The four agreements summary
Welcome to the four agreements summary, this is a book written by Don Miguel in which he shares a unique philosophy.
The author, Don Miguel Ruiz was born in 1952 in Mexico to a family practicing ancient Toltec traditions. His mother was a healer and his grandfather was a shaman. He studied medicine and worked as a neurosurgeon until his car accident in which he had a near-death experience. From then on his path branched off to study and apply the Toltec ancestral wisdom with the help of his mother. He will follow the Toltec teachings of the lineage of the Knights of the Eagle. Rich of his initiation, he will want to share his knowledge with the world by publishing this first book which includes the four practical steps that can help you to reach a life of happiness and love.
Who are the Toltecs?
Toltec culture goes back thousands of years. The Toltecs are builders imbued with scientific, artistic and spiritual knowledge. Originally from the region of Teotihuacan, the various invasions made that they had to secretly preserve, practice and transmit the knowledge of their naguals (shamans).
Precisely, they’re South American men and women recognized as holders of knowledge, having lived thousands of years ago. The masters, called naguals, held this knowledge, transmitted from generation to generation orally and discreetly; until today.
Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the four Toltec agreements, is one of their descendants, and puts this ancestral traditional knowledge in writing.
According to the naguals, everyone agrees on the dream of his life. A dream that is imposed on us by society, in summary. To change the dream of one’s life, a very simple method to follow is to modify our agreements by the 4 Toltec agreements.
The smokey mirror
The author Don Miguel Ruiz explains his perception of the universe in an allegorical way. He tells us the story of a man like you and me who lives an experience of coming out of his body three thousand years ago.
This man travels through the universe and becomes aware that light is the messenger of life because it connects everything and is everything. We human beings are part of a whole. He realized that although he was part of a whole, he was not that whole.
So he called the whole the “tonal” and the light the “nagual”: it is Life that connects the tonal and the nagual and is the guarantor of the balance between all things.
Like a thick fog
He realized that matter is like a mirror that reflects the light and gives an image to this light. He realized that sometimes this image was distorted, that there was like a thick fog, a mirror of smoke that prevented him from seeing things as they really were. He understood that he had to look beyond that smoke mirror and that everything was light and love.
Don Miguel Ruiz considered man as a mirror and became aware of this fact: everything that reflects light is composed of differently arranged life. Everything has its origin in light. Therefore, we are all similar in our essence. The perception we have of each other, when it differs from the original mirror, is due to the smoke coming from our illusions (or dreams according to the author).
As a result, man finds himself like a mirror of smoke.
Domestication and the Dream of the Planet
The author tells us that we are always dreaming. Everything we see and hear is part of a kind of “dream”. Whether we are awake or asleep, our brain continues to dream. The difference is that waking dreams obey a certain frame of reference.
Consequently, today’s society is the result of billions of dreams that have added up over time. This is also true for a family, a city or a country.
Don Miguel defines the dream as the set of rules, ideas and beliefs that are inculcated in us in society. When a human being is born, we begin to impose society’s dream on him or her. So he grows up with this dream. And this dream goes through our parents, our entourage to reach our mind. And that’s how we learn everything we know.
On the other hand, the author tells us that there is domestication beyond the dream. In short, domestication is the process by which one becomes like everyone else. Our entire internal system is replaced by the dream of the planet.
This domestication is so strong that from a certain moment on, we follow everything automatically. There is no one left to tell us what is good or bad, so we become self-domesticated animals and live our whole lives according to the belief system we have been taught. And this happens every day for the rest of our lives.
Prelude to a new dream
As the author explains: “There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result is what you call your personality. In these agreements you say, “This is what I am. This is what I believe. I can do certain things, and some things I cannot do. This is reality, that is fantasy; this is possible, that is impossible.”
Agreements based on love
And in most cases, these agreements are based on fear. So if you want a better life, you need to break those agreements and build new ones, this time based on love.
The four agreements will help you to break the bad and build better ones. We are going to see these different agreements.
The first agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word
Of all the animals on earth, only man has the ability to speak. This first agreement is the most important of all. Indeed, your word represents your ability to communicate and express yourself. It is therefore a powerful weapon. And like any weapon, it is a double-edged sword.
So, if you use it well, your speech can help you build a better life. The opposite is true if you misuse it. Misused word can be destructive.
And as an example, we can cite Hitler who, because of a misused word. Hitler sowed fear in the minds of millions of people. This resulted in the death of millions.
To a lesser extent, this is also what happens in our daily lives. The author calls the bad word “black magic”. Thus, people cast spells on each other every day because of their negative words. “All the magic you possess is based on your word. Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic.”
This also applies to us. For most people, the bad words were put on them by those around them. They believed in it and developed complexes (not good enough, not good in such and such a field, etc.).
