The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

Well, folks, we have finally made it to our fourth and final statement from Miguel Ruiz’s self-help book, The Four Agreements. Over the last few months, we have been discussing ways to be set free from self-limiting beliefs. We have made it to the home stretch and hope you have learned some helpful, comforting, challenging and liberating things along the way.

Let’s finish it out strong!

Do your best.

That sounds simple. Just do your best in every situation. Right? Well, as with everything else in life, it just isn’t that straightforward.

Your best is not a static thing.

There is no absolute BEST. Our best will vary depending on how well rested we are, whether we are hungry, feeling overwhelmed, or sick. Our best is a fluid thing that is influenced by factors in our lives. Whether we are physically at our best is something we usually have control over. You can usually go to bed early enough to get sufficient rest. You can most often find nourishment at sufficiently frequent intervals to keep yourself going.

Of course, there are exceptions. The parent with the 18-month-old who simply refuses to go to sleep, or the nurse who ends up skipping lunch because her co-workers are out with COVID and she is the only one on the floor for 8 hours. When life throws you a curve, you simply must adjust your expectations.

Doing your best has a flip side.

It is important to do your best, but as Ruiz explains, “do your best, never less, but never more.” More than your best? How is that possible? What does that mean?

It means that sometimes your best is only a shadow of what you normally are capable of.

It means learning to accept yourself and your efforts. It means putting into practice the three agreements that came before this one.

We will talk about how to do that in the next article.