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The Four Agreements

A friend, Jo, stepped into my office yesterday to deliver "The Four Agreements" to me. We had been having a discussion about "not making assumptions" and she wanted to be sure I knew where she was getting her knowledge and the benefits of "not making assumptions". She was enrolled in a course on the topic of personal communication and what is printed below comes from that course. Note: Press <F11> for the best view of this page then <F11> again to return to normal. Hint: Scrolling will bring the white letters onto a dark background.
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe In your efforts to become a more effective communicator, it is helpful to have a code of conduct that guides your personal behavior and the choices you make. The Four Agreements is such a code. What makes the Four Agreements different than other such codes is that it is based on a world view likely different than your own. This code of conduct is based on the teachings of the Toltec. According to the book The Four Agreements, "thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as "women and men of knowledge." Anthropologists have spoken of the Toltec as a nation or race, but in face, the Totec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones... Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on earth. While it embraces the spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life." This Toltec way of life is base on four basic principles, called agreements.
Be Impeccable With Your Word
"Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love." Words are the most powerful tool we as humans have. Depending upon how they are used, words can help build or destroy our connections with others. By practicing impeccability we can clear up communication problems, heal relationships, and create enough personal power to break our old ways of thinking.
  Don't Take Things Personally
"Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering." Each of us lives in our own personal dream, and what we say, what we do, and the opinions we give come from what we have in our own minds - they have nothing to do with anyone else. By the same token, others' opinions have nothing to do with us, so there is nothing to take personally. A huge amount of freedom is gained when we take nothing personally.
  Don't Make Assumptions
"Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings (and) sadness.." We make assumptions when we think we know what others mean, or when we think they know what we mean. The problem with making all those assumptions is that we believe them as the truth and we blame others for the assumptions that we make. We must have the courage to ask others what their message means as well as the courage to say what we really mean. The day we stop making assumptions, we communicate cleanly and clearly.
  Always Do Your Best
"Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret." This agreement makes the other three possible. When we simply do our best - not more and not less - we become more confident in our intra personal and interpersonal relationships. Although our best is always changing, continually strive to do your best.
The background on this page is a moonlit photo of Pepper on her buoy in Howard Prairie Lake Resort.
The Four Agreements If you are interested in learning more about the Four Agreements,
you can find a more detailed explanation in the book:
The Four Agreements; A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

This is a link to the page to learn more about the book.
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