The Four Agreements

A practical operating system for everyday life

I have a recurring notification set for myself that pops up every few weeks, reminding me of the ‘Four Agreements’ -- taken from a book by the same name, about a set of principles for “personal freedom” handed down by an ancient civilization that lived in current-day Mexico.

The most important thing to note about these ‘agreements’, as presented, is that they’re ones a person is meant to make with themselves. The idea is that “personal freedom” isn’t found in external circumstances but in the things you think and do, and that to make the most of the things you think and do starts with making certain commitments to yourself as to how you’ll choose to be in the world.

The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.

  2. Don't take anything personally.

  3. Don't make assumptions.

  4. Always do your best.

Without getting into the detail of what each of these mean and how they fit together, suffice it to say that I’ve found this to be a simple, practical operating system for everyday life. The first three agreements provide guidance to help you navigate all kinds of ways that you can get yourself into trouble with yourself and other people, and -- just as importantly -- the fourth one recognizes that nobody’s perfect, and that if you happen to come up short on occasion, the best thing you can do is to keep doing your best.

If you’re intrigued, take a spin through google or the book itself (it’s short & sweet). Hope you find it as helpful as I did.