Hi, everyone!! Happy Saturday! Today, I’d like to share one of the best books I’ve read this year. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is essentially a book of conducts that can transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, happiness, and love. It eliminates needless suffering and self destructive thoughts through simple agreements. With only a little over 100 pages, this book is packed with deep revelations and logical reasoning.
I should first mention that I’m not a huge fan of self-help books. I’ve always felt that reading it meant that I needed help and I have to follow what some author decided was best. Of course, my views has changed over the years. This book, in particular, has changed my entire perspective and way of life in the most fundamental ways.
I first heard of The Four Agreements from Cuong about two years ago. The book had seemed interesting, and I added it to my to-read list. I encountered it again when we visited in a perma-culture farm in El Salvador where a group people lived by the principles of this book. It wasn’t until recently that I had the chance to read it.
The book is based on the philosophy of the Toltec, an ancient tribe of men and women with immense knowledge. According to Ruiz, humans have domesticated to believe everything they have been told. Because each core belief, or agreement, reflects whoever passes on that agreement and may have a detrimental effect in your lifetime.
What are these four magical agreements?
Be impeccable with your word. Stresses the importance of the words you use, and how it affects on you and others. I believe this is the most important agreement of them all. We should never make empty promises, say things we don’t mean, or gossip about others. There is no use for them, as it decreases our own credibility and hurt other people.
Don’t take anything personally. Too often, we’ve let ourselves get hurt by people’s word and actions. We become depressed or take revenge. We become belligerent or passive aggressive towards people. If we keep a clear head by not taking anything personally, then we will be able to learn much more from life.
Don’t make assumptions. Like it or not, our assumptions causes a lot of misunderstanding and fights. Assumptions cause disappointments, hurt, and unfair expectations. It stresses the importance of transparency in communication.
Always do your best. Ruiz acknowledges that some days aren’t good as others, and that’s okay. However, one must always put their honest hardest efforts into the work they do so that they don’t regret it later on. As long as we all are able to stand behind the work that we do, then there is nothing to be upset about.
The Four Agreement, written in 2005, was supposed to be a standalone book, containing all the agreements needed to master ourselves. It has been quite successful and well-liked by many readers. In 2010, Ruiz wrote another book, The Fifth Agreement, which is basically a summary of the first book with some added sugar, which I thought was kind of a strategy to milk the money. But since I haven’t read it, I can’t say much.
As with many self-improvement books, the chapters in The Four Agreements felt somewhat redundant. Regardless, the message passed on by Ruiz is powerful and worth reading. I finished the book in a couple of days and have been improving my way of life since. It taught me the core foundations it takes to be a happy individual. Ever since reading it, I’ve become more conscious about not partaking in gossip. I’ve also become a more impeccable speaker, saying only things that I mean and keeping to my word.
Each chapter is built upon the previous one, The Four Agreements guides us towards true realization of how important it is to follow these. It’s amazing how ancient Toltec philosophy remains relevant with today world. Sometimes the most elegant solution to a problem is the simplest one. I enjoyed reading Ruiz’s take on self-improvement, and will make an agreement with myself to re-read this book again in the future.
A Response to Daily Prompt: Better
Thanks for reading!!! I’m always searching for book recommendations. Have you read this book/similar books? Please leave your thoughts in comments or shoot me an email! ❤