Books With Impact: Agreements Foster Healthy Relationships

2013 Jan/Feb Edition

I am a reader. I read journals, novels, poems, newspapers and oodles of children’s books. Like my maternal grandmother, I pride myself on keeping a reading log listing the numerous titles I have read over the years. Undoubtedly, one book that has made a tremendous impact on my outlook is The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. This Toltec Wisdom book, now in its 15th anniversary publication, is a compact text with huge potential to influence anyone’s growth in personal relationships through clear communication.


The primary notion is that as humans, we operate based on our established belief systems. These preconceived notions (or what we perceive others to believe) are often self-limiting and create needless suffering. That’s where these “agreements” come in.


Here’s the gist of each:

Be Impeccable with Your Word.

Consider the power of words. Choose them wisely and say what you mean without “putting down” yourself or gossiping about others.


Don’t Take Anything Personally

Perhaps the most difficult, Ruiz says, “Nothing that others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.”


Don’t Make Assumptions

Believing you know the cause or intention behind someone’s action or words is the cause of so much distress in our lives and can lead to imagining worst-case scenarios. It’s better to ask questions and get clarification to avoid misunderstandings.


Always Do Your Best

Remember that your “best” will vary depending on your condition. This single agreement could transform a life.


By adopting these four basic principles as habits we can be on the road to self-development and personal freedom. Spread the word about The Four Agreements to encourage greater harmony in your life.

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