During our early life we began making agreements. Our parents rewarded us when we did what they wanted and they punished us when we didn’t. We also learned behaviors and habits in school, church, and from other adults and children on the playground. The tools of reward and punishment were often emotional and sometimes physical. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created. In this process we created agreements in our mind of who we should be, what we shouldn’t be, who we were, and who we were not. Over time we learned to live our life based on the agreements in our own mind. We learned to live according to the agreements that came from the opinion of others. In this process of domestication it turns out that the choices we make and the life we live is more driven by the opinions we learned from others than one we would choose on our own. (http://www.toltecspirit.com)
Don Miguel Ángel Ruiz (born 1952), better known as Don Miguel Ruiz, is a Mexican author of Toltec spiritualist and neoshamanistic texts. Though some of his teachings seem similar to New Age, it is not. It focuses on the Ancient Toltec teachings that are used to achieve happiness, peace, and love within one's life by achieving the wisdom to do so. Listed as one of The Watkins 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2014.
His current most famous and influential work, The Four Agreements, was published in 1997 and has sold around 5.2 million copies in the U.S. and has been translated into 38 languages. It was featured on the Oprah television show, and advocates personal freedom from beliefs and agreements that we have made with ourselves and others that are creating limitation and unhappiness in our lives. Ultimately, it is about finding one's own integrity, self-love, and peace within this reality. The Four Agreements go very deep, but plainly stated, they are:
- Be Impeccable With Your Word.
- Don't Take Anything Personally.
- Don't Make Assumptions.
- Always Do Your Best.