The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of the classic personal development books for all walks of life. For those of you who have never read this short, yet provocative book on how to live life with integrity, I highly suggest it. There’s a lot more in the book than just 4 statements of course, so it’s still imperative to read it if you haven’t. This article is simply a quick summary and reminder for those who have, and hell let’s be honest — I want to remind myself too.
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 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 healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Everyone will have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example: if you’re somebody who gossips and tends to be dishonest (to others and yourself), the 1st and 3rd might be your focus. If you’re someone who tends to just get by on the least amount, and tends to take everything anybody says personally until the point the feel like they’re walking on eggshells around you… yours might be the 2nd and 4th agreements.
This digital age has made us lose the significance of time. Things move at a faster pace, but the value place on such things has demeaned over the years. We feel as if we can catch up and make up for things much more frequently now. Everything is within our grasp now – we take much more for granted, including the value of our word.
Keeping your word goes beyond respect for yourself and others. Yes, it is good habit and albeit rare one these days. People see that as a rare quality, you garner authority and respect, but there is a much subtler process at play here.
This process deals with the ability to manifest outcomes in your life. Your outcomes or lack of, solely depend on whether you keep your word as bond. And this applies to even the minutest details.
When you follow up on something you say you will do you instill the concept that you are a being that gets things done. You place value on people’s time and energy and respect your own. You become an individual capable of attracting anything because you are not lying to yourself.
If you say you will send your colleague an e-mail by 12.00 PM and you still have not gotten round to it you are subconsciously telling your mind that your word has no value. If you push it to a later time, disregard it, forget about it – the mind realizes that even if you attract the outcomes you desire, your behavior will eventually squander it.
By keeping your word as bond, you tell your mind I’m ready to accept anything that comes my way and I’ll get it done regardless of my circumstances. If you go out of your way to keep your word, as irrelevant a promise it may be you establish yourself as an individual that can keep up with anything. You start to attract what you want when you want.
A lot of our desires are not met because we subconsciously know we are not capable of handling such circumstances when they arrive – so they are not delivered. By keeping your word as bond we instill upon ourselves that we value the time we have and will do the utmost with what we receive. You will soon find yourself attracting almost anything you desire.
I believe the more we live out life in congruency and integrity, the happier and more successful and fulfilled we will be in life. As I follow my intuition and keep doing what I love, while keeping the four agreements, I believe that will indeed be the case for myself, and I hope others as well.