The First Agreement

by Jay Markunas, Career Consultant

I’ve just finished Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom“.  This book shows us how we make agreements with ourself all of our life.  For example, I may say to myself “I’m not musical, so there is no way I could learn to play piano.”  My ego says something like “I agree”, and an agreement has been made.  Now I have convinced myself that I can’t learn piano because I am “not musical”.

Maybe I make an agreement with myself that”I can’t possibly get that job, because I don’t have a CPA.”  The agreement has been made.  I can’t possibly get the job because I have made an agreement with myself that I don’t stand a chance without a CPA.  Instead of making an agreement that affirms “I have over 15 years of accounting experience and have typically done CPA-level work.”

Don Miguel Ruiz says that we can break these agreements as soon as we recognize them.  He also instructs readers to make 4 agreements to change our life.

The First Agreement
The first agreement is to be impeccable with your speech.  How many times have you said something like “I’m such a dummy”, or something terribly harsh like “I hate myself” when things don’t go your way?  How many times have you said something like that to another person?  Ruiz says that an agreement to be impeccable with your speech will transform your life.

Sure.  It’s hard to say something nice about the person that just cut you off in traffic or stole your parking place at the crowded mall, but taking a passive response with impeccable speech can really change the way you look at things.  Instead of flipping out, say something like “please go ahead of me.  I bet you are in a real hurry to get somewhere.” or “it feels good to park a little further out to get a little more exercise”.

Speech agreement is very important when searching for a job.  Start by affirming to yourself that you have the skills and talents that the hiring manager is looking for, and if this is the perfect opportunity for you right now the job will offer itself to you.  Wow!  What a shift from the desperation that normally goes with job search.  But, if you are relaxed and “being yourself” in the interview accepting if it is the right opportunity and content if it is not, then you are sure to create a much better match between yourself and the company.

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