That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

One of the most impactful and thought-provoking books I have ever read is the Four Agreement: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. The principles in the book is deceptively simple but very hard to practice. I try to read and listen to the book often as I need constant reminder of these simple principles.

Here are the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:

Agreement 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

Agreement 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.
  • When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others., you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Agreement 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.

Agreement Four: 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

Here are some of my favourite take aways from reading the four agreements :

The Agreements

The Four Agreements are a summary of the mastery of transformation, one of the masteries of the Toltec.

There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result is what you call your personality.

Domestication of the Human Mind

Through this domestication we learn how to live and how to dream. In human domestication, the information from the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole belief system. First the child is taught the names of things: Mom, Dad, milk, bottle. Day by day, at home, at school, at church, and from television, we are told how to live, what kind of behavior is acceptable. The outside dream teaches us how to be a human. We have a whole concept of what a “woman” is and what a “man” is. And we also learn to judge: We judge ourselves, judge other people, judge the neighbors

Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal. In order to teach a dog we punish the dog and we give it rewards

We train our children whom we love so much the same way that we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward. We are told, “You’re a good boy,” or “You’re a good girl,” when we do what Mom and Dad want us to do. When we don’t, we are “a bad girl” or “a bad boy.

When we went against the rules we were punished; when we went along with the rules we got a reward. We were punished many times a day, and we were also rewarded many times a day. Soon we became afraid of being punished and also afraid of not receiving the reward. The reward is the attention that we got from our parents or from other people like siblings, teachers, and friends. We soon develop a need to hook other people’s attention in order to get the reward.

The reward feels good, and we keep doing what others want us to do in order to get the reward. With that fear of being punished and that fear of not getting the reward, we start pretending to be what we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone else. We try to please Mom and “Dad, we try to please the teachers at school, we try to please the church, and so we start acting. We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected.

 Ninety-five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all these lies.

The Human Mind

Your whole mind is a fog which the Toltecs called a mitote (pronounced MIH-TOE ′ -TAY). Your mind is a dream where a thousand people talk at the same time, and nobody understands each other. This is the condition of the human mind — a big mitote, and with that big mitote you cannot see what you really are. In India they call the mitote maya, which means illusion.

It is the personality’s notion of “I am. Everything you believe about yourself and the world, all the concepts and programming you have in your mind, are all the mitote. We cannot see who we truly are; we cannot see that we are not free.

That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands. We have learned to live by other people’s points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

The First Agreement Be Impeccable with Your Word

 Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic. The word is so powerful that one word can change a life or destroy the lives of millions of people.

Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself. If you make an agreement with yourself to be impeccable with your word, just with that intention, the truth will manifest through you and clean all the emotional poison that exists within you.

The Second Agreement: Don’t take anything personally.

Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up.

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something person” ally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.

If someone gives you an opinion and says, “Hey, you look so fat,” don’t take it personally, because the truth is that this person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs, and opinions. That person tried to send poison to you and if you take it personally, then you take that poison and it becomes yours.

Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing. Humans are addicted to suffering at different levels and to different degrees, and we support each other in maintaining these addictions.

THE THIRD AGREEMENT : DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

The whole war of control between humans is about making assumptions and taking things personally. Our whole dream of hell is based on that.

We create a lot of emotional poison just by making assumptions and taking it personally, because usually we start gossiping about our assumptions.

Remember, gossiping is the way we communicate to each other in the dream of hell and transfer poison to one another. Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering

The Fourth Agreement: Always do your Best

When you do your best you learn to accept yourself. But you have to be aware and learn from your mistakes. Learning from your mistakes means you practice, look honestly at the results, and keep practicing. This increases your awareness.

Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Just live one day at a time. Always do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you. Today is the beginning of a new dream.

All the best in quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Get the Four Agreements on Amazon: Print | Kindle (eBook) | Audiobook

Write A Comment