A good friend of mine recommended this book to me and I decided to read it since I had to go out of town.
It changed my life.
And I only say this because a lot of the concepts the author spoke about related to things I’m currently going through in my life. He wrote it in a way that was digestible and hard hitting at the same time.
The main idea of the book is to talk about the four agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
However, before he goes into depth about those concepts (which I’ll break down later) he talks about how when we come into this world, we’re molded to be what the world wants us to be. We never truly have an opportunity to know ourselves or be free to do so because the world and the people around us always create us to follow their rules, their expectations and their beliefs. And because we focus on this system of reward and punishment, we choose to ignore who we are and put up a facade to avoid punishment and judgement. And this inevitably causes us to never understand ourselves or understand who we truly are.
This then creates this psychological need to obtain a level of perfection that doesn’t exist. We end up forming an abusive relationship with ourselves because we spend so much time beating ourselves up for mistakes. We ridicule ourselves and we become stuck in this cycle of “Judge” and “Victim” which forces us even deeper into this hellish dream state that we call our reality. Below will be a passage from the book that briefly talks about this:
But the way to remove ourselves from this reality that we’ve been subjected to since we were brought to this Earth, is by following the Four Agreements and consistently making it a habit to practice them.
1. Be impeccable with your word
In The Four Agreements the author talks about being impeccable with your word. Basically this means that you need to be mindful of the fact that your words have the power to bless people or completely destroy them. One negative or positive thing can completely shift the trajectory of someone’s being and you can be the reason why someone may think something completely opposite of who they are, or they grow confident. The author speaks about how if you allow it to happen, words have the ability to plant themselves in our head, which he refers to as agreements.
He compares humans to magicians and people who choose to expel negative remarks or negative energy are practicing black magic. They may be the reason being why people have agreements in their head that they can’t seem to shed.
Now the way around this and the way to heal from unwanted agreements, is to take them down one by one until you gain your power back to face the bigger demons. And it also comes down to being impeccable with your word. Don’t use your words to harm another person. You should be mindful of the power you hold and be patient when you’re dealing with others because you never know what damage or what blessing you can create with just one word or sentence.
2. Don’t take anything personally
The second agreement is to not take anything personally. Now what exactly does this mean in the grand scheme of things?
It means that no matter what someone may say to you, you shouldn’t take it personally. For example, let’s say someone you know calls you fat. Your first instinct is to feel offended or enraged or even depressed because of what they said. You let that cloud your image of yourself and that one thing can take root in your head and screw with you for life.
But when you don’t take anything personally, it means you understand that for them to say you’re fat, is really a reflection on how they feel about themselves. It truly has nothing to do with you and they’re projecting how they feel because they’re too afraid to deal with their own hurt and their own self hate. So the easiest thing to do is bring you down with them. However, by being able to recognize that, you don’t let that comment take root in your head and you’re able to continue on with your day and still enjoy yourself.
People only choose to do this when they don’t know who they are and unfortunately, the world is filled with people who don’t know who they are and they’re too afraid to seek the freedom that comes with finding out. So don’t take it personally when someone is choosing to take their pain out on you. Be compassionate and understand that they’re not truly awake, but instead looking through the haze that the world has conjured up for them.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Yes, the killer of all dreams: assumptions. Humans are addicted to suffering, which is something the author points out in the book. We make assumptions on how people will think about us, whether they’ll judge us, and we always assume that people see the world the same way we see it.
We think that because someone should know who we are or should know what we’re thinking, we end up creating conflicts within our relationships and within ourselves because we choose to assume instead of asking the right questions. We don’t take the time to evaluate the situation, which leads to miscommunication and problems.
In an odd way, we like to have the drama, we like to suffer, which is why it’s easier to pretend like we have the answer or to assume what we want to believe so it fits our own personal narrative instead of just asking for the truth.
According to the author, we create “emotional poison” by doing this. And that emotional poison puts us deeper into the hell we’re living in and it creates negative emotions like anger, jealously, greed, etc.
So in order to truly escape this, you have to be able to ask the right questions without any fear and you have to keep yourself from assuming. You have to understand that people’s perspectives and ideas are all different and you have to avoid the need to judge. You have the right to ask questions and receive answers if you so choose.
4. Always do your best
The last agreement is to always do your best.
This may seem pretty straight forward because for most of our life, we’ve always had people tell us to do our best and to be our best.
However, the concept of “doing your best” stems from this idealistic view of perfection. It’s the same perfection that keeps us from being patient with ourselves. It’s the same perfection that makes us afraid of failure and disappointment. It’s the same perfection that pushes us further away from learning about our true self. Doing your best doesn’t mean you have to strive to perfection.
The definition of doing your best may change day to day. One day your best might be finishing a project and another it may be getting out of bed. But regardless you did your best and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
The main foundation of this principle is to be patient and to stop abusing yourself for not doing what you think you should be doing. It’s about living life and being a loving and compassionate human being. It’s about finding the deeper meaning behind who you are and what life truly means. It’s not about being the best version of yourself for others to see. You’ll be wasting so much time by doing that and you’ll continue to dream in hell.
Wake up and you can create your own heaven. You have the power to do anything you put your mind to.
So my final thoughts?
It’s an amazing read. I think if you’re trying to get into spirituality, this is a good book to read to get your feet wet. And even if you aren’t, this book is still applicable to life and you can use the principles in everything you do. It’s quick and to the point and you’ll find yourself looking at things differently. At least in my opinion.
Rating: 5/5 ⭐️
If you’ve read The Four Agreements what did you think about it? Feel free to drop your opinions in the comments.