Review by Jonathan Lockwood Huie
From Moses and the Buddha to the present day, the Wisdom of the Ages remains unchanged. What varies is how that wisdom is expressed. don Miguel Ruiz has reduced the essence of living a joyful and purposeful life to four short phrases. How well has he succeeded?
don Miguel Ruiz' Four Agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don't take anything personally. 3. Don't make assumptions 4. Always do your best.
1. Be impeccable with your word: "Impeccable" means "held to the highest standard." Ruiz first Agreement is not only about never lying, gossiping, or speaking ill of anyone, it is also a statement of the power of your Intent. You call into existence what you intend.
2. Don't take anything personally: That driver who just swerved into your lane isn't attacking you. He or she is just preoccupied - as most of us are, most of the time. Practice forgiveness if you do get riled, but better yet, wear an emotional raincoat to deflect any upset attached to the perceived offense.
3. Don't make assumptions: Much unnecessary suffering is caused by imagining that others intend us harm. You truly have no idea what anyone else is thinking. Training yourself to live in the present - without regretting the past or fearing the future - is a recipe for a happy life.
4. Always do your best: Like the first Agreement, the fourth has a double meaning. Not only is it important to your self-respect never to do less than your best, it is equally important to be fully satisfied having done your best - without suffering regrets over not having done even better.
Ruiz' The Four Agreements has entertaining and pointed stories to illustrate each of the Agreements, as well as a section integrating all four into a path for living well.
Click here to buy The Four Agreements. It deserves an honored place in your library.