Book Summary: The Four Agreements – A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz This book has a very powerful message. Toltec’s are ancient people of wisdom. Don Miguel Ruiz explores the concept of heaven and hell on earth as it relates to your life. Eliminating poisonous behaviors and thoughts through the Four Agreements will lead to enlightenment. This is not a religious book but driven more toward happiness. Why is this important to me? I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to enhance your life. Don Miguel Ruiz summarizes the whole point of the book like this: “We all have a choice: to suffer our destiny or to enjoy our destiny.” Beginning with the end in mind is critical and that end is to design our destiny and live it each day. Our book of law is our belief system. These are beliefs that we have and assume to be true. This is where the big paradox of life comes into play. Our beliefs are no more than our opinions on what is right. They are not true facts yet they are OUR facts. This is a big deal because as you start to question the validity of your beliefs, things will change. The Four Agreements highlights four basic rules that you can apply and work toward to make massive change in your life. I will highlight each agreement. 1. Be impeccable with your word – Your word is your power to create. In true Yin/Yang fashion, your word either creates black magic (a living hell for you) or white magic (a living heaven for you). Here is an example: Hitler and Gandhi. They both used words to drive a message. 2. Don’t take anything personal – If you do sales for a living then you understand the power of this agreement. Just because somebody gives you an opinion, does not make it right. If you are called fat, lazy or stupid, these are all opinions from that person. It does not make the opinion right unless you believe it. This is where your beliefs come from. As a child you were raised a certain way and these beliefs became a part of you even if they are not true. Example: How many times have you seen a beautiful woman who has self-image issues because she thinks she is fat and ugly? Oprah Winfrey has made her fortune dealing with misconstrued beliefs like these. Don highlights, the immunity to poison in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement. That is a very powerful statement. Think about it……… 3. Don’t make assumptions – We assume that our assumptions are true which creates confusion, angst and problems. It is always better to ask questions then to assume because assumptions set us up for suffering. You see this in business communication all the time. Assumptions create more bureaucracy and waste more time than any other thing in business. How many times have you received an email and it was totally misconstrued? You assumed the wrong intent and bad things happened. You hear these stories all the time. The big problem with assumption is that we ASSUME people think the way we think, feel the way we feel, and judge the way we judge and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make. 4. Always do your best – This agreement is about implementing the other three. Doing your best daily is about action. Taking action and committing to the four agreements is the manifestation of heaven on earth. Humans wrestle with fear, uncertainty and doubt daily. These fears are driven by our belief system. Implementing the four agreements is the path to eliminating fear and false beliefs. I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is eliminate the gossip. This is easier said than done. Look at reality TV. This has a huge market and it is all gossip driven. People in general like to talk about other people. Eliminating gossip has the ability to revolutionize your life. Try to eliminate one gossip session each day and see what happens and notice the change in your life. This may start out small but will have compound effects over time.
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