I'm going to expand on the work of writer Don Miguel Ruiz who originally wrote "The Four Agreements". His four agreements are:
I'd like to update those agreements to meet the extraordinary time of change we are in right now. In a Pentagon report released a few years ago, it said "the next few years will decide the next 100". I agree. Climate crisis, social disruption, technological advancement have all converged at this moment in time. Here are the new agreements for times like these.
1. Be impeccable with truth. Truth is that cocktail that combines wisdom, data, facts, empathy and mother wit. It's shaken, not stirred. It's not absolute, but it does require absolute and rigorous work by you, it's champion. In my work as an analyst and Futurist, I have learned that the single greatest challenge I face in sharing information is the preponderance of people who rely on scant information then take a deep dive into the pool of confirmation bias. All of us do it, but social media has made that indulgence more accessible to more people -- especially to the ignorant. Truth is not only our greatest ally in navigating new environments, but it should be cherished as our greatest treasure. It's pursuit will save us in the end. Ongoing lies and deception over an extended period of time will collapse any relationship, community or society. Truth is not a static position, but a way of life.
2. Take everything personally. We live in a time where you are encouraged to see yourself separate from the events that your senses are detecting. You are told you didn't see what you just saw, so you don't have to worry about it. This detachment from the environment allows us to treat the planet, nature, animals , and other human beings with a cool detachment and indifference. Not taking things personally has led to an extinction level event called climate crisis. Taking everything personally means that you now realize all of your actions and your words matter and have an effect.
3. Assume it's up to you and others like you. "Someone else will do something about it". Famous last words for a country or a nation watching the slow drip of diminishing voter participation, distraction via our tech tools and indifference to the sufferings of other human beings. Assuming that creating a transformed world is up to you and others like you not only makes you personally responsible, but it gives you a voice and a stake in the world you live in. The future is determined by those bold enough to be present right now. Fortune favors the bold.
4. Go above and beyond "your best". Often when I hear people talk about their best, they speak of it in the context of what they know or what is normal or expected inside of convention. But what if we don't know what our best is because our imagination is on "lockdown" and we're too tied to what we've done in the past? Maybe we don't really know what our best is because we've never ventured out further than the normal. I often say that this is not a time for us to "think outside the box". This is a time to recognize there is no box. We are no longer tethered to the old ideas and are free to create new ones. I would submit that going above and beyond all that you know will take you to an open field where your best is still yet to be discovered.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary agreements. I submit mine.
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org