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A path to personal freedom

March 14, 2007

A couple years ago, a colleague shared a book by Don Miguel Ruiz, entitled “The Four Agreements” with me.  While a lot of our life experience, what happens to us everyday is a product of the world around us, a non inconsequential portion of it is created in our own minds by how we choose to react to it.   The author proposes that we create and live in an artificial reality that we create in our own mind as a filter in dealing with the outside world.  This filter has a lot of rules, many of which are derived from prior rules, which come from prior experiences , and what we think we have learned from them.   Some of these serve us well, while others put us in a prison of our own devise.   Ruiz suggests that we can re-write our own filter, and as a result change the very way that our daily interactions with others, and in turn the quality of our life unfolds.   He proposes that we make 4 basic agreements, or rules for ourselves. 

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally 
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

With these changes, we can re-program the way we think and open up new possibilities for ourselves at work, at home, and in every facet of our interaction with the world.  They sound simple, but are really foundational for changing many self destructive behaviors   

In a recent post, Esteban talks about a belief system….

We start “believing” on a Natural order of things, we feel comfortable with the way things work, and we build a foundation upon some basic principles and beliefs. Those beliefs can be shared with others, or individual. Some people take comfort on their religion, others in science statements, philosophy, tradition, politics, activism. The list is long. Thus we build our mind frames upon such beliefs, and are conditioned by them. If some new statement stands against any of our core beliefs we’ll try to discard it, refute it, or just ignore it.

Ruiz is suggesting a way to overhaul some our most basic beliefs and personal programming, and after so doing, some reflection on the valuations we apply to things in our daily lives may be in order…

What other books or ideas have you found that follow a similar approach?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2007 12:06 am

    I tell my nieces, nephews, step children the basic concept that should keep their lives ballanced: Use both your heart and your head as you go through life. If you let either one dominate then your life will get out of ballance and you will likely have cosequences that will cause you distress. Keep them in ballance and active and what ever life confronts you with you will be able to find the best answer or solution.

    One more thing: PAY ATTENTION. Pay attention to your gut intuition because it has already processed all inputs at a subconcious level and has provided you with a very important evaluation. Pay attention to life. There are a lot of things about life that can provide you with insight and meaning and very few of them are visible with a television set. Pay attention to your surroundings. When you are outside pay attention to the creatures and plants around your. They are communicating. Probably not to you, but certainly amongst themselves. Some of people’s greatest insights and inventions was due to the fact they were paying attention to what was around them. From Newton and the apple to native Americans understanding the relationship between nature and life.

  2. March 15, 2007 2:09 pm

    This is a good book to reference. My pastor recommended it to me a few years ago and I appreciated it very much.

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