Four Agreements are:
- Be Impeccable With Your Word
- Don't Take Anything Personally
- Don't Make Assumptions
- Always Do Your Best
While these agreements, with very little effort, can be quickly comprehended and memorized, anyone faced with actually agreeing to abide by these four jewels of wisdom is often overcome with trepidation. After all, wisdom does not come cheap. As is usually the case, the price can be painful.
2. And taking things personally is what persons do! It's all about me, after all. How else can the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune make me suffer? Is it just my imagination that has the world pitted against me?
3. And without assumptions, what do we have? A million single cases to evaluate and react to every day? We are such a successful and dominant species partly because of our ability to do all this categorizing, generalizing, profiling, comparing, and projecting, right? Without assumptions, we'd be reinventing everything all the time! Wouldn't we? Am I protesting too much, here?
4. Lastly, always doing my best is just too much to ask for. My best is very, very good, isn't it? That is just too high a standard for poor, little, old me. Unless, I recognize that my best varies day-to-day and moment-to-moment. Perhaps there is room for slack on this one. The counter-argument here is that my best is woefully inadequate, so what good is it? What good am I? And "good enough" is not!)
These Four Agreements come up in discussion in counseling all the time. They are words to live by, or at least to consider living by. Without these guiding principles, forgiveness would be much harder, negative self-talk would be much louder, and fear of what's "out there" would be much greater. The book is founded on one over-arching idea (I should have started with this): that the world we live in is subjective. We dream it. And everyone else dreams their worlds too. It's no wonder we have misunderstandings between us; our dreams don't mesh. Some are even as different as night and day, or as good and bad, or as heaven and hell.
I heartily encourage you to buy this book. I am not exaggerating when I say it will change your life. (But only if you want your life to change. Don't worry, you get to choose.) If you'd like to read it before you buy it, you can do it that right here!
BONUS: There is a Fifth Agreement. Perhaps we can revisit this topic of self-awareness, self-improvement, and self-healing through self-agreements at a later date. There's so much to explore just by looking at small changes we can make to the way we see and think about our dream/world. For now, here's a short and very handy summary of these powerful concepts: Boom.
Till next time, let's agree to get together soon!