Selling 8.5 million copies, “The Four Agreements” is a household name. Inspired by ancient Toltec wisdom, this book is a guide for welcoming more freedom, love and possibility into everyday life. It is a code of conduct to let go of self limiting beliefs so anyone learn how to embrace more joy in their life. Readers will learn how to reframe their thinking so they can take powerful steps in their self development journey.
My key Takeaways from “The Four Agreements - A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
Takeaway #1 Domesticated by Society
The rules or 'social agreements' handed down by society domesticate us to living by the social norms not questioning why, just believing we have been taught correctly what is good and bad, right and wrong from parents, teachers, and our friends. As children we are rewarded for obeying and punished for disobeying, we learn not to overstep the mark, ultimately, we surrender so as not to feel rejected, blamed, or judged. Somewhere along the way, we don't need to be controlled anymore because we have learned the rules and abide by them, and when we don't we do a great job at punishing ourselves. It is possible to break free from the structure we've become so used to by making 4 new agreements with ourselves.
Takeaway #2 Be Impeccable With Your Word
Never use your words against others nor yourself. This means no more blaming, no more judging, and remembering how much power our words hold over us as well as others. Use words of love and encouragement instead of hate and blame. When you say something out of annoyance or anger the other person can believe that what you said is true and it can affect them for years to come, making them believe they can't do something or shouldn't act a certain way.
Takeaway #3 Don't Take Things Personally
Don't believe that everything is about you because that couldn't be further from the truth. Falling into the trap of personal importance comes from being domesticated by society but if you learn to step back and see it from the other persons point of view you can learn that they were acting from their own belief and their own point of view at that moment – It's about them, not you. When you know who you are and you love and trust yourself you won't take the opinions of others so much to heart.
Takeaway #4 Don't Assume
How many times have you thought there was a problem when there wasn't? Making assumptions causes problems, and more often than not they're based on nothing but our wild imaginations. It's not only with other people where we make assumptions but ourselves too, assuming we can't do something because we tried it once and failed. Stop assuming and start asking questions instead – Ask the other person if they're angry with you. Ask them if they could please help you with a certain task (remember that people are not mind readers), and question yourself – could you do that thing if you tried some more?
Takeaway #5 Always Do Your Best
This is 1 rule from childhood that does need to remain. If you give a task or goal all you've got and try your very hardest you've nothing to regret. It's vital that you do your best for your own sense of well being rather than because someone else wants you to. Work is a great example, when you are expected to do your best by your boss but you don't feel motivated or passionate you will struggle. When you do your best because you're driven to, you will flourish.