The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a truly inspirational book. It lives in my library and I read or listen to it at least once a year. I have used these teachings in my personal and professional lives.
This best selling book gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Adopting and committing to these agreements is simple. Living and keeping these Four Agreements can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It can also be one of the most life changing things you will ever do.
As you practice living these four practices your life will dramatically change. In the beginning these new habits will be challenging and you will lapse countless times. With practice these agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Understanding how to Integrate and Live the practices
Upon reading don Miguel’s wisdom many people have their eyes opened to a new possibility for living life. They get excited when they see the potential for happiness, love, and respect with themselves and their relationships. What they fail to see is the challenges and resistance the mind will have to living just one of the agreements. Don Miguel briefly mentions these challenges in his book, but people fixate on the four chapters with the agreements and seem to miss these other important points. This is often the set up for expectations that lead to disappointment and frustration.
Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
The quest of a Spiritual Warrior is for Personal Freedom.
Personal Freedom means freedom from fear, illusions, and the fear based beliefs in the mind. In essence it means to win the war within the beliefs in the mind. It is with Personal Freedom that we are free of the human condition of psychological suffering. Spiritual traditions around the world have their own names for this state of awareness such as nirvana and heaven. It is a state that is simply described as living your life with unconditional love, gratitude, and respect, for yourself, and for many others.