The Value of a Personal Promise

to people giving a high five
Colleagues giving a high five

Do you ever think about what your values are? You may have heard “Honor, Courage, and Commitment”, which are values that are held in the Navy and Marine Corp. Perhaps you know of the Army values which are: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

What values do you hold? How do you move through life?  Above and beyond values, what are some other things that you can do in your life that not only represent the life you live, but things that can help you live that life to the best of your ability?

Something we teach at the clinic and promote among all our patients are “Promises To Keep” to ourselves.

Like values, if you are able to implement these promises your life would change: less suffering, more positivity, more love in all areas, more time to put your energy where you most desire. However, they take some work. Just like living with integrity, honor, respect, etc. sometimes the choices may seem simple yet we struggle to make them.

I’d like to talk to you about one promise in particular. That is, people aren’t doing things to you, or Don Miguel Ruiz’s version “Don’t take anything personally”. Have you ever gotten into a car to drive while you were really angry or tired? Did the other drivers, at that time, seem like they were intentionally trying to aggravate you and drive poorly to make your experience miserable? When you think about it, do you truly believe that anyone in any other car was really thinking about you and your experience? How about you personally, when you drive are thinking about every other persons driving experience in that moment? Or, is it that you are driving with intent on just getting somewhere? Then once in a while something may happen that causes another driver to get upset at you?

Here’s another scenario. You have to go to work and someone you love is sick or hospitalized. During the day it’s all you can think about. Amidst this personal crisis your coworkers are trying to interact with you, however you are very distracted. Is it realistic for them to take it personally and be upset that you don’t want to be involved in their conversation or interactions of the day when they don’t even know what’s going on? Are there days where you maybe have made some assumptions about someone who doesn’t act in a way you would want them to, and have taken it as a personal affront?

Speaking of assumptions……well, that’s another agreement for another time.

Not taking anything personally can free you of being the victim of someone’s words or action, and being taking responsibility for your own. It can help you to nourish more empathy and compassion for yourself and others. It can free you to be you, and let others be themselves without having to control a situation. Doesn’t that sound pleasant?

If you would like to learn more about the Promises and The Four Agreementsplease feel free to give a listen to our Podcast: Promises To Keep. You can also keep an eye on the programs page of our website, as we do offer a class on this topic frequently.

May you live your best life today and every day!