The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)
This was one of the five books I highlighted on my positivity book list (link to that post below).
This book is noted as being inspired by Toltec Wisdom. The Toltec Empire pre-dated the Aztecs in what is modern day Mexico. The ideas and language used to explain the four agreements takes a little getting used to. The phrasing is not typical of modern English, so you may need to read this book slowly and let the meanings sink in a bit. Once you understand the “gist” of what the author is saying, the concepts are quite straight forward.
The use of the term “Agreements” means how we have agreed to behave in society. Our agreed upon behaviors are taught to us by our families and communities, and may or may not be serving us well.
In order to live a life that is like a dream (not a nightmare), we have to arrange our agreements with the outside world into a structure that works for us as unique individuals. In a nutshell, the four agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word. (Be honest and honor your promises.)
2. Don’t take anything personally. (Most of the time, it’s not about you!)
3. Don’t make assumptions. (Ask questions to clarify things.)
4. Always do your best. (Do what you can with the resources available)
I see these behaviors as freeing us to be ourselves.
1. When we tell the truth, we clearly communicate to others how we see situations. (Yes, I can do that OR No, I’m sorry I can’t do that for you.) It makes us say NO when we need to, no matter what kind of pressure we face.
2. We avoid needless stress and anxiety that comes from worrying about what other people think of us. (Did that gruff exchange with my co-worker mean she doesn’t like me?) More likely your co-worker is just having a bad day, and it has nothing to do with you.
3. Asking questions to clarify things will also help us avoid confusion, stress and anxiety. (What did they mean when they said that?) Just ask people to explain, and a lot of trouble will be avoided.
4. We have to do what we can, with what we have. Sometimes we have a good day and can tackle a lot. Sometimes we aren’t feeling well and can only manage a little. It’s OK!
I would recommend this book because I agree with it’s philosophy. However, it’s not the easiest read due to the language/ phrasing structure of the text.
I welcome your feedback!