The Potions prompt for the OWLs Readathon also coincided with one of the books I brought when I moved that was for my 30 before 30. I was debating whether I wanted to post about The Four Agreements because it’s not the type of book I generally read but I also wanted to be able to link to my thoughts on all of those books.
The Four Agreements talks about the four things you need in life to be free and happy. One of my favorite YouTubers (Kalyn Nicholson) talks about it a lot and I love her view on life and it resonates with me so I’m going through the books she talks about to learn more.
There are more sections of the book than those I’m talking about below so if you’re interested in more there’s plenty more where these came from.
Be Impeccable with Your Word
The main theme of this portion was to be careful with what you say to others. Those words stick with people, whether it’s positive or negative. Words are powerful and can change the world. It uses Hitler as an example of that one. Your word can create your life, whether that is good or bad is up to the words you choose.
Depending upon how it is used, the word scan set you free, or it can enslave you even more than you know. -Don Miguel Ruiz
We have learned throughout our life to speak maliciously through snide comments and gossip. Even throwaway comments can impact your views on people you’ve never met.
One of my friends was telling me about her history professor the previous year and I got into class the first day and realized that I had the same professor. It was funny for a second and then I started psyching myself out because she was telling me how she failed. I’ve had other teachers I’ve loved because I’ve gone in with no expectations or positive expectations.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
This next section branches off of the previous, it claims even if you just listen to these two sections your happiness will increase by 75%. This talks about how you shouldn’t take what people say to heart. No matter if it’s good or bad. That gives people power over your world.
Basically, it’s saying that people can see the world through their eyes but if they’re having a bad day or a good day they’ll project it upon you. Don’t let their mood influence yours. Later it talks about how people can be addicted to suffering and that can make other people treat them in the way they expect or they will search out ways to suffer.
That person tried to send poison to you and if you take it personally, then you take that poison and it becomes yours. -Don Miguel Ruiz
It then goes on to talk about how your mind can listen to itself because it holds a thousand different parts at a time and all of the thoughts are not always in agreement with each other. The way to overcome this is to take stock of all the different conflicts before we can create peace within our minds.
Don’t Make Assumptions
Well, this was just an entire chapter calling me out. The whole premise of this chapter is that when you make assumptions then you start to live in a fantasy where that assumption is true, when it might not be. To combat this ask questions and be impeccable with your word. Yes, this probably will lead to lots of talking and conversations.
Your love will not change anybody. If others change, it’s because they want to change, not because you can change them. -Don Miguel Ruiz
This chapter also talks about how one of life’s biggest assumptions is that people think, feel, judge and abuse the way we do. This is why we fear being ourselves around people. We think they will treat us as we treat ourselves. If people don’t love you for who you truly are then why bother?
Always Do Your Best
This section is exactly what it sounds like. It rounds out the book by saying to do your best in all of the other three agreements and in life in general. If you do this you’ll live a happy life because you know that you’ve done what you can. This can also be different from day to day and hour by hour due to so many different factors in life.
You were born with the right to love to enjoy and to share your love. You are alive so take your life and enjoy it. -Don Miguel Ruiz
This entire section? Basically a giant pep talk so if you ever need a morale boost, it’s right here.
The idea of this book is you do your best to follow theses four things every day then you’ll get better at them all each day and eventually be living your best life. I thought a lot of them seemed really obvious and things I already do (or at least try to do) in my life.