The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz
The four agreements are the four ways to break the negative thinking that society has put into our sub-conscious minds. Ruiz calls the negative thinking the Judge and Victim. They Judge and Victim are like parasites that feed us fear and in return we agree with them allowing setbacks, fears, and failures from the past dominate and our thinking. The four agreements replace the lies that the Judge and Victim give us.
First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
“Use the word to share your love. Tell yourself how wonderful you are, how great you are.”
The things that we believe about ourselves become real only it we agree with them. Your words have the power to turn a belief into an agreement. We must develop self-love and use our words to build ourselves and each other up.
Recognize the words of others as nothing more than their opinions. People see the world based on their point of view. Accepting their opinion becomes an agreement. That’s the danger of gossip. We gossip because it makes us feel good to see others feel as miserable as we are. Gossip distorts our views because we now see people based on the opinions of others.
Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally
Taking things personally is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about ‘me’.”
Taking things personally is why we feel offended. Our minds make a big deal out of something small. Be aware that someone’s opinion is based off of their perception of the world. Ruiz compares one’s perception of the world to their personal movie. Perception is NOT reality, it is your personal illusion. It’s a distorted view of reality.
We are so devoted of our misery that we reinforce each other’s suffering. We lie to each other and we lie to ourselves and put on social masks so that people won’t see our imperfections. Instead, be yourself from the depths of your heart. When someone sends their emotional poison to you, you can reject it by not taking it personally.
Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions
“It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.”
For some reason, we assume that others can read our minds, but then we get mad at them when they don’t do what we want them to. We assume that everyone sees life the same way that we see it and then we fear being around others because we think they will judge us the way we judge ourselves.
Instead of trying to understand each other, we try to change them to our way of thinking. When we quit making assumptions, we are free to communicate and are no longer concerned with pleasing others.
Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best
“Doing your best is taking action because you love it, not because you expect a reward”
You know you are doing your best when you enjoy doing the work. Working at a job that you hate is a great way to be miserable, but taking action is the way to achieve goals. The fear of failure stops us, but if you keep trying and keep failing, success will naturally come.
Live in the present. You cannot do your best if you dwell on the past or worry about the future. Love yourself enough to where you can do something you enjoy. We settle for activities and jobs in order to please others. How can you do your best at something that you hate?
Be yourself and love yourself. That is so important because society pressures us to please others and fit in with small minded people. We try to fit in with everyone else by doing things we don’t want to. We are sick and don’t know it. Negative emotions are the parasites, but we are so used to them that we accept them and feed them. Fight these parasites by loving yourself 100 percent.