The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a book a friend recommended to me when I was going through a lot of personal change in my life. It is a simple, down-to-earth book that elaborates on four basic guidelines by which life can be lived more clearly and with a better sense of understanding and fulfillment. These four concepts resonated very clearly with the direction of my life at the time, and still do. They are:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Some of this stuff might seem a bit extreme or far out. But I urge you not to think of these agreements as “commandments,” but rather, as guidelines – useful life perspectives to remember, rather than absolute rules about how to live.
Here is the Amazon.com page for the book (which offers a preview read) and the Google Books link. You may also try looking in your local library for it, as it is a substantially popular work. Happy reading!