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Have faith but be skeptical

The Fifth Agreement: Be Skeptical, But Learn to Listen Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.

When anyone tells you their point of view, they usually believe it is the truth. Being sceptical isn’t about judging whether that this is the case or not, but rather it is about listening to the way other people express themselves, listening to the intent behind their words, while acknowledging that their point of view will be coloured by their beliefs and accepting that whatever they say is simply a ‘subjective story’ about what is going on in their ‘virtual world’.

The second part of this statement is about listening properly which doesn’t mean naively accepting everything you hear, rather it encourages you to look behind the ‘symbols’ that people are using to fully understand what people are communicating, their intentions and their point of view. By listening in this way, it’s easier to keep all the other agreements as you give yourself the space to choose how to respond.

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