in Book Notes

Four agreements

FIRST AGREEMENT: BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.

Author Don Miguel Ruiz describes the word impeccability as ‘without sin.’ Impeccable comes from the Latin pecatus, which means ‘sin.’ The im in impeccable means ‘without,’ so impeccable means ‘without sin.’ Religions talk about sin and sinners, but let’s understand what it really means to sin. A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. Being without sin is exactly the opposite. Being impeccable is not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.”

Why should you be impeccable with our word? Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. Through the word, you express your creative power.

Luiz argues that “the word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life. You can speak. What other animals on the planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth. Depending upon how it is used, the word can set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know”. Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic.

Example: If I see an individual on the street and I call her or him stupid, it may see that I using the word against them. But really, I am using my word against myself, because they are going to hate me for this, and their hating is not good for me. As a result, if get angry and with my word send all the emotional poison to him or her, I am using the word against myself.

SECOND AGREEMENT: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… if I see you on the street and say, ‘Hey, you are so stupid,’ without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid. Maybe you think to yourself, ‘How does he know? Is he clairvoyant, or can everybody see how stupid I am?”

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication.

THIRD AGREEMENT: DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking—we take it personally—then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why when we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.”

FOURTH AGREEMENT: ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

“There is just one more agreement, but it’s the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.” Ruiz continues: “Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality, and other times it will not be as good.”

Notable Quotes

“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.” – Miguel Ruiz

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.” – Miguel Ruiz

“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” – Miguel Ruiz

 

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