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Always Do Your Best: The Fourth Agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz's "The Four Agreements"

Updated: Jun 8

In the insightful book "The Four Agreements," Don Miguel Ruiz presents principles based on ancient Toltec wisdom to guide us towards a more fulfilling life. The fourth agreement, "Always Do Your Best," is a powerful yet simple directive that encourages us to engage fully and effectively in every aspect of our lives. This blog post explores the depth and practicality of this agreement, demonstrating how it can lead to personal growth and inner peace.

The Essence of Doing Your Best

"Always Do Your Best" is about the effort, not the outcome. It recognizes that our "best" can vary from moment to moment, influenced by factors such as our health, emotions, and circumstances. What matters is that, in every situation, we put forth the effort that is optimal for us at that time.

Our best is not a fixed standard but a variable one. When you are tired, your best will be different than when you are fully energized. By acknowledging this, we learn to be gentle with ourselves, adapting our efforts to our current state.

Why Doing Your Best Matters

By always doing your best, you will:

  • Avoid Self-Judgment and Regret: When you know you’ve done your best, there’s no room for harsh self-criticism or regret over what you could have done differently.

  • Enhance Self-Satisfaction: Consistently doing your best leads to a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

  • Foster Continuous Improvement: This agreement encourages a mindset of growth and learning, where each experience is an opportunity to improve.

Applying the Fourth Agreement

Here are some practical tips for applying the fourth agreement:

  • Set Realistic Expectations: Understand your capabilities and limitations at any given moment. Set goals and expectations that are challenging yet achievable, and adjust them as necessary.

  • Be Present and Engaged: Focus on the task at hand. By being fully present, you channel your energies effectively and perform at your best.

  • Cultivate a Positive Attitude: A positive mindset enhances your ability to do your best. Approach tasks with enthusiasm and a belief in your own abilities.

  • Learn from Each Experience: View every outcome as a learning opportunity, whether you perceive it as a success or a failure. This mindset keeps you open to continuous growth.

  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Recognize that doing your best doesn’t mean pushing yourself to the point of breakdown. Balance effort with self-care.

The Impact of Embracing This Agreement

Living by the principle of always doing your best has profound implications:

  • Increased Personal Growth: You continually push your boundaries, leading to personal development and growth.

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: By focusing on the effort rather than the outcome, you reduce the anxiety associated with the need for perfection.

  • Improved Performance: When you consistently do your best, you naturally enhance your skills and abilities.

  • Enhanced Self-Respect: Knowing that you’ve given your best effort in every circumstance leads to a deeper sense of self-respect and integrity.


"Always Do Your Best" is more than an agreement; it's a guiding principle for a fulfilling life. It teaches us to approach every situation with dedication and effort, while also being kind and understanding towards ourselves. By embracing this agreement, we can find joy and satisfaction in our endeavors, continuously grow, and live with a profound sense of integrity. Remember, it's not about the perfection of the result, but the quality of the effort.

 Join us starting in April for a special four-part discussion series on the Four Agreements tailored for youth aged 14-20. Each month from April through July, we'll delve into one agreement in depth. Become a member today to learn more and participate at no cost!

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