Don Miguel Ruiz wrote The Four Agreements, which was published in 1997. It was a New York Times bestseller for many years, with millions of copies in print. Don Miguel is a spiritual leader that uses indigenous Mexican rituals and beliefs to help establish a moral framework. Like many of the best spiritual teachings, the agreements are simple to understand and hard to follow. The four agreements provide a fundamental guide to living a moral life.
The four agreements are:
1) be impeccable with your word
2) don’t make assumptions
3) don’t take anything personally
4) Always do your best
The following are direct quotes that Don Miguel Ruiz made about his agreements.
- “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 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…”
- “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. 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 won’t be the victim of needless suffering…”
- “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…”
There are expansions of the agreements that may also be useful. These expansions are generally consistent with Don Miguel Ruiz’s agreements but add other considerations to each agreement.
- Be impeccable with your intent. If you are impeccable with your intent, this encompasses your words as well as your thoughts and actions. It is difficult to always have the best intentions, but this can become a pillar of your morality.
- Don’t make assumptions is a powerful statement. When you assume the answer to a question, the actual answer may be better or worse than you expect. Whatever the answer, the truth will set you free. It is better to know the truth than to make an assumption.
- Don’t take anything personally, unless the action that you experience is personal. It is important to protect yourself from physical, mental and spiritual assault. We are all here because we deserve to be here. You can tell if an action is because of a person’s focus on something else, or it is directed at you. You need to respond accordingly.
- Be the best you can be at the time should consider that your best is serving others as well as yourself. There are many people today that are doing their best to be successful. A few will attempt to achieve their objectives without any concern for anyone but their self. Unless your actions are beneficial to everyone, including yourself, you are not being the best you can be.
In a great example of the Cosmic Giggle, Miguel Ruiz and his son, Jose Luis, wrote The Fifth Agreement. The fifth agreement is the best advice you can get if you are learning new spiritual information from anyone except yourself.
- Be skeptical, but learn to listen.
You are now familiar with the basic premises that are contained in The Four Agreements and the suggested expansion of these premises. This book is still available, and it is worth buying and reading. You can get a new copy or very likely find a copy at a used book store. Your comments on this expansion are appreciated.