The Four Agreements Series: Intro
I’m kicking off a new blog series based on Don Miguel Ruiz’s New York Times best-selling book, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom.”
In the next four posts, I’ll break down each agreement, explaining what it is, why it’s important and how I’ve applied it to my life. My hope for you is that you will start to notice the impact of how you keep and break each agreement in your daily life. Awareness is the first step in the work I do, so that’s what I want to focus on with this
Why This Book?
Out of all the books I suggest to friends and clients, this is the one I recommend the most. It’s such a foundational book, and one I have read multiple times, initially in 1999.
Back then I spent much of my time focusing on other people–what they said and did. My constant worry about what they thought of me, and my fear of being judged, suggested I was also able to read their mind. I didn’t realize I was just projecting my own insecurities onto what I assumed they were thinking. Of course I couldn’t ACTUALLY read their mind, but I sure spent a lot of time believing I could… and fixating on it. All that energy was tied up inside me and sucked right out, leave me to feel lost while trying to control it all. I definitely do not miss that!
The Four Agreements helped bring my focus back to me so I didn’t make my life about other people. It really is foundational to my current work, and it’s very easy to digest, which is why it’s also the first book I recommend for those starting to explore personal growth and development.
Agreements and Awareness
Agreement #1: Be impeccable with your word
Agreement #2: Don’t take anything personally
Agreement #3: Don’t make assumptions
Agreement #4: Always do your best
The purpose of awareness is to observe without judgment. That last part is very important because the point is NOT to beat yourself up for what “looks like” breaking the agreements. It does absolutely no good, and just distracts you from what is going on inside. It may seem so important for the world (and you) to see yourself as perfect, but it is impossible to sustain. The goal is not perfection. The goal is never perfection. We are flawed humans, doing our best, and the last agreement hits this point home.
You can only change what you are aware of, so this will be a great exercise in connecting with yourself. To help with your observations, keep a journal to record what you notice each day. I’ll provide some guidance on what to look for.
Recording what you observe is very important, and I suggest doing it in short bullet points. No judgment or commentary; JUST write what you observe. Keep re-reading what you wrote. Patterns will emerge as you do this exercise and, by the end, you’ll be more attuned to the areas of your life where you most often break each agreement.
This work is ongoing; it never stops. I learn new things about myself daily, so hopefully this exercise is just the beginning of your growth.
While I will summarize Ruiz’s main points in each post and give examples from my own life, you will get even more out of it if you read along. And at less than 150 pages, it’s a quick read.
So… I hope you’ll join me in channeling your awareness toward The Four Agreements, one of my all-time favorite books!
You can order the book here.
Thanks for joining me. Continue with the First Agreement post HERE.