We can all admit that 2017 has gotten off on a crazy foot. But we’re not here for details or complaints, just some possible solutions. Bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals some of these based on ancient Toltec wisdom in his self-help book, The Four Agreements.
Ruiz was born into a Mexican family of traditional healers, but instead he chose the path to become a medical surgeon. After coming to terms with an out-of-body-experience (stay with me now), Ruiz was pushed to re-examine his life and his beliefs.
Now, before you click-away thinking this is some cookie cutter, self-help book — think again. Ruiz presents a short, easy-to-read, and universally digestible set of tools to combat the self-limiting beliefs that create unnecessary suffering and stress on a daily basis. Hell, even the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all-time), Tom Brady and his wife Giselle have been reading The Four Agreements for almost a decade.
“It hit me at the right time,’’ Brady told boston.com. “It was very relevant at that point in my life, and I read it once a year to reflect and gain a little perspective. It’s served me pretty well.’’
If you’re thinking this sounds outlandish and it’ll never work, maybe you’re right. Or, maybe it’s just easier said than done. Every self-building book should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it takes nothing away from the impact these four simple steps could have in helping you regain or strengthen the happiness in life. And if not your life, for the lives of others around you. For the reading averse, here’s a summary of the four agreements and what they mean:
Agreement 1: Be Impeccable with Your Word
Simply put, speak with integrity and meaning. Say what you mean and only what you mean. Use the provocative power of language towards something bigger than you — truth, life, science; whatever makes you happy.
Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally
This is one of the hardest to accomplish, but also one that has the most to offer (and it’s Tom’s favorite mantra). Nothing that others do occurs because of you. How others act, what they say, and what they do is rooted in their own “dream” as Ruiz states. This dream refers to the implicit reality nested in others. Everyone is raised to see their world through their own lens and there are many things in life that are simply out of your control. At the end of the day you’re only responsible for yourself and your actions.
Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions
What’s that old saying again? “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Oh boy is it true. Instead of assuming, which can rile someone up in the wrong way, communicate with others to hash out any misunderstandings. Ruiz says this one agreement can “completely transform your life.”
Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best
There’s a reason why your parents may have reiterated this to you as a child. Your best may not be the best every time, but it’ll let you avoid any regret after the fact. This can be a huge contributor in not letting you get down on yourself when things don’t go according to plan.
If you’re interested in reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s works, you can find The Four Agreements on Amazon for just under $8.