In the beginning part of the book, the author discussed how our society, our culture, our families and relationships shape our beliefs and identities. That we didn’t have a choice when we were little. And now that we’re older, he is challenging us to question these beliefs/practices or these “agreements”.
Another thing he talked about is how sometimes people just go with the flow to gain approval in order to have a sense of belongingness. Which is a natural thing for humans. Sabi nga ni Aristotle, we are social animals. But he also challenges that. Like saying no if we want to say no. Or attempting to ask even if it meant rejection.
And it could be in the littlest of things. Like asking for extra ketchup packets for the fries. It may be simple but I know people who can’t ask even if they want that extra ketchup (my husband). He finds asking uncomfortable even if it meant enjoying his meal a little bit more. We are opposites in many ways that’s why hindi ako naniniwala sa zodiac signs kasi pareho kaming Sagittarius tapos same year pa.
I think the author discussed these things first because the four agreements that he’s going to present is hard for us humans to undertake; given that we already have existing “agreements” in place that was formed over the years.
But the four agreements in the book are:
- Be impeccable with your word (speak your truth, be honest as possible)
- Don’t take anything personally (be forgiving, be more understanding)
- Don’t make assumptions (having the courage to ask how people really think or feel, give them a chance before suspecting the worst)
- Always do your best (do the best that you can to follow the first 3 agreements)
Everyone has encountered these four agreements before and sometimes in different forms. I may have read it written in a different way but the message is the same. But referring them as ‘The Four Agreements’ gave it an extra oomph.
Following these four agreements is not easy. I may have tried but I didn’t get much success. It is extremely hard. I am sure I will never reach to a point that I would be able to religiously follow them. But, I will die trying. Because they are great agreements. The hope is to improve a little bit everyday. And ‘do my best’ with the energy that I have. Don’t overexert din naman.
RATING [2.5 🌟]
The writing style ruined it for me though. It’s written like you’re listening to a priest doing his homily; which unfortunately does not appeal to me. Lots of oversimplification and phrases being repeated. His use of metaphors like dreams and poison and black magic isn’t exactly my flavor. Sabi nga ni Danielle (book club member), Encantadia feels daw 😆 I was able to tolerate the preachy and supposably emotive writing style in the beginning but it got a little bit annoying in the latter part. That’s just a personal preference though.
Naasar na natawa lang din ako dun sa example nya na person sa ‘doing your best’ kasi ang ginawa nyang example is si Forrest Gump which is a fictional character.
The book being a short read, it still could’ve been shorter. But what the book is trying to accomplish is a great thing. I just really wish it was written better.
How many times do we pay for one mistake? How many times do we make our spouse, our children, or our parents pay for the same mistake? The answer is thousands of times. The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake they make. But not us. We have a powerful memory.
In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.
I remembered someone when I read this. Sad.
If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.
ON BEING IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
Looking at everyday human interactions, imagine how many times we cast spells on each other with our word. Over time this interaction has become the worst form of black magic, and we call it gossip.
ON TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY
…taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.”
ON MAKING ASSUMPTIONS
The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real.
These assumptions are made so fast and unconsciously most of the time because we have agreements to communicate this way. We have agreed that it is not safe to ask questions; we have agreed that if people love us, they should know what we want or how we feel. When we believe something, we assume we are right about it to the point that we will destroy relationships in order to defend our position.
We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way we do.
Also, find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you, and you have the right to say yes or no.
ON DOING YOUR BEST
But understanding its importance is not enough. Information or an idea is merely the seed in your mind. What will really make the difference is action. Taking the action over and over again strengthens your will, nurtures the seed, and establishes a solid foundation for the new habit to grow. After many repetitions these new agreements will become second nature…
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