If you’re not yet familiar with Don Miguel Ruiz, he’s an incredible Mexican author who shares Toltec wisdom and teachings. The Four Agreements is probably one of his most famous books, alongside The Mastery of Love and The Fifth Agreement. (I will be writing my thoughts on the Mastery of Love soon, because that book blew my mind.😲)
Don Miguel shares with us the four agreements of the Toltecs, and these agreements truly can transform your life for the better. I know this is a very strong and bold statement, but the book totally delivers on this.
The 4 agreements are:
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t take things personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best
Just by looking at the list, you might think to yourself:
‘Ha, okay! Easy peasy!’
However, when you really get down to the core of each agreement and reflect if you’ve been applying it in your daily life, chances are the answer will be a big, fluffy no. These agreements were drilled into me for 2 years straight because the acting school that I went to in New York City is built on them. (Our main teacher would even call us up on stage regularly, one by one, asking us to list these agreements in order. Seriously!)
As much as I knew these agreements by heart and could repeat them in my sleep, I wasn’t living by them. Fast forward 2 and a half years later; I re-read this book last month once again and was reminded how important all of these agreements are. More importantly, how I haven’t been putting them to use!🙈
This one has always been crucial to me, and I’ve always been cautious and conscious of what I say, what I promise, and how I communicate. What I’ve noticed is that in our current society, barely anyone is impeccable with their word. We make promises that we don’t keep (to others and ourselves), we gossip, indulge in negative self-talk, and use our words to harm.
Don Miguel Ruiz says: “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.”
When it comes to being impeccable with our word, we have to be careful of what we promise to ourselves and others. How many times have we said that we would do something for someone else, only to remember it last minute and think ‘ah.. well… it doesn’t matter.’ Or how many times have we said ‘starting tomorrow, I will wake up early and work out’ and never followed through?
This book, and this agreement, beautifully reminds us that we create our world with our word. Be careful with what you say, be intentional with what comes out of your mouth and use it as a tool to make yourself, your life, and others better.
I’ll be the first to admit — I fail at this CONSTANTLY.😅 Whether it’s a negative comment on a social media post or a loved one giving me constructive criticism; I take things a little too personally.
It’s not helpful, and it doesn’t make me feel good. On page 50 of the book, Don Miguel writes: “When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You make something big out of something so little because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong.”
I think this incredible excerpt speaks for itself. Truthful and straight to the point, gems like this made me stare at the page with my mouth open, thinking: ‘Holly 💩! THAT IS SO TRUE!!!’ All I can say is: our lives would be a million times easier if we didn’t take things personally.
This agreement is something I need to work on the hardest, and I hope one day to master it. Before I even finish this article, let me say — do yourself a big, loving favor, and get this book. It’s life-changing.
Okay… Do you know how I said that agreement #2 is something that I constantly fail at? This one is up there, too. The amount of mental torture that we create in our minds is ridiculous — all because of making assumptions.
We make assumptions about our spouses, our friends, our boss, and our neighbors. We also make assumptions about ourselves, and this creates a ton of inner conflict. The problem with making assumptions is that WE BELIEVE THEY ARE THE TRUTH!
Assumptions are simply ridiculous, made-up stories that we create in our own minds, and imagine that they are the truth. Oh, how much energy we could save if we stopped making assumptions. It’s so exhausting!
In life, in work, in relationships, even with these 4 agreements — all we can ever do is just focus on doing our best. Our best is going to look different every day because our emotions and circumstances will vary every day. Therefore, we need to not be so hard on ourselves. Compassion, kindness, and patience are essential.
I still stumble and fall over when it comes to these agreements, ESPECIALLY when it’s not taking anything personally and making assumptions! However, I know that I am on a life-long journey of personal growth, healing, and inner work. I am committed to working on my self every single day. I want to be the best possible version of ME, and that is going to take lots of time and work.
This book is incredible; it’s filled with mind-blowing information, real-life examples, and stories. I can’t recommend this gem enough. However, even if you don’t end up getting this book — I hope this article alone gave you an insight into how powerful these agreements are. If we applied even just one of these into our lives, we would witness a massive shift in our realities. Life would become more relaxed, more joyful, and more loving.