A summary of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, a practical guide to personal freedom.
I heard about this mysterious, best-selling book years ago. A friend of the family was going through an incredibly difficult time in her life (like we all do), when she finally got back on her feet she read it and everything changed for her, in ways she never thought possible. I never gave it much thought since then, until one day earlier this year the title “The Four Agreements” came into my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. It was insanely annoying, but at that point I was terribly curious about it and figured the only thing to do was find a copy and give a read.
Mind you, I am NOT person who buys books and reads them. I am not a reader in the slightest, in fact I am dyslexic- so it’s rather challenging for me. To my surprise, I spent 5 mornings reading each chapter and much like our family friend, felt a shift happen within myself that I’d never felt before. Without giving too much away, its essentially four simple agreements you make with yourself:
1. Be Impeccable with Your Word
Basically your thoughts create your reality and what you say out loud(and in your mind) manifests that reality. The nasty things you say to yourself and about other people might seem innocent but are actually toxic to you and everyone else. This rule might sound easy to keep but gossiping about celebrities, your opinion of total strangers, road rage, the negative things you pick at in the mirror, etc. ALL fall under this agreement, so it might be time for you to think nicer thoughts and say nicer things especially about yourself. It’s also very important to ask yourself WHY you like to seek out “flaws” or negative traits and how that might hinder your life in the long term. This ONE rule alone can change so much about your self-image and perception of others.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Talk about avoiding unnecessary drama and emotional turmoil! Turns out, most people do and say things based on whatever is happening inside their mind or private lives. Generally speaking, 99% of the time, whatever horrible act you feel personally victimized by, had nothing to do with anything you’ve done to them. If you really let that sink in, this rule gives you a lot of freedom to let sh*t go.
“Combining Toltec mythology and scientific perspectives, Don Miguel has been able to merge ancient wisdom with modern physics and practical common-sense, forging a new philosophy for seekers of truth and personal authenticity. His landmark bestselling book, The Four Agreements, contains practical steps for long-term, personal transformation and has been read by millions around the world.” -Amazon
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Again with the drama and turmoil, it’s human nature to assume the worst in any given scenario. Especially if you skipped agreement two and take something personally, so DON’T! This agreement is about effective communication. By assuming something about someone, you don give that person a chance to clarify their truth- which is likely NOT what you assumed it was. It’s also time for you to speak up and say what’s on your mind but- remember to be impeccable with your word. What you say matters and you cannot assume people know what you’re thinking or what you need.
4. Always Do Your Best
In order to find true satisfaction in all you do- give whatever you do, the best shot you have, every single time. Do whatever you can with what you have and apply the 3 previous agreements to the best of your abilities. This leads to a lot of activity and productivity in every area of your life. When you wake up from the trance society put you in and see how capable you are, the world will never be the same again.
Today I still re-read this book and rave about it any chance I get, because of how much it helped and continues to help me. I really condensed this summary of The Four Agreements in simple terms, but the book paints a very spiritual yet logical picture that will make you want to pass it on to everyone you know.
I often imagine a world where this book is required reading- oh, how different things would be. But here I am with you- and one person at a time is just as good too.
This book is available anywhere books are sold near you (maybe even your local thrift store!) Be sure to follow the Author on instagram @Donmiguelruiz
( Also this book makes a great gift!
Along with this other great stuff in my Ethical Gift Guide )
Until next time…