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  • Javier Coronel

Agreeing with the Four Agreements, how Groundbreaking

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to reading this book. The self-development section is the aisle that I always gravitate to at book stores. Not only that, but I remember when I was a child seeing this book at my grandmas house. In my defense, the design made it look like a love book which is a huge yuck for any small boy. That's besides the point. What I like this book is that it proves that sometimes the simple things in life are some of the most complex to implement.

Don Miguel Ruiz wrote this book to share four lessons, called agreements, that can benefit you in your life if you choose to follow them. Normally when books suggest making changes and applying laws to yourself, people choose to run the other way but these agreements are so relatable it's hard to disagree.

The First Agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Word

I want to preface this by saying now that this is my personal interpretation of the four agreements and you may have different takeaways from the agreements. That's okay.

Now, Miguel uses this agreement as what he believes is the foundation to being successful in following the other three agreements. If I had to rewrite this agreement I would have to say that it's to "stay true to yourself and do not feed your mind what you know is not true".

What I mean by this is that because from a very age we are "domesticated" in that we have to act, look, feel a certain way, we sometimes lose touch with ourselves. Have you ever felt lost? The answer is most likely yes. By being impeccable with your word, you only feed your mind thoughts that are true. You could be a genius but if all you feed your mind is that you're average at best, eventually you're going to believe it. I have to admit that this might be one of the harder agreements for me to follow but being conscious of what you need to work on is always one of the first steps you need to take.

The Second Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personal

Forunately for me the remaining three agreements are pretty easy to understand. Don't take anything personal. Never forget you're a terrible person. I'M KIDDING! This agreement essentially follows that idea that "when someone tells you something that is intended to hurt you, it says a lot more about them than it does about you".

If someone is purposely trying to hurt you with their words, there's a high probability that they have something going on in their lives that is affecting them. Thankfully this isn't a daily occurence for most of us.

Following this agreement saves you from a lot of pain. A waiter got your drink wrong. Are they trying to ruin your day? No; it was a simple mistake. Your doctor is an hour late to your appointment. Are they trying to waste your day? No; they have other patients they are also responsible for. Point being, a lot of things in life that affect us in a way that we interpret as being a personal attack, in reality are not that at all.

The world has more good people than it does bad and I say this because most people are not trying to cause you any harm whatsoever.

It's not personal.

The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions

A simple concept yet a hard one to follow. "Difficult, good things are" - Yoda. Okay I don't think that Yoda ever actually said that. This is another agreement that's hard for me to follow. My mind is constantly making assumptions and it causes me so much harm! The magnitude is actually insane.

I'll give you an example. If someone doesn't reply to my message all of a sudden after texting throughout the day, my mind instantly assumes I did something wrong. Fortunately for me, a lot of the people close to me are conscious about my mind doing this so they actively defuse situations where my mind can begin to make assumptions.

If it's out of your control, don't stress yourself out about it. What happens will happen regardless.

The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

Always do your best in everything you do! Even if you're having one of the worst days of your life and the best you can do is give 20% of your normal effort, do that! The message in this agreement is that if you believe you are doing your best in something, you can ask nothing else of yourself. The goal shouldn't be to be the best in the world nor your best performance in whatever is at stake. It's to be the best you can be in that moment.

To conclude you can now see why I stated earlier my thought that while the agreements are simple in theory, they're relatable and harder to follow than you'd think. I do, however, believe that if you do your best to implement these agreements into your life, your experience in this world will improve.

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