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 other three: Always do your best."
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Ruiz isn't saying that you always have to be on top of your game. The world is always changing and so are we. Some days we are energetic, creative and ready for anything, while at other times we can barely get out of bed because of exhaustion and stress. But whatever your circumstance, do your best in that moment. This provides the action, the putting into practice of all the other three agreements because when you always do your best to be impeccable with your word, to not take anything personally and never make assumptions then there is no place for self-judgement and guilt. Sometimes you will be able to follow the agreements, sometimes you won't and that's OK as long as you do your best.
"Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy." According to Ruiz, it's the simply act of doing your best that makes us happy. Since we can be without blame and guilt at any given moment we are free to help one another to do what makes us happy simply because it makes us happy and not because we are seeking a reward. For example, most of us work to pay the bills. We have our good days and our bad when it comes to work and although it's nice to get a paycheck for the work we do, our most rewarding days are those when we can say we did our best, when we accomplished something, when we helped a coworker to succees. We take the greatest pleasure in knowing that we are doing something to the best of our ability in that moment and that is inspiring - to ourselves and to those around us.
And doing your best doesn't only apply to specific jobs as in employment or favors we do for others, but we should do our best at being ourselves, at knowing our truth and honoring it - do your best at expressing who you are. Notice all of the verbs? We must not sit in front of the television and waste away the hours of our lives watching reality tv and talk shows. It's time to take action. It's time to show the world who we really are and bring our unique gifts and perspective to the table so that we can all begin to speak our truth and do our best.
"We don't need to know or prove anything. Just to be, to take a risk and enjoy your life, is all that matters. Say no when you want to say no, say yes when you want to say yes. You have the right to be you. You can only be you when you do your best."
So start practicing. You won't always be able to follow these four agreements. They're tough. There are a lot of outside forces (as well there are those negative agreements within ourselves) just waiting for the chance to break us down, to hurt us with their words and actions, but if we do our best to keep these four agreements we will find that over time it will become a habit, a ritual, to keep the Four Agreements. We won't need the daily reminders, written and oral, we will replace our negative agreements with these Four and we will be impeccable with our words, we will not take anything personally, we will not make assumptions about others and ourselves and we will always do our best without hesitation. And as these actions become part of our truth we will not be able to contain the joy and love that is created within ourselves. It will spill out into all of our relationships and at times the joy, love and freedom will be overwhelming.
So make the commitment today to honor the Four Agreements - to believe in yourself enough to begin a new journey. (Unless the one you've been on is working out better than you could have ever imagined.) You will stumble. You will even fall along the way. But when you do, get back up, dust yourself off and renew your commitment to honor yourself and your truth again tomorrow. And know that there are always souls surrounding you who are on the same journey . . .