There are certain books that come into your life at the exact time that you need them and they change your perspective forever. Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements was one of those books for me. I realize that many people have already heard of this book’s central tenets (based on Toltec wisdom), but I believe they bear repeating. I’ve quoted them as they are presented in the book:
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.
If you find these concepts to be helpful, you might be interested to know that don Miguel Ruiz and his son don Jose Ruiz have written The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self Mastery. Don Miguel Ruiz explains:
Many years ago, I began to teach the fifth agreement, but then I discovered that no one was ready to learn the advanced Toltec teachings that underlie this agreement. The Four Agreements were enough of a challenge at the time.
The fifth agreement is ultimately about seeing our whole reality through the eyes of truth. The result of practicing this agreement is the complete acceptance of ourselves just the way we are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is our eternal happiness.
If you would like to learn more about Toltec wisdom and how to live the Four Agreements more fully in your life, visit don Miguel Ruiz’s site. Gary van Warmerdam’s site Toltec Spirit is also worthwhile visit.