How to have an impeccable word
To have a perfect word, you must take the opposite path. Therefore, use your energy wisely. Take full responsibility for your actions but don’t criticize yourself for your mistakes. Indeed, self-criticism does not bring any positive results.
If you want to live in harmony, you must make this first agreement with yourself. This can be difficult because we learned the opposite. Our word is not impeccable because we have learned lies, jealousy, or criticism among others.
As a result, we misuse the word and end up destroying others and ourselves. Consequently, every time we hear a bad word and believe it, we establish a new agreement with ourselves. This changes our belief system and we act accordingly (shyness, lack of trust, etc.).
The only remedy for this phenomenon is to be impeccable with our word. If your word is impeccable, you will be immune to the bad words of others. On the contrary, your mind will be open to the words of love.
To be impeccable with your word begins with the speech you have towards yourself. Thus, tell yourself how wonderful, beautiful, intelligent you are instead of constantly putting yourself down. This is what the author calls white magic.
“Speak with integrity. Speak only what you think. Avoid using words that are against yourself or gossiping about others. Use the power of your words with truth and love. »
The second agreement: don’t take anything personally
All three agreements that follow the first one are derived from the first one. This second agreement tells us that we are not responsible for the actions of others.
Imagine a stranger on the street calling you an idiot. Would you believe him? If you give your personal agreement, you will find things to justify that he is right. So you will feel like an idiot.
However, the stranger’s reaction has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with himself and his “dream”, that person doesn’t even know you.
This type of reaction often comes from our education or “domestication”. We have learned that we are responsible for almost everything. However, if we think this way, we assume that the other knows everything about us, which is not the case.
No matter what the situation, even if someone close to you insults or criticizes you, tell yourself that what he says is just a reflection of his own “dream” and of his own beliefs.
So don’t make a personal matter of what others do, think or say. Once you have adopted this new philosophy, you will not need to get angry or feel hatred towards others.
“You are not responsible for the actions of others. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you are not the victim of unnecessary suffering. »
The third agreement: don’t make assumptions
We tend to make assumptions about everything. And we believe in those assumptions. This is dangerous because it leads you to think badly of the actions of others.
In our head, assumptions make a film about what happened or what the other person did. This usually leads us to slander him or her on the basis of these assumptions alone.
The third agreement tells us that we must avoid making assumptions. Indeed, it is always better to ask questions rather than imagining things.
For example, a wife will assume that her husband cheated on her because he came home from work a little late and is angry.
This may not be the case because it is just an assumption. These kinds of assumptions in our relationships cause a lot of problems. Especially when the assumption is coupled with the previous agreement: to make a personal matter of what happens.
The fact is that we try to find answers to everything. So if we don’t have answers, we automatically make assumptions.
The best way to eliminate any doubt is to ask questions. Have the courage to ask questions rather than make assumptions. This will save you a lot of trouble and make your word sound good. This is the solution. Above all, your communication will be clear.
“Have the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings and drama. With this one Accord, you can completely transform your life. »
The fourth agreement: always do your best
This agreement is about doing the best we can in any situation. However, your best will vary depending on several factors such as:
The time of day (perhaps you are earlier in the morning);
Your emotional state (happiness, anger, sadness), etc.
Indeed, it never gets easy but no matter what happens; always give the best of yourself. By doing your best, you can’t judge yourself or feel guilty about anything. You will have given everything.
Find the right balance
Doing your best isn’t that simple. You have to find the right balance between :
Doing too much at the risk of tiring yourself out
And doing too little can lead to frustration and a feeling of not having accomplished anything.
Love what you do
Also, you have to love what you do. Unfortunately, most people work because they expect a reward. But when you do this kind of work, you are not happy. Also, you’re not really doing your best.
To do your best, you have to put yourself in an activity that you love and not expect a reward in return.
That way, you will have no regrets and you will feel good because you have done your best.
Respecting these four agreements is a new philosophy that, according to Don Miguel Ruiz, guarantees you a wonderful life.
Accept and know yourself
To do our best is to accept ourselves as we are today. It is to give oneself coherent objectives according to our state of mind, or physical state. It means listening to ourselves, analyzing ourselves and acting accordingly to carry out coherent actions, as best as possible and offering ourselves the reality, the accessibility of success.
To know oneself is to be aware of one’s strengths, weaknesses and points for improvement and to act accordingly to achieve success, even if it is a small success. To do one’s best is to be satisfied with one’s decisions, with one’s production, with who one is. It is making sure you are convinced of a sense of success, sincerely achieved.
“Your best can change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy and when you are sick. Whatever the circumstances, always do your best and you will avoid guilt, frustration and regret. »
Thank you for reading the four agreements summary, you might also read: