Using The Four Agreements to navigate life and personal freedom.
A week or so ago I shared a list of some of my favorite wellness books and one book on that list is The Four Agreements. It’s an easy read that packs a wealth of wisdom in relatively few pages. It’s one of few books I’ve read multiple times cover to cover.
In the best-selling book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles as a guide to develop personal freedom and love, happiness, and peace.
With these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. In these agreements you can change self-limiting beliefs.
Ruiz’s principles are rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom and in their simplicity, these powerful agreements are challenging and center around the idea that the way we think and act is based on agreements we make with ourselves. These agreements are said to be our personal belief systems that developed in childhood. Ruiz presents how to let go of these beliefs and attachments as a route to a happy, healthy and meaningful life.
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The principles of The Four Agreements:
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.
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.
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.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are tired as opposed to well-rested. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
- Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.
- 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.
- Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them.
- It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.
- Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do the exact opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.
- 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 you don’t do your best, you are denying yourself the right to be you.
- Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
- Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.
- True freedom has to do with the human spirit — it is the freedom to be who we really are.
- Love in action only produces happiness. Love will give you inner peace. It will change your perception of everything.
- Forgiveness is the only way to heal. We can choose to forgive because we feel compassion for ourselves.
- Be Skeptical, but learn to listen.
- Life is very, very simple and easy to understand, but we complicate it with the beliefs and ideas that we create.
- We judge others according to our image of perfection as well, and naturally they fall short of our expectations.
- You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.
- You must forgive those who hurt you, even if whatever they did to you is unforgivable in your mind. You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you.
- All your life you tried to be good enough for somebody else, and you left yourself last. You sacrificed your personal freedom to live according to somebody else’s point of view.
- You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
- We cannot forgive ourselves for not being what we wish to be, or rather what we believe we should be.
- You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.
- The worst part is that most of us are not even aware that we are not free.
- Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering.
At first glance of the four agreements I thought, “isn’t that obvious” and it seemed rather simple. As I read the book I realized the simplicity was deceiving.
The four agreements are a challenge in that the agreements mean learning to look at our long-held beliefs in a new way and it will take time and self-compassion to make that shift in our thinking.
It’s unrealistic to expect that we can shift our mindset from day one and follow all the agreements perfectly or that we even should. However, we can choose the agreements that resonate with each of us personally and attempt to do our best to follow them. In doing that, we can relax in the knowledge that we are doing all that we can to develop personal freedom and happiness, day by day.
Like this post? They you’re going to love these for inspiration and personal development:
- 35 Quotes For When You Need a Boost of Self Confidence
- 25 Affirmations To Start Your Day In a Positive Way
- Why and How To Live In the Present
I would love to chat.
Have you read The Four Agreements? Does one or 2 of the agreements resonate more with you than the others?
be the best version of YOU