In the popular bestseller The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz describes the principles that need to be observed to create love, happiness and peace in our lives.
Life according to these simple but powerful principles can be challenging, but will lead to transformation to good.
The agreements are rooted in the wisdom of Toltec, a culture that dominates the region of central Mexico in the period 900-1168. Toltec sought to master consciousness through discipline of personality.
The four agreements offer steps towards achieving personal freedom and life in peace and love. They are simple but profound and wise. Here’s the essence of them.
Be impeccable in your words
There is great power in words, so you should try to use them carefully. Avoid gossip and spread rumors about others, do not use words to harm others. Your inner thoughts are also words, you have to make sure they are not critical to you or another. Talk honestly. Just say what you really think. Share your truth as clearly as possible and use the power of words in the direction of truth and love. So you will always be flawless in your words.
Do not take anything personal
It’s easy to take things personally when others criticize or disappoint. In fact, nothing that others do is ment for you. The things others do are a projection of what they get in their lives, everything is shaped by other factors, not by you. When you realize this, you will understand that their opinion does not concern you exactly. When you acquire immunity to the opinions and actions of others, you will not be the victim of meaningless anguish.
Do not make assumptions
It is easy to suppose that we know everything in a given situation, and that we fully understand the point of view of others. In fact, this is very rare. We are almost never aware of the true nature of a situation, nor of how it will develop. In addition, we usually do not know what others want from us. Instead of making speculations, we must find the courage to ask questions and express what we really want. When we learn to communicate clearly with others, we manage to avoid misunderstandings and surplus drama. This agreement has the power to fully transform the relationships in our lives.
Always do your best
It is difficult to know what is the best that can be done in a given situation. The best of you may not be the perfect solution and you could make a mistake. The way you manage your best will change with practice and experience. The best of you may be a variable due to stress, illness or tragedy. But if you follow previous agreements as accurately as possible, you will be able to do your best. When you know that you have tried to give the best, you will feel happy with the result and find an inner peace.
When you give the maximum, you avoid self-criticism and regret. You know you tried to do it and no one could do more than that.
Using the four agreements can turn your life over from fear and anxiety to peace and love. You must be aware that it is not always easy to observe the agreements, that you may feel discouraged when you fail.
Besides, you do not have to start living perfectly right now just because you decided to follow the agreements. When you decide to start, you test your beliefs and habits that you have learned and acquired in your life. New habits take time to establish themselves.
We are taught to talk without thinking about our words. It takes time to change our speaking habits so that we take into account the consequences of our words. We have learned to assume so many things that we do not even realize what we consider to be pure truth. A new way of thinking is needed to overcome these erroneous beliefs. We assume that when someone has an opinion about us, its point of view is valid. It takes time and practice to learn not to accept these opinions personally. Learning to look differently on these areas of belief is a great challenge and time.
You may not be able to follow the four agreements perfectly from the first day, but „do your best“. Only in this way will you find peace and harmony, and your life will improve day by day.