The Four Agreements
Over the last few months, I have frequently recommended to my clients the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Published in 1992 it is a short book – only 138 pages – that shares some of the secrets and insights of ancient Toltec wisdom. The author advocates shedding of outmoded limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.
For those already overwhelmed, I sometimes recommend that they just read the front inside flap of the book cover, which lists the four agreements in enough detail to help facilitate transformational change.
The reason I chose this topic for my blog is that I was reminded just how powerful these agreements could be in simplifying life and helping each of us live more joyfully, even during challenging and uncertain times … such as a pandemic.
The first agreement is Be Impeccable With Your Word. This speaks to integrity and saying what you really mean. A lot of time and energy are wasted by not being clear, or by using words against ourselves or others that are limiting or judgmental. Pay close attention to what you say, to and about yourself and others. Use empowering and affirming language and begin to notice how this shifts your energy and your life.
The second agreement is Don’t Take Anything Personally. I am still working on this, and part of my challenge is that I take myself too seriously most of the time. Keep in mind that nothing others do is because of you; it is because of them. Remember that someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
The third agreement is Don’t Make Assumptions. Wouldn’t life be much simpler and easier to navigate if we didn’t make unnecessary assumptions? We like to say that at best assumptions are incomplete and at worst they are wrong. What assumptions are you making about yourself and others that are limiting your ability to experience joy?
The fourth agreement is Always Do Your Best. We must keep in mind that our best will change moment to moment, and what was our best today may be something less than it was last week or last year. We know that our best varies by how we feel and the situations that we find ourselves in. Knowing that you did your best in any given circumstance can in and of itself be rewarding.
Write these agreements in your journal, post them on your computer, or put them on your bathroom mirror. Have each of these four agreements be the intentions you use to guide every single interaction. Pay attention, don’t judge, just notice and reflect, and begin to realize the joy and transformation that comes from putting these four agreements into daily practice.