“The Four Agreements” – A lovely little book by Don Miguel Ruiz that can make your life so much more joy to live! This book is one of our most read literature from our library at AMAYEN Sanctuary, a meditation & yoga retreat in Chiang Mai, North Thailand. It’s based on four approaches to life as listed below:
1. Be impeccable with your word. In a sense, social constructivists are correct about words creating reality. We act on what we tell ourselves is real. So, what kinds of words to you use when you describe reality? Do you lie and say hurtful and poisonous things about yourself and others? Not healthy! To be impeccable with your word is to be truthful and to say things that you truly feel and that have a positive influence on yourself and others.
2. Don’t take anything personally. The first agreement suggests that we avoid treating others hurtfully. The second agreement provides us with a way of dealing with potentially painful treatment from others. Because every person sees the world in a special way, the way that others treat us says as much about them as it does about us. To not take anything personally is to acknowledge the unique personalities of other people. We respect their subjective realities, realizing that their views do not necessarily describe us accurately.
3. Don’t make assumptions. Assuming that you know what other people are thinking or feeling about you is a limiting thought. When we try to engage in mind reading we will often be wrong, leading to undesirable consequences. The antidote to mind reading is to ask for evidence before concluding what people are thinking.
4. Always do your best. One obvious reason for doing your best is that we cannot achieve our goals by being lazy. If you do your best, not only are you are more likely to achieve goals, but you will also avoid criticism from what Don Miguel Ruiz calls your internal judge. There are also more subtle issues about doing “your best.” One is that you should not try to do better than your best. Pushing yourself too hard can cause pain, injury, and mistakes. More subtle still is the recognition that our “best” will vary from moment to moment, that, in a sense, you are always doing your best. Realize this, and your inner judge can take a permanent vacation.