I’ve always held the opinion that self-help books weren’t really all that helpful; in fact, I’ve always believed that all the ‘advice” in self-help books can be chalked up to common sense. And while I still believe that the majority of self-help books are written for publicity and other selfish reasons, rather than to actually help those who read it, my cynical views were challenged by the book The Four Agreements.
The Four Agreements isn’t about increasing your wealth or decreasing your stress; it isn’t about making your life better or getting what you want. It’s about one simple thing: happiness.
Instead of telling you what to do to achieve what you want, The Four Agreements focuses on how you should be doing things so as to be happy. Instead of trying to fulfill desire (because let’s face it, no one can ever completely fulfill all their desires), this book helps you achieve happiness in spite of not having all those desires fulfilled.
The book revolves around the theme of inner change. To be truly happy, you can’t change your environment; you can only change what is within.
With the simple, clear tips given in this book, you can take steps toward changing yourself from the inside out, perceiving the world in a different manner, and achieving personal freedom so that no matter what happens in your life, you will always be happy.
The thing I liked most about this book, and the only reason I trusted its words, is that it wasn’t written with any ulterior motive. It wasn’t written by someone trying to get famous, it wasn’t written by someone who wanted even more publicity, it wasn’t written by someone who wanted to spread his propaganda. No, it was written by a man named Miguel Ruiz, a descendant of the Toltec, who wanted to preserve the knowledge of his people.
Who is the author of this book?
Who are the Toltec, you might ask? Well, they were a group of educated, learned people in Southern Mexico. Lovers of the sciences and the arts, they had banded together to further their knowledge as well as form a community that could preserve their secrets for years to come. It is the remnants of their knowledge that trickle down to us in the form of The Four Agreements.
You can choose to follow the teachings detailed in The Four Agreements, or you can cast it aside as hippie mumbo-jumbo. Regardless, its timeless teachings will continue to ring true for years and years to come.