Book Summary ‘The Four Agreements’ “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. Today is the beginning of a new dream. ” -Don Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements is a guide for those whom seek improvement in their personal life. The book was written by Don Miguel Ruiz whose ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the Native people of Southern Mexico. Toltec people were well known as ‘people of knowledge’.
They were artists and scientist who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional spiritual knowledge and practices of their ancestors. The Toltec saw no difference between science and spirit; they viewed it as one entity. They also believe that all energy, material or unearthly, is derived from and ruled by the universe. Don Miguel Ruiz was born and raised in rural Mexico. He was brought up to follow his family’s Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and grandfather, a Toltec ‘nagual’, a shaman.
Despite this, Don Miguel decided to pursue a conventional education, which led him to qualify and practice for several years as a surgeon. Following a car accident, Don Miguel Ruiz reverted to his Toltec roots during the late years of the 70’s era. He first studied the Toltec ways in profundity, and then healing, teaching, lecturing and writing during the following two decades. It was then in 1997 when he published The Four Agreements. The Four Agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word – Speak with Integrity and say only what you mean.
Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. 2. Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. 3. Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. 4. Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. What do the Four Agreements mean to me? To be impeccable with my word is to speak out of honesty and love. This is one of the most difficult agreements to follow but is the one that magnifies extraordinary results when achieved.
Even if I have failed to accomplish this first agreement on any previous day, I have now learned to leave the past in the past and focus on the present by starting over and being impeccable with my word. In addition to this, I also now view my words in two categories, the power to heal or the power to harm. It is not righteous in my eyes to be impeccable with my word by speaking with Integrity if everything I’m saying is creating harm to others or me. Honoring the agreement to ‘Be Impeccable With Your Word’ can give me that moment to pause and ask myself if what I’m about to say will be healing or harmful.
Angry and cruel words can be the hardest to retrieve and can have the longest regret attached. If I am dedicated to live my life with Love as my foundation, then I will implement this agreement in my daily life to fortify that foundation. To not take anything personally can be the answer to ever lasting peace and self-love. If I’m doing my best to live the first agreement, then I should not let myself feel pain or spiteful emotions when someone shares their opinions with actions. I’m beginning to see the world different when I have this agreement on mind at all times.
It helps me avoid my loss of inspiration, kindness, love, ambition, and prosperity when others say or do something. I see it as a repellent to bullying in society. If we teach the world this valuable agreement to not take anything personal, malicious people would lose the fuel for their actions since their results would be miniscule and unexpected. I can now gain confidence and love for myself when placing this agreement in action every day. Drama, misunderstandings, confusion, sadness and much more can all be avoided when the third agreement, shared by Don Miguel Ruiz, is put into action.
When learning the third agreement, I found myself reflecting on what Jorge taught us in the Basic workshop. He kept teaching us on how our “comite” works and how we act on it. We have this way of living where we unconsciously start making assumptions about people and things around us. We do it in our life’s relationships, our job, with our children, and even with strangers who we have yet to meet. My knowledge on this principle has expanded more upon my reflection from the Basic. Making assumptions is creating false reality. When we assume the purpose for someone’s actions we begin to gossip, judge, ridicule, creating drama and much more.
It’s a waste of life when we do this. It’s a better use of our time and energy when we avoid making assumptions and we simply focus on what’s fact and true. If someone fails to show up, all that is true and that we know is – They’re not here. No need to make further assumptions. Making assumptions has led people to create jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, and insecurities within themselves. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. Always do your best, the fourth agreement. It makes a lot of sense to do your best under any circumstance in your life; whether you’re ill, tired, or exhausted.
If you push yourself to do the best you can, then you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. People who live in fear will always be victims to self-judgment, self-abuse and regret because they let fear stand between themselves and their vision. If you have ever said “that could have been me…”, “I could have done that…”, or “Why didn’t I just keep pushing myself…” are some signs of you failing to do your best. These examples are sayings from people who are victims of self-judgment and regret. I rather live my life to my fullest and have a peace of mind knowing that I have done everything I could.
Don Miguel Ruiz has shared four simple agreements that are capable of transforming one’s life into a better one and has laid out a pathway for us to follow. It’s sad to see someone living a life of survival, without purpose and loss for their vision of life. However, it’s even more miserable to see someone who has the tools to live a prosperous life, live that exact lifestyle of survival and lost purpose of life. I choose to be someone who takes action and does not throw away this opportunity to utilize these four agreements to better my life.