The Four Agreements
Can agreements transform life, that too agreements with self?
Don Miguel Ruiz, Mexican author, surgeon, spiritual scholar says that if you can begin to live your life with the four agreements, the transform of your life will be amazing. He explains in detail these agreements – the how and why of the four agreements in his illuminating book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. He focuses his writings on the Ancient Toltec teachings that are used to achieve happiness, peace and love within one life by acquiring and internalising the wisdom to do so.
The Four Agreements, first published in 1997 is his most influential work with sales of over five million copies in the US and it has been translated into 38 languages.
Here are the four agreements you need to commit to transform your life.
1. The First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word. The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honour. It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence I call heaven on earth. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful. Be Impeccable to your word is the first agreement that you should make if you want to be free, and if you want to be happy.
2. The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally. Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Because nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be a victim of needless suffering. Consider this for example: If I see you on the street and say, ‘Hey, you are so stupid,’ without knowing you, it’s not about you. It’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid. May be you think to yourself, ‘How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?’ Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
3. The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions. We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally – then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we’’re asking problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing. Ruiz says, “The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don’t understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation. Once you hear the answer, you will not have to make assumptions because you will know the truth.
4. The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best. 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 a summary of the mastery of transformation, one of the masteries of the Toltec. Don Miguel Ruiz shared this secret to ever lasting happiness to the entire world with his book.
If you are impeccable with your word, if you don’t take anything personally, if you don’t make assumptions, if you always do your best, then you are going to have a beautiful life. You are going to control your life one hundred per cent.