The Four Agreements

Self-Improvement

Frameworks for a more peaceful life are always interesting.

I recently read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a fast read. 

I highly recommend you take a look and spend time reflecting on how you can be better at some of them. 

Instead of writing about each of them, it felt more sincere to just post them below directly from the book’s Wikipedia Page:

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" at 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 are 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 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 into 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.

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