The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of the classic personal development books for all walks of life. For those of you who have never read this short, yet provocative book on how to live life with integrity, I highly suggest it. There’s a lot more in the book than just 4 statements of course, so it’s still imperative to read it if you haven’t. This article is simply a quick summary and reminder for those who have, and hell let’s be honest — I want to remind myself too.
Here they are again in text (as in the graphic above):
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.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
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. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
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.
Awesome, gotta love ’em: simple, to the point, and all-inclusive. Functional brevity at its finest.
These are excellent guidelines for a polyman (or anyone) to live life by, and have been common sense to me for a few years now. At my point in personal growth, these are very basic meta concepts — though just because I know them and they’re the basics, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered them or can forget about them. It’s always good to go back to the basics in life and practice the fundamentals. Personally as a man, I have no problem sticking to my word and being honest, nor do I feel like I’m not constantly seeking to be the best I can be — that’s practically my life. In my experience, the 2nd and 3rd seem to be the biggest sticking points in relationships for me, if not for myself then for the other person. It can be really frustrating when I’m trying to live up to my agreements and the other isn’t or doesn’t even know/care… but, alas the third & fourth agreements. Touché myself.
Everyone will have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example: if you’re somebody who gossips and tends to be dishonest (to others and yourself), the 1st and 3rd might be your focus. If you’re someone who tends to just get by on the least amount, and tends to take everything anybody says personally until the point the feel like they’re walking on eggshells around you… yours might be the 2nd and 4th agreements.
I believe the more we live out life in congruency and integrity, the happier and more successful and fulfilled we will be in life. As I follow my intuition and keep doing what I love, while keeping the four agreements — I believe that will indeed be the case for myself, and I hope others as well.
Looking to masters these and take your life to the level beyond 4 Agreements to create massive change? Discover how I can help you live a life that runs easily and effortlessly now!
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