Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review: The Four Agreements

This book, The Four Agreements, had been recommended to me numerous times over the years from peers and various (successful) personalities. 

I finally had a chance to read this.  I really don't know why I waited... the book is such a quick (i.e., short) read.  Even checking it out from the library was a cinch, since I reserved the book online and just swooped in to pick it up.

So this book is based on Toltec (tribe) "philosophy," so there is a lot of spirituality highlighted in this book.  I am not very spiritual, so although I respectfully read through these parts, I moreso focus on other sections.

According to Ruiz (the author), we are taught how to think and process information from Day One.  With their words, people set it up so that we make "agreements" with ourselves.  For example, if someone told me that I am no good at writing, then I make an "agreement" with myself that in future interactions, I must be a bad writer.  It takes a lot to break these "agreements," which are part of a fog that obscures the truth about things.

"The Four Agreements" are new ways of behaving that will help people see through the fog and live a happier life, because we're not being poisoned by misinformation or other people.  They are:

1) Be impeccable with your word.

2) Don't take things personally.

3) Don't make assumptions.

4) Always do your best.

The latter three agreements really spring from the first one.  And all of these are REALLY tough to go by in daily life.  For example, I sure as heck know that I'd be a lot happier if I didn't take things personally and that others' words are moreso a reflection of themselves than me, but I can't help that I was raised in a "me-centric" society and am inclined to feel offended.

Anyway, I would go into more detail, but I really think you need to read the book to get the full effect.  It will definitely be one that I won't forget, and I hope that if I try to live those agreements, I can help change my perspective on things.

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