What constitutes a good life? Common answers would be relationships, doing what you enjoy every day, family, and achieving philanthropic goals. None of these can be achieved if you are not satisfied with yourself and your paradigms first. Don Miguel Ruiz teaches us how to live the good life now in The 4 Agreements. If you have not reached self-actualization yet this book will definitely help you get there. I wish that I had read it sooner.
The agreements to live by:
- Be impeccable with your word. When you speak do so with integrity, to show that you acknowledge others as people. While making sure that you mean everything that you say. Avoid gossiping about others and speaking against yourself. Ruiz mentions that words are our strongest power. In that respect, our words should be used for truth and love. I laughed when Ruiz described gossip as a virus just duplicating and spreading. What is even worse is that gossip can create false impressions of people that can ruin opportunities for them. Using our words for belligerent purposes will never achieve anything. If you pay close attention to many influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, and Tony Robbins they never publicly speak ill of others. All because they know that every action will produce a like reaction.
- Don’t take anything personally. Nothing that others do is because of you. Other actions are based solely on their interpretation of reality. Ruiz describes paradigms as dreams throughout his book. When you are immune to others words and actions, you will avoid pointless suffering. Being in IT I also interpreted this as wasted data processing/ mental resources. Figuratively speaking if our brain is like a CPU why waste processing capacity on something that has no meaning. This section will especially be useful to people putting themselves in front of the general public. When you put your work on the Internet people will always have negative opinions about it. Just remember that your either a creator or you’re not (someone who just criticizes others work without ever creating anything themselves).
- Don’t make assumptions. Always ask questions and express what you really want. Clearly communicate with others to avoid misunderstanding, sadness, and drama. This is also a universal Buddhist teaching, you can’t blatantly respond to other people just because you don’t know what they have been through. This one agreement alone can completely transform your life. The cons of making assumptions always out weight the pros. Said message should already hold true for any investors that are reading this.
- Always do your best. Deliver your best nothing less and nothing more, if you burn out your best will be lowered. Your best will always change as you improve. Regardless of the circumstances do your best to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. Gary Vee tells people to volunteer at a retirement home for a day. Doing this will expose you to the byproducts of regret. Forcing you to fear regret and live your life to the f*ck!ng fullest. Lastly, remember to always ask yourself if what you are doing makes you feel good.
The first section of the book covers how our paradigms are created through the domestication of humans. At a young age, it is impossible to control our inputs. Good or bad we end up copies of our parents. From my experience, this chain can be broken through reading it is one of the few ways to honeslty know yourself. The worst part of our domestication is that we judge ourselves to feel safe and fit the model that the rest of the world lives by. It is an infinite loop of self-judging and conviction. The last chain of domestication is trying to be that perfect lie/model that is in our heads. We abuse and punish ourselves in pursuit of a perfection that does not exist and has no meaning or value.
The last section is all about self-actualization and breaking old agreements that you have with yourself. Realize when responsibilities are lost freedom. Have awareness to find the parasites aka your judging, victim, and beliefs. Be a warrior and fight your parasites. As old agreements are another battlefront, that is as strong as an addiction. The first step to self-acceptance is to learn to forgive yourself. My last note was about the initiation of the dead. Realize that death is a true law so do what makes you happy. Accept that when you die nothing is truly yours other than your legacy and other’s memories of you!