I read the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz many years ago. These are the tenets of his philosophy. I refer back to these often because his wisdom is timeless.
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
― Don Miguel Ruiz
I’ve heard these Agreements referred to before, but I never knew quite what they were. They are high standards, to be sure, but they certainly would make life easier. I really need to work on #3 — I think I’m pretty good, but I still find myself “reading into” things that are said to me, etc.
I’ve referred to Ruiz’s words over and over again. All of his agreements are ones that I know intrinsically, but putting them into practice requires a conscious effort. I need to work on all to these lessons.
I read this a while back and refer to it often. Thanks for the reminder today.
Ruiz helps distill matters in a basic way and I refer to him when I am trying to navigate a difficult situation.
These are so great. I work very hard on #2 and it’s hard. I wish some of my friends would do the same!
I also struggle the most with #2. Intellectually I know that much of what is said and done by others probably has very little to do with me, but it is definitely harder to practice this philosophy when you are in a negative moment. As I get older, I am learning the power of this maxim in ways I didn’t expect.
Definitely agree on don’t make assumptions or take things personally – it’s definitely a reflection of others and not yourself. Usually when people say or do things that are offensive/mean, they are also projecting their own negativity and insecurities onto you so it’s best to leave them be with that notion. Great agreements and thanks for sharing Rudri! -Iva
I definitely agree. I think we have tendency to assume that someone else’s negativity has something to do with us, but in reality, that probably is untrue. People are struggling with their own personal issues and when they utter something negative it is a reflection of what is occurring personally and may have very little to do with you.
Definitely don’t make assumptions or take things personally – Usually when others are being negative/mean/rude they’re reflecting their own insecurities onto you; let them deal with that notion on their own. Great agreements and thanks for sharing Rudri! -Iva
Wonderful lessons that I can definitely use, Rudri. In fact, I am currently working on #1 and #3 in particular. Sadly I am employing old communication styles and habits, from my childhood in a family that didn’t truly talk. We shouted, we were dramatic and we were passive aggressive but never were we simply honest. I’ve carried those habits and that style with me and I realize that I do not wish to plant these same roots in my family. By being more present and conscious I feel that I can make some changes. Thanks so much for sharing these with us.
It is definitely a challenge to put these tenets in practice. When you try, sometimes you meet with resistance because it isn’t necessarily what you know. I am also working to help my daughter navigate negative situations with a more balanced view. Growing up and even now, I struggle the most with #2 and #3.
Great share had I seen button to share I would have :)!
Thanks, Mari. I am glad his lessons resonated with you.
I wish I could be better at #2! Or all of them really, but that one struck me.
Yes, #2 is one that is daunting for me as well. When a person says something negative that may hurt my feelings, I try to convince myself that it isn’t about me, but more about the other’s insecurity. I am still learning to navigate those emotions.
Great lessons indeed!
They are lessons that are simple, but yet so complex to put into practice.