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The Four Agreements: Simple Steps to a Better Life

Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

Interested in improving upon your life? According to NewsWire, 82% of adults within America plan to make changes to their personal well-being, so hopefully your answer to this question is yes. If your answer to your question is no, take five minutes to hear me out in regards to how The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz can make a significant positive difference within your life. With these agreements, you can rely on a practical guide to personal freedom and completely transform your life.

Why Is This Important?

Although life is wonderful and beautiful, there are often times that we have to go through things that we do not like, that annoy us, or that we want to change. Yet we make the same mistakes and the same choices repeatedly, expecting the results to be different. Unfortunately, we find that it will not be different, as every action has a reaction, and repeating the same actions winds up with us suffering the same results. Although sometimes we are unable to see the choices or actions when we make them, we are always going to see the reaction. So, we can’t control what happens to us or around us, but we can certainly control our own reactions. This reaction is the key to having a pleasing life. How can that be? Well, what makes you happy or unhappy is not what is happening around you, it’s how you choose to react to it and perceive it. Once you learn to change your own reactions, you will be able to change your habits and routines, which will by default change your life.

What Are the Four Agreements?

1. Be impeccable with your word

When speaking, do so with integrity and make a conscious effort to say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or gossip about other people. If you use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love, you will reap positive benefits from it.

2. Don’t take anything personally

Recognize and understand that nothing that other people do or say is because of you. People project their own reality onto others in what they say – in their own stories. Being immune to opinions and actions of others, will prevent you from being a victim of needless suffering. Everyone lives consumed by their own world, and in their own dream.

3. Don’t make assumptions

To avoid making assumptions, encourage yourself to ask questions and express what it is that you truly want. Communicating with others as clearly as you can helps avoid misunderstandings, sadness and unwanted drama. Making assumptions about what other people think about you will not serve you as you do not know what is going on in their head, or what root their thought processes may have come from.

4. Always do your best

Your best today may look different from what your best was a month ago, or even a year ago – it varies from day to day, and from moment to moment. Your best will be different when you are healthy as opposed to when you are sick. If you simply do your best under any circumstance, you will be able to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Once committing to these four agreements becomes a habit, it will eventually become automatic. When you see these changes, you might find that the transformation of your life happens quickly. You will see changes within self-awareness, an increase of self-respect, enthusiasm will rise, and your life will be full of self-acceptance.


Mills, J. & Ruiz, M. A., MD. (200). Using “The Four Agreements” to Live a Better Life. Retrieved from:

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