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January Call and the Four Agreements


December 2022

On 21 January 2023, there will be a Skype group call on offer to allow the chance to practice and discuss questions related to intuitive abilities. This is free of charge and will be held at 11am on Saturday 21 January AEDT (which is 4pm on Friday 20 January, Pacific Time). 

If you’re keen but unable to be on the call next month, you are welcome to suggest an alternative day or time that better suits your availability, as more group sessions will be scheduled for later in 2023.

The Four Agreements

Rather than make a long list of New Years’ Resolutions for next year, I’ve decided to commit to the Four Agreements as described in the book of the same name, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

I bought that little book as a gift for my dad many years ago. It was said to have been based on ancient Toltec wisdom, and since Dad enjoyed reading about different philosophies and traditions, I thought he might enjoy it.

Well, he didn’t read the book, but after seeing it lying around the house unopened for so long, I decided to take a proper look at it myself. Dad didn’t mind :)

The full title of the book is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. The idea is that by keeping certain agreements with ourselves, we can experience more happiness and love in life. The freedom referred to in the book is the freedom from our own limiting beliefs.

The Four Agreements are as follows:

1)    Be impeccable with your word

2)    Don’t take anything personally

3)    Don’t make assumptions

4)    Always do your best


The first agreement was the one I found most intriguing. In addition to the more obvious components of impeccable speech (such as only saying what you mean, being truthful and avoiding the use of words to attack yourself or others), this section of the book urges us not to speak about other people unless they’re present - to not say anything that you wouldn't say to that person's face. It’s just another way of saying not to gossip, but it seemed like such a radical idea!

The way I’ve always felt about the first agreement reminds me of how I felt after first reading about veganism. It seemed like an unrealistic ideal that would not be popular among my friends or family, but that some part of me wanted to dive into nonetheless. While being vegan now feels normal and easy for me, I still consider the first agreement to be a little unrealistic and socially inconvenient.

I appreciate a good challenge though. The few people who I’ve told about this particular upcoming challenge around impeccability of word responded in the same way: “How boring!” How boring to avoid speaking about people when they’re not there. What are you going to talk about?

Admittedly, talking about others can be interesting – that’s why we like to read stories about other people, why celebrity magazines are so popular, why gossip is so deliciously addictive. At the same time, when I think about the most fascinating people I’ve ever met, and the most enjoyable conversations I’ve ever had – they were not discussions about other people’s lives. We spoke about each other’s history or hopes or fears or dreams, about various other topics and life in general. There was no need to talk about anyone else.

There are probably some obvious exceptions to this rule. For example, if a friend hints that they’d like to have a surprise birthday party one day, then you’re going to have to talk about that friend and organise the party with other people if it’s to happen, and it wouldn’t make sense to speak about it in front of that friend.

In any case, I’ll aim to stick to this first agreement for 2023 and see how I go.

Nothing Personal

The second agreement to take nothing personally reminds me of my first day working at a toy store. One of my new team mates asked, “Have you worked in retail before?” I told her I hadn’t. “You have to learn to take nothing personally.” Dealing with customers day in and day out means that there will be times – especially during busy and hectic periods like last-minute Christmas shopping in late December – when people will be rude or take whatever frustration or anger that they may have out on you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. It really helped to be warned about that in advance.

According to Don Miguel Ruiz, taking things personally can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering. The reality is that people will say and act in ways that are based on their own inner world. While it might seem personal, it actually has nothing to do with you. We all project our thoughts and beliefs out onto the world, and onto the people in it. Knowing that everyone does this makes it easier to be less affected by what others do.

When I come across a particularly challenging situation where it’s difficult to stick to the second agreement, it works wonders to treat it as though it’s a dream.

Have you ever had a dream in which someone yelled at you, or a friend fought with you, and then you woke up all disturbed and distressed even though it didn’t actually happen? I’ve often felt after those dreams that it was such a waste of energy getting upset about nothing real. Perhaps taking things personally in waking life is just as much of a waste of our time and energy, so I’m keen to consistently remember this agreement in the year ahead.

Make No Assumptions

I was chatting to a man once who told me that assumptions usually – if not always – get us into trouble: “ASSUME” he said, “makes an ASS out of U and ME”.

The third agreement encourages us to do everything we can to avoid making assumptions. Rather than get stuck in negative emotions due to making assumptions, ask questions to clarify what’s really going on. Communicate well so that misunderstandings are less likely to happen. Prevent dramas and second-guessing by clearly stating what you actually want.

Like the first agreement, this third one seems like it might be difficult to adhere to, but I’ll give it a shot.

Always Do Your Best

In some ways, this final agreement seems to contradict other gems of wisdom I’ve heard over the years. For instance, in his book Erroneous Zones, Dr Wayne Dyer encouraged his readers to drop the unhealthy habit of procrastination and perfection that resulted from aiming to do their best, and to “just do”. To “always do your best” may appear to conflict with the advice referred to in my article last December which states that "Done is better than good". I was also taught at a personal development workshop many years ago that “If it's worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly.” It’s hard to do things poorly when you’re aiming to do your best, not to mention doing your best always.

However, it could be argued that in any situation, taking some small imperfect action is doing your best. Doing your best doesn’t have to be confused with being the best among everyone else, or getting A+ in all subjects, or running the fastest race, painting the best artwork possible, or remaining poised at all times.

Your best will be different in every moment and will depend on what you’re engaging in. Doing your best might actually involve summoning the courage to participate in an activity where you are likely to be the least skilled or talented or experienced. Doing your best might involve taking a subject you want to learn but will probably fail at multiple times. Doing your best might be rolling out of bed and going for a slow walk. It might be rolling out of bed and then getting back into bed to rest some more. It might involve splashing paint on a canvas in the most unaesthetically-pleasing, yet totally satisfying, way. Doing your best could mean admitting that you’re not coping well and want some help.

At all times, we can know what our best is, and strive to do whatever that involves, in any situation. Following the fourth agreement helps to avoid regret and judgment of ourselves.


It’s always more fun when a challenge is shared among others. So, just as with my previous minimalist challenge and no-complaining challenge, I invite you to keep me in the loop if you choose to commit to the Four Agreements (or perhaps just one of them) for the upcoming year. The more the merrier :)

Wishing you lots of joy for the rest of 2022, and a very Happy New Year!

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