"The Four Agreements" for a Better Life

These agreements are for everyone and are guaranteed to enrich your life. The book is a complex, though short read that contains much wisdom of value in it's pages.

Author Don Miguel Ruiz has constructed a simple but thoughtful plan for daily living that will appeal to most anyone with an open mind and heart.

The Four Agreements
are life changing and their ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico. The Toltec were "people of knowledge". Don Miguel Ruiz, born and raised in rural Mexico, was brought up to follow his family's Toltec ways by his mother, a Toltec faith healer, and grandfather, a Toltec 'nagual', a shaman

In his book about the agreements, he presents the idea that everything that a person believes - all that makes up their paradigm, is the result of agreements made knowingly

or unknowingly with society. Here is a synopsis of the key elements behind his graceful wisdom; four agreements that each person may choose to make with themselves for a happier, more peaceful life.

The First Agreement
Be Impeccable with your Word
What does this mean? In the first of the four agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says "Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.”. Ruiz recommends avoiding using the power of words to speak against one’s self or others. He explains the damage of gossip in the human life and encourages readers to use the mighty power of words to spread truth and love.

Don Miguel Ruiz implies here that complete honesty should be valued above all else. He acknowledges that at times, the truth will be hurtful to others but that if something must be said, that if it is true it will always be correct. The art of upholding honesty without verbally wounding others lies in knowing when to speak and to be silent. Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing.

The Second Agreement
Don't Take Anything Personally
The second of the four agreements is Don Miguel Ruiz’ proclamation that "Nothing others do is because of you. What others do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.”. Ruiz speaks of each person playing out a film in their own mind where they are the star, the director, the producer and so on. Everyone else is only a supportive character.
Ruiz goes on to say, “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.”. Basically, anything and everything that a person does or says is a product of their own thought and has nothing to do with others. Their words and actions are formed from their own opinions which have no real effect on others.

The Third Agreement –
Don't Make Assumptions

In the third of the four agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes "Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.” This is powerful advice. Ruiz is suggesting that people engage in real communication with honesty. If a person feels that he or she is missing part or all of what is being related to them, they should ask questions until they truly understand.

Ruiz’ words also imply that there is no place for passive aggression. A person should always say what they really want, even if it’s difficult to do so. 

“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". Ruiz writes.

Combined with the first two agreements, the third agreement gives a person the ability to communicate honest needs and intentions to others without fear of ridicule or shame.

The Fourth Agreement –
Always Do Your Best

The last of the four agreements is about performing to the best of one‘s personal ability. Don Miguel Ruiz explains that "Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.”. This thought gives readers the permission to be human, to realize that their personal best will not always be consistent.

Ruiz continues, “Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.". A person’s best depends greatly on their current state of mind, finances and health. No one can tell another person what is good enough. Each person has the right to decide for themselves whether they have given their all and the responsibility to forgive their own imperfections.

Don Miguel Ruiz
Offers Wisdom With The Four Agreements

Ruiz gives sound advice for anyone from any faith background. His agreements are not soon forgotten and are easy to carry through the rigors of daily life and communication.

Imagine how different things would be if everyone followed these agreements.

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