Let’s face it, our careers can be a little complicated at times. It’s easy to caught up in the office drama and negativity that surrounds you. I bet you wish at times you could hit the mute button and blissfully go on with your work without having to hear from any of your colleagues. I hate to be the one to burst your bubble but there’s no mute button. And what’s more, your colleagues aren’t going away. What I can offer you is four simple principles which can really transform your career. The Four Agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz is one of the most profound books you’ll ever read. I know that’s a big statement but these agreements can allow you to have a more meaningful career. They are such simple statements which serve as the foundation to a successful career.
- Be Impeccable With Your Word
If you say you are going to do something, then follow through with this. This simple step builds credibility and respect with your boss, colleagues and other managers in the organisation. It can lead to you being given more responsibility or projects because you can be counted on to deliver all the time.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
This sounds so simple, yet for most of us (especially those of us who are sensitive beings) this isn’t easy. You bring your whole self to work and that means if there are other issues or challenges going on in your life, it’s natural that they will spill over into your work life. Anyone who says you should leave your personal life at home, isn’t really being honest with themself. Add to all of that the individual intricacies of our uniqueness and there’s beautiful little combustion of emotions that could explode at any time.
When you spend so much time at work, it’s easy for little things to get to us. Let’s face it, we all like to know we’re doing a good job. So some harsh words from your boss, not receiving an invite to lunch with your colleagues or being left out of the office gossip can really get to us. That’s why this agreement is so important. Often what other people say and do is really about them. It’s nothing to do with you. Remember you can’t control what others say or do, you can only control your actions and words. When you don’t take anything personally, you will find yourself feeling very free and liberated.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Don Miguel says, “whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems”. There it is, in black and white. Making assumptions can often lead to more drama and making a situation bigger than it needs to be. Unless you actually know what is going on, you’re creating a story in your mind and believing that story. This is highlighted in any relationship across work, personal life and friendships. We often need to justify why someone did or didn’t do something and so we make assumptions. Never assume. You will only create more emotional suffering for yourself. Dig deep and find the courage to ask questions. Clarify a situation before you go on a tangent which can be far from the truth.
4. Always Do Your Best
This probably isn’t new to you. You’ve heard it before. Throughout your childhood, this phrase was often used by your parents. Doing your best will often vary depending on how you feel, your energy levels and where you are in your career. It’s not always possible to give 100% each and every single day. This agreement doesn’t mean giving 100% every single day, some days your best will only be 60%. If you push yourself to always give 100%, you will exhaust yourself and ending giving far less. Remember in any given day you are dealing with lots of different things from emotions to situations. Knowing you have done your best can bring huge contentment to your life. It’s also about enjoying your work and career so that doing your best doesn’t feel like a chore. So whatever task you are given at work, just do your best no matter how big or small it is.
There it is. Four simple statements that can transform your career and life. Write them down and put them somewhere you will see them every day. Continually remind yourself of these until they are embedded in your conscious.
Have you read The Four Agreements? How have these helped in your career or life?