“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive –to be alive and express what we really are. Just being our self is the biggest fear of humans.”
Don Miguel Ruiz
“There is no neutral. We are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”
Mary Ann Williamson on A Course In Miracles
Two of my favorite books are The 4 Agreements and The 5th Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz. In them, he encourages each of us to make specific agreements to live a life that leads to heaven on earth. In my work with clients, we help people live the 5 agreements below. They are:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
This agreement is when you recognize the power of your word and how important it is to speak responsibly from a centered, aligned voice within, based in love, autonomy and choice. This is in high contrast to listening to and speaking from a victim or rebel voice reflected when you slip into a disempowered mindset. To be impeccable with your word then begins in your own mind. Practical applications of impeccability with one’s word means putting down gossip, having abundance vs. scarcity conversations, asking appreciative questions, and otherwise communicating to bring out the best in every person and condition. At LifeWork Systems, we have numerous tools that help people listen well so you learn how to speak and act in highly accountable, encouraging and supportive ways.
Don’t Make Assumptions
The reason you do this is that you don’t always realize your own subjectivity or the diverse thinking of those around you, including the variations of perspectives and value systems. You don’t know how self-determining and goal-oriented you are too, which is why you may rush to assume things so that our own belief system makes sense to you and can be maintained without disruption. You look for evidence that fits your belief systems and then often draw conclusions that are not always accurate. In our work, we foster consciousness through understanding individual psychology and a variety of temperaments. We help people become present to the actual truth, and ask questions rather than rely on assumptions.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
You do this because again you don’t understand how subjective you are, nor how often you and others operate from fear and limiting beliefs. In your attempts to interpret the motives of others, you set yourself up to be guarded with them. In reality, the only person you need to focus on and trust is yourself. We help you recognize that everyone else’s behavior is about them and your reaction to them is about you. It’s important to understand that when you take another person’s behavior personally, you take away your energy and focus, making you less able to contribute and be happy.
Always Do Your Best
This is aligned with our values that build trust, especially seeking excellence. When you are giving your best you are trustworthy. You are using your mental fortitude and determination to engage fully, offering your greatest contribution. You act with accountability and integrity so that what you say, think, feel and do are all lined up. Rather than settling, you do your best from the highest choice you can make in each moment.
Be Skeptical But Learn to Listen
This agreement is also consistent with the work of LifeWork Systems and the Adlerian psychology behind our work. In this agreement, you are made aware that you have created (and continue to create) your own reality based on a series of assumptions, conclusions and decisions that often came from faulty and unexamined programming. Your job is to recognize that your belief systems are a construction you maintain and for which you are obliged to challenge. When we work with you, you learn that a fully actualized person is a fully awake person responsible enough who questions all former beliefs. This requires a vulnerability to question everything without fear that you were and are wrong. Healthy skepticism and openness to the present reality and new ways of thinking, are key to access vast wisdom only available in the present moment, because you let go of all assumptions and automatically align with the truth without an overlay of programming you’ve determined no longer serves you.
As I said, my mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives. In order to do this, we all need to make new agreements or we will be insane; continue doing the same things and hoping for a different result. I can help you to make these powerful new agreements real, and build them into the operations of your life and work. Call me so I can help you with this. You deserve a life you love. If you are courageous and determined enough, I can help you have one.
Why People Hire LifeWork Systems
People hire LifeWork Systems because they need and want us to shake up business as usual. We show everyone how and why to get involved and play nice; why they matter. No one gets away with second-rate anymore because we make excuses obsolete. Every day for months, new ways of thinking and acting get hashed out, and faith in humanity is restored until everyone is crazy excited about people and the work, and mediocrity is OVER. Then you see some serious barn-raising going on. It’s an amazing ride!
This article will be published in my column Emotional Intelligence in the St. Louis and the St. Charles Women’s Journals, May, 2017
Judy Ryan (judy@LifeworkSystems.com), human systems specialist, is owner of LifeWork Systems. Her mission is “to help people create conditions in which all people love their lives.” She can be reached at 314-239-4727.