“Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Just live one day at a time. Always do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you.”
Hey guys! So I recently read an amazing, life-changing book titled “The Four Agreements” written by Don Miguel Ruiz. I had never heard about the book until I stumbled on someone’s reading list on instagram and I must say, I’m really happy I did. Enjoy.
The book was written by the author named above and it examines Four agreements/issues which according to the author, if we’re able to honour then we would be happy in our space and also have a good relationship with others. He reveals “the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering and offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love“
So getting right into it, the book starts out with explaining who the “Toltec” are- men and women who are known throughout Southern Mexico to be people of great knowledge and it is somewhat believed that the author is a descendant of some sort of these Toltecs. The book further describes what is called the “Domestication and the Dream of the Planet” which he explains that as humans, we were born into the world or planet and conditioned into having a number of beliefs that we did not choose, we were brought up to see the world the way the world is already seen and sort of given a moral code to live by. Through this “domestication” we learn how to live and how to dream. During this domestication process, we sort of form an image of what perfection is in order to try to be good enough and when we fall short, we reject, hate and constantly abuse ourselves that we are not good enough.
“Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are”
The author then talks about the Prelude to a New Dream which includes the adoption of these four agreements. He encourages us to build a very strong will in order to create and adopt these agreements in our lives as the subsequent transformation that occurs will be amazing. I’ll share them below:
The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
The author describes this agreement as the most important, yet the most difficult to honour. I think that most times, we underestimate the power, value and strength that lies in the words we say and how we say them to people. Sometimes, we just say the first thing that pops into our heads, not caring how the person on the receiving end might feel and I know I’ve been guilty of this a whole lot.
Being impeccable with your word just means learning to use your words wisely.If we understand what a single word is and what it does, we will learn to be more purposeful with the things we say to ourselves and others. Whenever we say negative things to ourselves like “oh I’m so stupid, how could I be so dumb? I don’t know anything” then we use the words against ourselves and surely enough, what we think, we become.
Sometimes, we talk about people behind their backs only to spread meaningless gossip, or we try to use our words to force our opinions, beliefs and even convictions down others throats when we were even conditioned to have some of those opinions and beliefs in the first place.
“Your opinion is nothing but your point of view. It is not necessarily true.”
We need to learn to use our words wisely. Tell yourself how wonderful, amazing, smart kind and great you are today! Use kind words when talking to others or about others even if they have hurt us.
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
LOL! This was one of my biggest lessons from the book! I absolutely love this Agreement and since I read the book, I have tried to honour it daily.
Understand one clear thing this morning: NOTHING OTHER PEOPLE DO IS BECAUSE OF YOU. IT IS BECAUSE OF THEMSELVES.
Taking things personally makes you an easy prey for predators. When we take things personally, we tend to “get easily offended by the things other people say and then you make a big deal out of something so little because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong.” WOW.
“If someone gives you an opinion and says, “Hey, you look so fat,” don’t take it personally, because the truth is that this person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs, and opinions. That person tried to send poison to you and if you take it personally, then you take that poison and it becomes yours.”
We all see the world with different pairs of eyes and each person creates a movie or picture in their mind. Look, in each person’s movie, they are the producer or star actor/actress. Everyone else is a secondary actor/actress. It is their movie. You that is taking things personal is just a secondary actor. In a not so nice, but real way, you’re not that important to them.
“Your point of view is something personal to you. It is no one’s truth but yours. Then if you get made at me, I know you are dealing with yourself. I am the excuse for you to get mad.”
You are never responsible for the actions of others. You are only responsible for you. Don’t take things personally because when you do, you’re only setting yourself up to suffer.
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
“Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.”
“When we believe something we assume we are right about it to the point that we will destroy relationships in order to defend our position. We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way we do. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make.”
Find your voice to ask questions and resist from making assumptions. Everybody has the right to tell you yes or no but you always have the right to ask.
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
This affects the other three because if you do your best at honouring the other three then you have a good chance at success in them. Your best will change overtime, but no matter the season or the mood, always give your best. At school, at work, with family and friends, with God and your relationship with Him, always ask yourself “Is this my best?” “Am I giving my best?”
The author expresses that by doing your best, the habits of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time. You don’t need to judge yourself, feel guilty, or punish yourself if you cannot keep these agreements. If you’re doing your best, you will feel good about yourself even if you still make assumptions, still take things personally, and still are not impeccable with your word
And this is just some percentage of the book! Please have a good read!
I highly highly recommend this book! It’s short, amazing and profound. If you’re not as old-school as I am (only enjoy reading hard copies) and you would like to check out the book today, you can read a soft copy here.
Have a great Saturday! x