The Four Agreements is an intriguing book, written by Don Miguel Ruiz and also referred to as a Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. It is based on the ancient teachings of the Toltecs who lived in Central Mexico in the 10th century AD, before the Aztecs.
As the title suggests the book sets out the Four Agreements which are described as a powerful code of conduct, agreements that you make with yourself to create personal power and freedom. Put simply they are:
- Be impeccable with your word – speak with integrity, say only what you mean.
- Don’t take anything personally – nothing others do is because of you.
- Don’t make assumptions – find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
- Always do your best – under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
I haven’t finished the book yet, I’m still on the second agreement which is “Don’t Take Anything Personally”. In other words, if someone gives you an opinion “you look fat” Ruiz says don’t take it personally, the truth is that the person is dealing with their own feelings, beliefs and opinions. They are feeding you poison, their emotional garbage, which if you eat it becomes your garbage. If you don’t take it personally, you are immune to the poison.
As I said, intriguing stuff! The book is quite small and can be a bit hard going at times. That said, many of the words and messages are very inspirational and quite uplifting. At less than £6 I think it is worth a read. Here’s the link if you are interested.