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The Four Agreements: Book Review

todayMarch 20, 2020 16

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By Stacey Ramirez
Web Content Contributor

This book… LITERALLY CHANGED MY LIFE.

Not like I’m ready to move to Hawaii changed, but it definitely showed me a new perspective about how I view life.

The book explains how we have made up rules to think and live in a way that aligns with society. Without realizing it, everyone has dedicated their life and even raised their kids to follow.

As a society, we have made up so many rules that dictate how we should think, feel and react. We believe we need them to function. The book says the people around us and ourselves are the like police and that judges that condemn anyone that doesn’t follow.

open book with four rocks on the spine
Chapter one explains how we create rules but they’re just as real as dreams. Image by Stacey Ramirez.

This book wants you realize these rules aren’t even real and if you were stranded on an island, they wouldn’t really be present. In order to find fulfillment and happiness, we have to learn these four agreements to unlearn society’s rules.

1. Be impeccable with your word

In simple terms, the first agreement is supposed to be the foundation of the other three. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do and honor everything you do and say. This one is important because your words and actions dictate your mentality.

If we tell ourselves we’re stupid for forgetting to pay a bill or do an assignment, we believe it. But instead we could stop and think there are far worst things that could have happened and forgive yourself or others.

We have the power to affect how people see and feel things.

One of the book’s examples was if our friend tells us that a professor is the worst and they grade hard then we will hate that professor. But what if your friend forgot to mention that they always turned in their work late or that this professor had just lost their mom? Without knowing this we are already thinking negatively.

2. Don’t take things personally

This next agreement wouldn’t be necessary if everyone just followed the first. But since the world isn’t perfect, the second agreement is important when you face difficult people. You know that saying, “When people insult you it says a lot about them then it does about you”. Well that’s what this agreement is trying to say.

Sometimes peoples say things out of anger and don’t know how to communicate it. Maybe they have the wrong impression of you that they heard from someone else like in agreement one. The point is that what people say to you isn’t always a fact and it only has as much power as you let it.

So, let it go and move on with your life, don’t let it sit heavy on your chest. There’s really nothing you can do but the best part is there’s nothing their word can do either.

This section gave me one of my new favorite quotes:

“Others opinion of you is not your responsibility”

3. Don’t assume

We can’t read each other’s minds. We can’t keep using “I just assumed” as an excuse. No one knows what you want or don’t want if you don’t tell them. On the other hand, you can’t assume you know what other people want and need without communicating. So just ask!

Just ask someone what they’re thinking, why they’re upset or why they’re ignoring you. Communicate and tell people what you want and need. Even when were scared to be straight forward your still assuming something that might not be true. Your imagination can be your worst enemy when it comes to assuming. Clearing thing up will save you a lot of time and energy.

4. Do your best

It sounds simple, but it’s difficult. We’re always expecting things to come out a certain way. Doing your best means doing what you can with what you have. But that’s not all, part of this agreement mentions to be proud of whatever you do. Sometimes we do the best we can and want to get it over with it and forget it happened. This agreement is meant to remind you to be proud of what you accomplished because the other alternative was quitting altogether.

Don’t judge yourself so hard, you’re trying your best.

One affirmation this agreement says to remind repeat is:

“You have overcome every struggle you have faced up to this moment.”

Finally, …

How to destroy the old you

There are three options to help you begin living for the new you.

The first one is to replace old negative agreements with new agreements. Be aware of the actions and thoughts that are destructive and holding you back. For every negative try to replace it with a positive.

open book with a blue candle and rocks
In order to find the new, you it means getting rid of old habits. Image by Stacey Ramirez.

The second one is to use your energy wisely and have a positive mindset to avoid wasting your energy. Be a warrior and keep yourself in check and make sure you’re controlling your actions and emotions. You can’t go on letting life push you around you have to live it not let it control you.

The last option. Make peace with the angel of death. Now tell me that doesn’t sound terrifying! But I promise you as much as it sounds like your selling your soul it’s not.

Facing and accepting death means you’re aware anything you’re worried, scared or anxious about doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of thing because everything ends. You own nothing and accept thing you care about can get taken away so just make the best of the time you have.

Featured image by Stacey Ramirez.

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