Introduction to the Four Agreements

The Book: What’s It About?

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. Ruiz is a physician as well as a healer in the South American Native tradition.

The principles outlined in The Four Agreements form the foundation for the therapies here at TROT. We are committed to the idea that if you BELIEVE in yourself, you will ACHIEVE your goals.

But to believe in yourself, you must know yourself. You must like yourself. You must conduct yourself in a manner that brings achievement into your life.

The next series in this blog will discuss these four agreements found in his books, and give you an idea of how we include these in our work at TROT.

What Are the Four Agreements?

These are the four Agreements discussed in Don Ruiz’s book:

Agreement 1: Be Impeccable With Your Word.

Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions.

Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best.

Why Are They Important?

Each of us sees the world in a different way. The way we see the world is made up of an interaction of our personality and the life experiences we have had.

The person raised in the mountains of South America will have a different view of the world than the person raised in the heart of New York City in North America.

The person raised as a Pagan will have a different worldview than that of the person raised in the Muslim faith.

The person raised in a loving family will have different beliefs about the world than one who grew up without anyone to love and protect them.

It is important to understand that we all see the world differently.

However, one thing remains true despite the way we grew up. We have been taught certain things about the world. We have been told that the world operates in a specific manner, and we have agreed with what we have been told.

But what if the things we were told do not help us in our life? What if the things we agreed to actually make life more difficult?

Let’s go back to basics.

What are you sitting in right now? Does it have four legs? Does it have arms? Does it have a seat or a seat back? What do you call this thing? Do you call it a chair? Why do you call it that? Is it perhaps because the adults in your life told you to call it that and you just agreed to call it that to make things easier? Probably. Without such basic agreements, communication would be very difficult.

If you called the thing you are sitting in a chair, and I called it an elephant, well, we would have some communication problems, wouldn’t we?
So, we agree to some basic names, descriptions and rules that help us interact with each other more easily.

But what if you grew up thinking that whenever someone displeased you, it was OK to hit them, and then you found out after being arrested for assault that not everyone agrees to this?

Some things we agreed to in our childhood do not always hold true across the population.

As the world grows bigger and more diverse, we find ourselves in situations quite often where the things we were taught to agree with as children do not necessarily work for us when we become adults.

This blog will address four basic agreements that, if you choose to embrace them, will help ease your travels through life. There will be one published each week.

If you have questions, feel free to schedule an appointment to discuss them by contacting me through the “Reach Out” form on our website.

– Dr. Marguerite Malone, Founder and Clinical Director of Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa