I read this book ages ago and it still rings true. This week I wanted to share the Four Agreements if you haven’t read it. All quotes are from Wikipedia.
Agreement 1: Be Impeccable With Your Word
Ruiz states that while this agreement is the most important, it is the most difficult one to honor. For this agreement, Ruiz first analyzes the word “impeccable”. The word impeccable comes from the Latin word peccatus meaning “sin”, and the “im” in the beginning of impeccable is the Latin prefix that means “without”. Ruiz describes a sin to be anything that goes against oneself, and therefore being impeccable with language means to take responsibility for one’s actions and remain without judgment against oneself and others. In essence, this agreement focuses on the significance of speaking with integrity and carefully choosing words before saying them aloud.
Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally
The second agreement provides readers with a way to deal with hurtful treatment from others that they may experience in life. It advocates the importance of having a strong sense of self and not needing to rely on the opinions of others in order to be content and satisfied with their self-image. This agreement also allows readers to understand the notion that each individual has a unique worldview that alters their own perceptions, and that the actions and beliefs of a person is a projection of their own personal reality. Ruiz believes that anger, jealousy, envy, and even sadness can lessen or dissipate once an individual stops taking things personally.
Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions
The third agreement describes the issue of making assumptions, how it leads to suffering, and why individuals should not partake in making them. When one assumes what others are thinking, it can create stress and interpersonal conflict because the person believes their assumption is a representation of the truth. Ruiz believes that a solution to overcoming the act of making an assumption is to ask questions and ensure that the communication is clear between the persons involved. Individuals can avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama by not making assumptions.
Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best
The fourth agreement allows readers to have better insight on achieving progress towards their goals in life. This agreement entails integrating the first three agreements into daily life and also living to one’s full potential. It involves doing the best that one can individually manage, which varies from the different situations and circumstances that the individual may encounter. Ruiz believes that if one avoids self judgment and does their best in every given moment, they will be able to avoid regret. By incorporating the first three agreements and doing the best they can in all facets of life, individuals will be able to live a life free from sorrow and self-ridicule.
There’s a lot to unpack here. Take a week to think about this. See if you can follow any of The Four Agreements. Which one is the easiest? What does it say about the one you find the hardest?
If you’re interested in learning more about the book there’s a website to learn more.
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