The Four Agreements

Lewis Hamilton recommends this book in his masterclass which is, in itself, a comforting, authentic and sincere experience.

Don Miguel Ruiz draws on Toltec culture – a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican culture of a state in Mexico to present the most simple statements to live by in order to develop a peaceful existence within oneself and the world. 

The four agreements are: be impeccable in your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best. The way in which Ruiz explains each agreement and draws specific examples makes it a relatable and insightful read. 

For example, the first agreement also entails not using your word against yourself – if you insult someone, they may generate hateful feelings towards you and that only results in your having used your word to create a negative experience or energy towards yourself.  

The second agreement looks at how we can depersonalise views and opinions that may otherwise hurt us or even become a part of our identity. Ruiz explains, “it is not what I am saying that is hurting you, it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said.”

In the third agreement, we tend to take our assumptions as the truth. This kills curiosity; it dampens the ability to take risks and ask questions. Not making assumptions clears a path to better communication. 

And finally, when Ruiz says always do your best, he means the best that you can in that moment. As he explains, your best after a night of poor sleep versus a night of good sleep can be very different but what matters is that you make the most effort within the given circumstances. 

The writing feels like a motivating, friendly lecture that lifts the fog of self criticism and wraps the reader in a blanket of hope and faith in good intentions. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or are looking for something to kickstart your search for healing, this little book will easily fit into your repertoire.

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