Monday, June 21, 2010

Practicing the 8th Agreement - Learn What's Essential

Today, I'll be continuing the series "The 10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire." I invite you to participate in the conversation as we explore the power of living a well lived life.

I came up with the "10 Agreements for Living the Life you Truly Desire" to help myself and other women identify those areas that would give us the direction we need to live our lives with fulfillment, purpose and joy.

•Agreement # 1: I agree to help others in their quest to live the life they truly desire.
•Agreement # 2: I agree to discover how to develop myself to the fullest extent.
•Agreement #3: I agree to remember that there is no perfection, only process.
•Agreement #4: I agree to take life serious enough to remember to laugh with the good times and some of the sad ones.
•Agreement #5: I agree to stop self judging behavior and replace it with self assessment.
•Agreement #6 - I agree to share my gifts and talents with everyone I meet.
•Agreement #7 - I agree to not make apologies for or bad mouth who I am, how I'm created, or how I think.

Agreement #8 - I agree to admit to what I don't know and learn it only if necessary.

This agreement is all about making peace with what you do know and what you don't know and not folding to live up to other people's intellectual standards. In our busy and fast paced world and with nifty friend the internet at our fingertips it's possible for us to take in an awful lot of information. But as we all know, to much of anything can put us into overload and have our brains sparking and sputtering like a faulty electrical wire ready to explode. We don't have to succumb to the pressure of becoming a know-it-all.

I've really been putting this agreement into practice. I'm a college professor, so I of course believe in learning, but I don't believe you should learn something just because it will make you look more important or gain you cache in a given circle. I love history, and a few years ago I was being very heavily persuaded by members of my academic circle to pursue a doctorial degree in History. I succumbed, but didn't last long because my heart wasn't in it. I was going against Agreement #8 so I quit.

The other day I was on Twitter having a conversation with one of my fellow twitterer's and she asked me if it was silly of her to ask me about how to get a domain name to link to a blog. I replied that of course it wasn't silly, especially since she's interested in setting up a blog and having her own domain name. We went on to have a pretty robust conversation where I shared what I do know about blogging and setting things up. Now I'm no expert on setting up blogs (I leave that to my friend Jamila the EcommerceDiva!), but I have learned enough to make my life easier and so I was able to pass that info on to my fellow twitterer. For me, this is a good example of only learning something if it's necessary.

Also, in my role as a professor I've learned to not be afraid to admit to my students that I don't know something. It's a very liberating mind set. One time I told my class that I didn't know the answer to a question, but that I'd research it and get back to them, which I did. A student from that class shared with me how surprised she was that I actually said I didn't know and then actually found the answer and brought it back to the class. She said most teachers would have faked it and pretended like they knew the answer.

Agreement #8 speaks to our integrity. I encourage you to become an advocate of only learning what's essential, freeing up our minds to be available for our highest creativity to thrive. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Remember, time is short. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!

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