The way we feel, act and think are all dependent on what we were taught as a kid and what people around us made us believe. This makes perfect sense, of course our teachers taught us ABC’s and that swearing isn’t acceptable; however, have you ever considered that some of these morals or beliefs we stick to may be robbing us of our freedom and happiness?
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ángel Ruiz tells us how and what these false beliefs are and what to do to change them. Ruiz advises us to accept these “four agreements” and fit them into your daily life: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and try your best. He explains how most of us do the total opposite of these practices and it’s unknowingly taking away the joy and excitement life brings and replacing it with hate, jealousy, sadness, and anger.
This book spoke to me in particular after realizing many people are unable to achieve the love and happiness they want to feel and made me wonder why such a thing is more common than you think. The agreements that we have accepted into our lives since birth shape us into the people we are today along with the decisions we choose to make whether good or bad. What Miguel tells us is by accepting only four more agreements, we can start our battle in destroying the bad ones that we are told to be true.
Miguel digs deep into our mindsets and uses the perfect metaphors to explain his ideas which without would be much harder to understand. I love the way he writes to people of any religion and when talking about why we think the way we do, he doesn’t blame you for accepting your self-limited beliefs as we “didn’t have the opportunity to choose those beliefs.” We see this in our everyday lives and learned what is and isn’t acceptable in our society. For example, body hair on women, magazines showing society’s idea of ‘perfection’, even how we all feel we have a status. These agreements change and differentiate within cultures and other places around the world.
Along with the many positives, I did find the book to be written in a sort of surreal language. He tells of how we live in an illusion and “the dream, is just like smoke which doesn’t allow us to see what we really are.” While his unique language and wording can be off-putting and sound like fantasy, he tries to reach people’s spiritual side by doing this. I found certain areas to be repetitive in explaining ideas, using more examples then needed to understand what he is explaining. At times this made it hard to read and encouraged me to skim.
For people with open minds, what I love about this book is that anyone who reads can learn and take away the useful information inside and put it to use your entire life. Even if some parts sound like nonsense, the core ideas and structure of this book is worth the read. A few of the topics covered can be controversial and sensitive to some and not all will be quick to agree with what he says, but you don’t have to agree, I just think he wants you to understand.
4.8 out of 5 stars.