The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word – In this chapter, Don Miguel explains the power of the words we say to each other. He explains that words are so powerful they cast black magic on the people we say them to.
The only way to break this black magic is by telling the truth. Besides talking to each other, Miguel also indicates about what you say to yourself. Your word to yourself is only impeccable if you are not using it to blame and judge yourself.
This chapter further discusses gossip. He notes that “misery likes company” and people who are suffering will always want to make others suffer so they can feel better. Gossip is one of the ways that they do this. When you understand the power of the word, and you adopt an impeccable word, then you start finding peace and being happy with yourself.
You will love yourself more and feel much better about who you are. Being Impeccable with your word is the hardest of the four habits to adopt, but when you have mastered this, you will immediately see changes in your life.
The Second Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally – taking things personally traps you in hell as Miguel puts it. If you take something personally, then it means that you agree with it. When you agree with it, then you start believing it.
If you agree with it, then you will start causing conflict, and your thoughts will start revolving around it. This, therefore, means that you will not be able to be impeccable with your word
To be happy and really be able to not take things personally, you need to understand that people do things themselves. To be able to not take things personally, you need to know who you are so that whatever is said by others doesn’t affect you.
When you have identified who you really are, you stop seeking acceptance and validation, and therefore you do not take things personally.
The Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions – making assumptions is detrimental because eventually, your mind sees them as the reality. Whenever you make assumptions, it leads to problems. Other people are unable to read your mind and therefore to avoid assumptions you need to communicate clearly with people.
You should also express your needs, desires and wants to people clearly all the time. Assumptions arise where communication is poor or inefficient. Say what you think instead of assuming that the other person already knows what you are thinking.
When you live without making assumptions you will life will be transformed for good because you will get what you want and be completely open with others. Learn to look and listen without any judgment. Where things are not clear seek for clarification.
Assume that the Person You are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Empathise. People judge themselves by their thoughts, others by their actions.
The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best – the best you can do will change from one moment to the other or one day to the other. However, it is imperative that you give your best in every situation you are in. Your best will not be the same when you are sick as when you are healthy.
However, when you accept that your best will change from moment to moment you will not judge or blame yourself. You will ask nothing more of yourself because you know that you did your very best. You will be peaceful and contented.
The Toltec Path to Freedom: Breaking Old Agreements – This chapter is all about how you can attain true freedom. It is about how you can achieve true freedom of the human spirit. Only then can you really say that you are free and only then can you lead a life that is happy.
Freedom cannot be achieved when you pass blame to others. Learn to forgive others and forgive yourself in order to be free and break free of old agreements.
People have been programmed and domesticated into systems that make them unhappy. You can find yourself and be free if you stop playing the role of the victim and start living life like a child. A child as Miguel notes is “wild.” Children do what they want unless they are afraid of getting hurt.
They are happy when they do what they wanted to do, and this is the only way you can achieve total freedom. Live like a child in the present without worrying about the past or the future. You can break the old agreements that you have been programmed into and start new ones that will change your life.