The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz | Book Review
Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) based on ancient Toltec wisdom. The agreements are anecdotes for life, love and relationships with yourself and others. They are designed to help you discover your authentic self. This book is easy to understand, efficient and applies to everyone.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word
“Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering.”
Your words manifest your thoughts, actions and even the actions of others. It’s important to have integrity. So, say what you mean and avoid gossip or speaking against yourself.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Nothing people do is because of you. Whether it’s insults or compliments, what people say and do is a projection of their own reality. Stop allowing others to influence your thoughts. This couldn’t be more true and relevant to me. Since being diagnosed with a mood disorder, I’ve discovered that almost everything I do is tied to my mood. Good mood = nice, bad news = irritated and critical. So now I have learned not to take things personally. This book helps you understand other people’s perspectives so that you can become immune to the opinions and actions of others, which could be a superpower, really.
3. Don’t make assumptions
It is easy to fill in the blanks for someone when it comes to perceptions and intentions, but you must ask questions and communicate clearly to avoid misunderstanding and get what you really want. This can transform your life.
4. Always do your best
Your “best” will vary from moment to moment, for example. it will be different when you are healthy than when you are sick. Regardless of the circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. This helped me because I was so high functioning when I was healthy, and when I became depressed (as a Manic Depressive) I suddenly lost half of my capabilities and it felt like I was “doing my best” to get out of bed and shower. This really impacted my sense of self worth, and I can’t be more grateful to have found a book that suggests that my “best” will vary, so that I was essentially doing my best.
He also released a follow-up book called “The Fifth Agreement” which states “be skeptical but learn to listen.”
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