The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) – by Don Miguel Ruiz

In my lifetime I have read many, many self-help books and listened to many, many self-help recordings. At this point in my life there is little (anything?) new that is written that I haven’t already read or heard. That includes this book. However, that does not mean that this book wasn’t worth reading. Every so often you need to have your mind refreshed with some of the stuff you have read before, and I read this book for just that purpose.

It seems that no matter how many self-help books I have read, I have never been able to entirely internalize the points that I find make good sense and should be things to live by. It’s hard to teach even young dogs new tricks once the old tricks have been so thoroughly ingrained as to comprise ones core being, let alone an old dog like me. Be that as it may, the four agreements the author presents would be good to follow, or at least try to keep in mind as one continues on in life.

The four agreements are these –

– Be Impeccable With Your Words
– Don’t Take Anything Personally
– Don’t Make Assumptions
– Always Do Your Best

While you should read the book to see what the author has to say about these agreements and how he couches his discussion in terms of his Toltec ancestors, these agreements essentially mean using the power of words to enforce the positive, don’t internalize the actions or words of other people, don’t assume that you know what someone else is thinking, and don’t assume that your interpretation of someones words is the same as their interpretation, communicate clearly and do not allow misunderstandings to gain power of their own, and have the integrity to do your best, to the best of your current ability. All good principles to live by, though difficult in practice.

This is a pretty short book, and if you have not heard these idea before, they could be life-changing, if you can consciously keep the principles in mind. I wish I were that person, but this old fart is a bit set in his ways. It never hurts, though, to look outside your rut every once in a while. This book did serve as a reminder that we actually do have the power to change ourselves, if we are up to the challenge.

Finished 4/15/18