Book Summary: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

My Interpretation

We are the sum of our thoughts and actions, but most interestingly, often our thoughts are imbued in us by society and subconscious comparison to others. Mindfulness works in conjunction with this to observe your mind and thoughts as they occur as a preliminary step toward any positive redirection. People (myself included) are walking basket cases full of their own insecurities, issues, and worries, so it’s really a waste of your energy and time to take things personally or assume the worst. Show up as your best self, both to yourself in how you speak and think, and to others. Reclaim your sense of inner child by finding and sustaining what energizes and excites you.

Book Highlights

  • “That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands.”
  • “The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word.”
  • “The second agreement is don’t take anything personally.”
  • “Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. The mind has the ability to talk to itself, but it also has the ability to hear information that is available from other realms.”
  • “The third agreement is don’t make assumptions.”
  • “The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.”
  • “Sometimes that little child comes out when you are having fun or playing, when you feel happy, when you are painting, or writing poetry, or playing the piano, or expressing yourself in some way. These are the happiest moments of your life — when the real you comes out, when you don’t care about the past and you don’t worry about the future. You are childlike. But there is something that changes all that: We call them responsibilities.”
  • “We are addicted to being the way we are. We are addicted to anger, jealousy, and self-pity. We are addicted to the beliefs that tell us, “I’m not good enough, I’m not intelligent enough. Why even try? Other people will do it because they’re better than me.” All of these old agreements which rule our dream of life are the result of repeating them over and over again. Therefore, to adopt The Four Agreements, you need to put repetition in action. Practicing the new agreements in your life is how your best becomes better. Repetition makes the master.”

 

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