The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my all-time favorites among personal growth books. It’s a little book that packs a wallop. I read it many years ago and it truly impacted my life and was a definite stepping stone for me toward personal empowerment and finding inner peace. Reading this book made me deeply examine aspects of my behavior that I had taken somewhat for granted.
The first agreement, “Be impeccable with your word” was the easiest one for me to digest because I was raised to tell the truth and to speak with integrity. This agreement however encompasses more than merely speaking the truth. It also means to always use the power of your word in the direction of love — for yourself and for all others.
The second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally” was more difficult for me to incorporate into my thought system. When someone would say or do something that hurt my feelings, how could I NOT take that personally. The book helps you understand that nothing others do is because of you — that what others do or say is a projection of their own reality and when we become immune to the opinions and actions of others, we then step out of victim mode and into personal empowerment.
The third agreement, “Don’t Make Assumptions” was also a major stepping stone for me toward my own personal empowerment. This agreement is about communication — about having the courage to ask questions when you don’t understand something even though it may make you feel vulnerable and to be clear in your own communications. This helps you avoid misunderstandings.
The fourth agreement, “Always do your best” speaks for itself. No matter what is happening in your life at any given moment, always do the best you can do. Knowing that you did your best in every situation helps you let go of negative self-judgment — another step toward personal empowerment.
When these four agreements are incorporated into your life, you will have taken major steps on your personal empowerment path.