If you are one of the handful of followers who keep up with my posts, or you’re just a random unlucky Web surfer who stumbled upon my rants, you know that I am a runner who has been struggling with the ups and downs of recovering from knee surgery. If there is one piece of advice I hear most frequently, it’s “Take it easy.” As the legendary Tina Turner croons, “(I) never do anything nice and easy.”
I have always been of the opinion that anything worth doing is worth doing 110%. All in or all out. Yes, I can be a fairly intense individual. So, it comes as no surprise that being unable to run (or workout, or even walk very well) has been a mental challenge as well as a physical one. I find myself so discouraged by the fact that I can’t run a mile that I overlook the small gains that I am making.
As I’ve worked to redefine my definition of success as it relates to physical fitness, I was reminded of one of the Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. If you are not familiar with the Four Agreements, I highly recommend you run out (pun intended) and go find a copy. The basic principles Ruiz outlines are simple enough to comprehend:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
However, as evidenced by my audible frustration during physical torture/therapy, remembering to model them in my daily life can be a challenge.
The fourth principle is of particular relevance to my situation. As Ruiz reminds me in his book, my best will change from day to day. Some days, my best will be a 5K or half-marathon. Other days (or months), it will be cycling around the block, or doing squats without crying. The point is, whatever I am able to do, I should “avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” My best will change, but it’s always MY best, belonging to me alone. Others have their own definition of best, meaning I shouldn’t try to compare myself to the super fit elite triathlon pros who speed past me on the road. That’s not my best. Yet. It could be one day. But, for today, I will focus on the work that is at hand, knowing that doing my very best today will not only move me closer to my long-term goals, cutting myself some slack will most certainly improve my current state of well-being.
As I always work to tie in my learnings to the world of Communications, I should point out that these principles are absolutely applicable in the workplace. Just look at rule number one. PR professionals should always practice the Golden Rule, communicating with the highest of ethical standards.
What about two, three and four? How can you see these being important guideposts for communicators? What else would you add to the list?