back to again and again and again (and
again :). “When you make it a strong habit not to take anything personally, you avoid many upsets in your life. Your anger, jealousy, and envy will disappear, and even your sadness will simply disappear if you don’t take
3RD AGREEMENT: DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking—we take it personally—then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why when we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing. The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be.”
4TH AGREEMENT: ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
“There is just one more agreement, but it’s the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.”
“Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”
Doing your best, you will always live your life intensely. You will be productive and will good to yourself because you are giving to yourself , to your family, to your community and to everything. But it is the action that will make you feel intensely happy. When you always do your best you always take action.
For me....the last line (highlighted) has been the key for me either being a happy person or feeling hopeless. Out of the 4 agreements...it's the only one that I can honestly say I am living and full filling most of the time and without question for myself.....it has made a significant difference in helping me manage and improve having ADHD.
I hope someone else will benefit from this if you care to try as it has been my salvation in life to this point. I'm still working on the other three as they appear to be much more difficult (especially number one) yet...applying number four...it is getting easier all the time:)