The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements is an great book by Don Miguel Ruiz.

If you have not read it yet, I strongly recommend it. These four agreements and really help you reflect on how you are choosing to engage with others and react to life events.

Below are quotes from “The Four Agreements”

  Be Impeccable with Your Word

Words are important. Words have power to create positive or negative messages. The truth is the most important part of being impeccable with your word. Nurture the seeds of truth, empowerment, kindness and discretion with your Word.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.  To take things personally means you make the assumption that everything is about “me.” If someone gives you an opinion, it is they who are dealing with the feelings, beliefs or opinions.  If you take it personally, you take on the message, and make it yours.  You set yourself up to suffer for nothing.  You are personally and ethically responsible for your own actions and words, and no one else’s.

Don’t Make Assumptions

The problem with making assumptions is that you believe they are the truth.  All the sadness and drama you have experienced was rooted in making assumptions, and then taking them personally.  You assume that others think, feel, judge and abuse the way you do.  We make assumptions about ourselves. The way to keep from making assumptions is to ask questions.  Make sure communication is clear.  Have the courage to ask questions, including of yourself.

Always do Your Best
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. No more and no less than your best. If you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself.  Your best does not overdo, because you deplete your body and go against yourself. If you take action because you have to, then you cannot do your best. Action is about living fully.  Inaction is the way that we deny life.  Live your life, and always do your best.


6 Comments to “The Four Agreements”

  1. Very good advice on all 4 counts … I learned about the assumption lesson in the building business when I used to design roof trusses. Mistakes based on assumptions were costly, so in that instance alone, it was imperative to have the actual facts and job site variables. The same lesson carried on in other areas of my life. I think the other 3 topics are on a more personal level, but the advice is no less valuable, and should be heeded none-the-less. Great post! 🙂

  2. Thank you very much Orples! However Don Miguel Ruiz deserves all the credit.

  3. I like your unique take on spirituality. Good for you for doing what works for you.

  4. Enjoyed this post. Agreed on them all, this guy is wise. Will check his book out 🙂

    Question: is making assumptions through words bad if done jokingly? i.e “i assuming you might have my jacket at your house because i lent it to you most of last week and i cant find it, do you have it?”. It could not be 100% assumed correct at that moment but i thought it was very possible this person did have it (i did not accuse). I said this to someone a few yrs ago btw and they became defensive (the person loved stealing/lending my coat on occasion).

    Thanks! Jay

    • Hello Jay. I think what he is trying to say about “Don’t make assumptions” is that we should be wary about the story that we tell ourselves and we should be mindful that our internal dialogue may not be the absolute truth. For your example, I see not harm in considering the hypothesis of a) I can’t find my jacket b) I lent it to someone else so c) the other person may (or may not) have my jacket. However if our assumptions lead an internal drama where we are victimized by the pilfering jacket thief and they should be confronted by their unkind actions, we have treated our assumptions as truth and that perceived truth may be completely inaccurate.

      In terms of these agreements, I feel each agreement is a guideline versus an absolute law. These agreements are about owning our internal dialogue.

      We need to be impeccable with our words by using language that evokes positive imagry to the greatest extent possible. I feel that it is best to work towards honesty in all settings, but I understand there are situations where the absolute truth could be emotionally damaging to another person.

      By not taking anything personally, we can reflect that we are responsible for our emotional response. We can avoid the temptation of saying “you make me feel”

      Thanks for the comments as always!

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