In Michael Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements the first agreement is Be Impeccable With Your Word. It is first because it is the most important and the one that is necessary to be able to accomplish the other three.
To understand this agreement, it is necessary that to understand the definition of “word” in this context. The Word (capital W) is a force that we create with and includes all that we express. Not just spoken words, but emotions, actions, thoughts, and attitudes. All of this is the Word.
To express ourselves impeccably means to express ourselves in the direction of truth and love including love, respect, and acceptance for ourselves. The emotions of jealousy, envy, sadness, and frustration are not impeccable. The emotions of anger and fear are also usually not impeccable except in the case of having to fight for your life. If you lose your job something you have worked your whole life to have and are angry and fearful, these are emotionally painful, but your life is not in danger therefore these emotions are not impeccable.
The direction of truth does not include someone speaking “my truth” or “their truth”. Those kinds of truth are only someone’s opinion of the truth, not necessarily the truth and are viewed by others under the lens of their own truth. Because someone believes what they are saying is the truth doesn’t mean it is THE truth. It is an opinion that can be filled with judgments and hard emotions. When you are impeccable you do not need to defend what you say as the truth.
Another part of being impeccable is to be without fault or blame. Truly one of the hardest things to accomplish. It has taken years for us to form the agreements we have made with ourselves and others regarding our own fault, the fault of others, and the blame we have placed for every situation in our lives. Being impeccable means to refrain from criticism, judgement, or finding fault with yourself and others not just in the words you speak but the thoughts that you think. This single change allows us to take total responsibility for our own lives.
Being impeccable also leads into the second agreement Never Take Anything Personally. For example, if you have 100% faith in your intelligence and someone calls you stupid and you feel hurt or offended, you have allowed yourself to take that personally and believe even a tiny bit of what they said is true. You give them the power to change your faith in yourself. Be impeccable with your Word to yourself.
Being impeccable means to be truthful, honest, and kind in what is spoken, what is done, what is thought, and what is felt. It sounds easy, but it is difficult to undo the years of learning to use our Word to be dishonest and unkind to ourselves and others. Learning to be impeccable is a one moment at a time journey that requires thinking before talking to ourselves or others, doing to ourselves or others, thinking to ourselves or about others, or emotions we place on ourselves or others. Will you be able to be impeccable always? No – but you can keep trying in each moment of your life and by doing so the happiness and love for yourself and others will only increase.
The Four Agreements:
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best