The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

by Don Miguel Ruiz

A mentor and fellow coach gave me this book several years ago.  It describes four simple agreements that will help you lead a less stressful life.  The two that really impacted me were “Don’t Take Anything Personally” and “Don’t Make Assumptions”. These two seem the most challenging to really live by.  Who doesn’t take things personally?  Your mother forgets your birthday, your client takes months to pay you, or your boss doesn’t mention your role in getting a huge new client.  Once these little mishaps starts occurring, we might start making assumptions that our client doesn’t value my services or even that my mother completely forgot that she had me!  This book is so helpful in reminding me that it is not about me; it is about their issues.  As mentioned in my blog, during the “King and I”, Anna struggled to get her own house from the King but didn’t seem to take it personally nor make a lot of negative assumptions that the King would never agree it, given he had very different values.  Anna seemed to practice these simple agreements to get what she wanted.  The more I keep front and center that taking things personally or filling in the gap with a lot of negative assumptions does not help the situation, the more likely I am to focus on the real issues with some compassion, as we are all part of the imperfect human race.  The other two agreements:  “Be impeccable with your word” and “Always do your best” are also useful reminders that words do matter and it is important to go for it even when you don’t feel like it.  I encourage you to read this little book of 135 pages if you tend to take things personally and spend a lot of time fretting over the innumerable small nuisances in our lives. This book can help free up your mind so you can focus on the bigger and more joyful concerns!


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