Monday, February 09, 2009

The Four Agreements

One of my good friends and someone I respect very much professionally recommended that I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. What was amazing to me is that my friend was able to recite the four actual agreements in the book from memory and to explain each of them to me while we were sitting at lunch. Although it almost felt as if I did not need to read the book after his explanations, I decided to purchase a copy and read it for myself (unfortunately it is not available on the Kindle).

I now find myself in the same position to be able to recite the four agreements from memory and to provide explanation, so here it goes:

Always be impeccable with your word. Ruiz defines "impeccable" through its Latin roots, meaning "without sin." With that definition, it's easy to see how Ruiz suggests not to gossip or tell lies; most importantly he encourages you not to lie to yourself. The idea is to use your words for truth and to say only what you mean.

Don't take anything personally. What other people do and say to you have nothing to do with you, rather it has to do with issues that other people have. If you don't take words or actions from other people personally, then you make yourself immune to those words and actions.

Don't make assumptions. Instead of assuming things, simply ask questions to make sure that you fully understand; make yourself as clear as possible in all situations so that others do not have to make assumptions about what you really want. Removing assumptions removes drama, mistrust, and misunderstandings.

Always do your best. Even though circumstances may vary at any given time, simply do your best every time.

Typically I only recommend business-focused books and, while the information in this book is applicable to business, this book is much more of a book focused on life change. Note that you may be turned off by the first chapter of the book, which attempts to give some background on the Toltec religion and set the premise -- you can skip the first chapter, but some of the Toltec words used throughout the rest of the book will not make sense to you. Further note that you can completely skip the chapters following the fourth agreement as they deal completely with the spiritual and even include lengthy prayers. The meat and potatoes of the book are the four actual agreement chapters and you can likely finish reading them in less than 20 minutes.

Thanks to Dolf Berle for the recommendation.

Link -- Amazon

1 comment:

Fran Jeanes said...

I 'read' this book thanks to Audible when I was traveling to Canada last year. It was a wonderful time for reflection and, like you, find the message very easy to remember.

The audio book was great because it was read by Peter Coyote, whose voice I think did the book's words justice.

Although, definitely not a business book, what you take from it will undoubtedly help in business situations.

Thanks for the post.