The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz that offers four principles for living a happy and fulfilling life.
The book is based on the ancient wisdom of the Toltecs, a native people of Mexico who were known for their art and science.
The book claims that the Toltecs had a profound understanding of the nature of reality and the human mind and that they developed a system of agreements that can help anyone achieve personal freedom and happiness.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
This means to speak with integrity, honesty, and kindness. It also means to avoid using your words to gossip, lie, or harm yourself or others.
By being impeccable with your word, you create a positive energy that attracts more of the same.
As Ruiz says, “The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life.”
2. Don’t take anything personally.
This means to not let other people’s opinions, actions, or emotions affect your self-worth or happiness. It also means to not make assumptions about what others think or feel about you.
Everyone has their own perspective and their own dream of reality, and nothing they do is because of you.
It is because of themselves. By not taking anything personally, you free yourself from suffering and drama.
As Ruiz says, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
3. Don’t make assumptions.
This means not jumping to conclusions or making judgments without having all the facts. It also means to communicate clearly and ask questions when you are unsure or curious. By not making assumptions, you avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and mistakes.
As Ruiz says, “If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate.
Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
4. Always do your best.
This means to give your full effort and attention to whatever you do, without expecting any reward or recognition.
It also means to accept yourself and your circumstances as they are and to not judge yourself or others. By always doing your best, you express your true potential and enjoy the process of life.
As Ruiz says, “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.
Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”
The four agreements are simple but powerful guidelines that can help anyone to live a more authentic, peaceful, and joyful life. They are not easy to practice, but they are worth the effort.
As Ruiz says, “The Four Agreements are a summary of the mastery of transformation, one of the masteries of the Toltec. You transform hell into heaven.
The dream of the planet is transformed into your personal dream of heaven. The knowledge is there; it’s just waiting for you to use it.”