It has been four years now since I first read the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Since that time, I have made the study of this philosophy a large part of my life. Before I can tell you what these agreements are, and how they work, first we must understand the concept of an agreement. That comes from understanding the Dream of the Planet. We are born into this world. We are accepting; There are laws and rules created by man, and we are accepting. We are taught our family rules, our school rules, our society’s rules, our countries rules…And we agree to them. If we chose not to agree, we would risk being outcast from our particular group. Groups function well only when everyone agrees to the rules. We can call these rules “Agreements”. These agreements keep our world functioning the way it always has….if this sounds a lot like domestication to you, you may be right; Maybe it’s time to start rethinking some of these agreements, and perhaps begin rewriting our own “book of the law”. So Don Miguel Ruiz brings forth an ancient wisdom and breathes new life into it with the four (now 6) agreements. These Four agreements if used as the underlying basis for all the thousands of agreements we have, can and will transform your life.
1) Be Impeccable with Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word to offer love, never use it to cause fear or pain in another (or yourself)
Impeccable means “without sin” and sin translates in its simplest form to mean “Missing the mark”, to do something that goes against your values, or what you were aiming for.
Impeccability starts with you. Be impeccable with yourself and that will reflect in your life and your relationships with others. This agreement can help change thousands of other agreements, especially ones that create fear instead of love.
2) Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. Nothing…Seriously, nothing.
What others say and do is a result of their own dream or perception of their rules. We all make rules about how things should be, but when you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. When someone tells you that you are “too much” of something or “not enough” of another thing, this tells you about them and their needs more than it does about you.
We take things personally when on some level, we agree with what others have said. If we didn’t agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. Even if someone yells at you, or gossips about you, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal dream.
Our personal “Book of Law” and belief system is meant to make us feel safe. When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we can get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others. If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared. They need to defend their point of view. When you begin to live this agreement, you will notice a drastic decrease in the amount of energy you put into arguing.
3) Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the quiet 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.
When we make assumptions it is because we believe we know what others are thinking and feeling. We believe we know their point of view, their dream. We forget that our beliefs are just our point of view and we may think that we know what is going on for someone, but we are not them, and we have no idea how their beliefs are impacting their situation.
We might make the assumption that people judge us, abuse us, victimize us, and blame us the way we do ourselves. As a result we reject ourselves before others have the chance to reject us. When we think this way, it becomes difficult to be our authentic selves. Stop expecting the people around you to know what is in your head, and give up the idea that you know what is in theirs.
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.
Doing your best might mean, enjoying the action without expecting a reward. The pleasure comes from doing what you like in life and having fun, not from how much you get paid. Enjoy the path traveled and the destination will take care of itself.
Really living in the moment and releasing the past, allows us to live in a way that will authentically generate a future we desire. It helps us to do the best we can in the moment. It allows us to be fully alive right now, enjoying what is present, not worrying about the past or the future.
Be gentle and have patience with yourself. Take action. Practice forgiveness, because we are all doing our best. If you do your best always, transformation will happen naturally.