By Lynnie Stein / December 15, 2022

For my Son on Graduation …4 Toltec Agreements

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. Imagine our world if the four agreements were understood by every being…Heaven on Earth

The world today is full of suffering and cruelty

From birth, we are trained to accept society’s rules as “the way it is,” but agreeing to these rules stops us from becoming our true selves.

However, there’s a different way to live

How about we replace the old agreements with four simple agreements, we can break free from the old rules and find peace and happiness.  It may not be easy, and we’ll need a strong will to make these new agreements, but when we succeed we will transform our lives.

The most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves

In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth.  

These agreements are:

1) Use your words impeccably

2) Don’t take anything personally

3) Don’t make assumptions

4) Always do your best

It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering

4 Toltec Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

1st agreement

“Be impeccable with your words”

Words have the power to create and the power to destroy.

This is the agreement where all the other agreements rest. Abiding by this agreement alone can change your life.

  • The literal meaning of “impeccable” is being without sin.
  • So you can think of “being impeccable with your word” as not sinning against yourself or others when you speak and meaning what you say.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

But being impeccable with your word is the hardest agreement to honour. We’ve learned to do exactly the opposite.

What have we been doing wrong?

  • We are careless with our words far too often.
  • We usually don’t set out to hurt someone, but we forget the power words or actions hold.
  • The truth is, something cruel said once in an offhand manner can have a lasting impact on someone’s life.
  • Similarly, something said with truth and beauty can have a positive impact on someone’s life.

When you are “impeccable with your word,” you:

  • speak with integrity
  • say only what you mean
  • avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others
  • use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love
  • This means, even though all of us would rather it be perfectly safe in order for us to be honest, if you want a life worth living, your truth and your honesty cannot always be conditional upon safety.
  • Take a relationship
  • A relationship is only real when you are in a relationship with the reality of someone.
  • When you are not honest, they are in a relationship with an illusion.
  • There is only the true love intimacy when you see, hear, feel and know the other person.
  • The dishonesty itself takes trust off the table.
  • Trust is quiet literally the holy grail of relationships.
  • This means all of your relationships will be insecure, exhausting and unfulfilling.
  • When you are being strategic in your relationships, you are effectively playing a chess game 24-7.
  • It is a very stressful existence.
  • You will find this painful and need to withdraw and spend a great deal of time alone.
  • Being inauthentic takes energy and effort and it doesn’t feel good.
  • And you will be unable to keep it up long term.
  • No one can. And when the truth does come out, other people will lose respect for you.
  • There is a freaking amazing freedom with honesty.
  • There is an energy with honesty.
  • Be impeccable with your words – mean and do what you say (actions)

The second of the four Toltec agreements

“Don’t take anything personal”

  • But as we begin to adopt the first agreement, “Be Impeccable With Your Word,” we become happier and more at peace, more in control.
  • When we have more internal strength, taking on this second agreement becomes easier.
  • These first two agreements free you from many of the bad agreements that have been disrupting your life.
  • After all, careless words combined with highly offended people will inevitably bring drama.


  • nothing others do is because of you
  • what others say and do is a projection of their own reality
  • if they want to they would
  • when you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering

The third agreement

“Don’t make assumptions”

The third agreement is “Don’t make assumptions.

“Remember the old saying about the word “assume” – it makes an “ass” out of “u” and me?

This agreement is the same idea with a more spiritual bent.

  • Making assumptions is dangerous because we often have no idea what is really going on in a situation.
  • We fill in the blanks in our minds without enough information, and then we’re pretty convinced we know what’s going on.
  • Spoiler alert: We don’t. We’re prone to mistaken beliefs, and acting on these mistakes will cause more trouble.
  • This is a hard agreement to follow because we make assumptions so often, and making assumptions comes so naturally.
  • We’re usually pretty impressed with our own insight. We think our assumptions are true.

Bad Stuff Happens When We Make Assumptions

Making assumptions can lead to a cycle of conflict:

Assumptions => Misunderstanding => We’re offended and take it personally => We lash back => Big drama ensues

Making assumptions and taking things personally (agreements two and three) go hand in hand, leading to gossip, conflict and suffering.

What’s the biggest assumption of all? We think other people see life the same way we do

  • find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want
  • communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings

The fourth and last of Don Miguel Ruiz’s agreements

“Always do your best”

  • your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick
  • under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid any self-judgment and regret

Now we have a blueprint for how to live our lives in a better way. The Four Agreements can save us from living empty lonely lives. We can transform our lives into a new experience of joy, happiness and love.

Except we still have all those old agreements lingering around.

  • We have to fight through and discard them.
  • How can we dismantle these old agreements that have created needless suffering in our lives? 

How do we free ourselves from the old agreements?

There are three ways to break with our old, bad agreements:

1. Face your fears one by one.

2. Forgive those who have hurt us. (“Starve the parasite.”)

3. Live every day. (“Today is going to be the best day of my life”)

1. Facing Your Fears Takes Awareness

First, you have to be aware of the agreements you must fix.

  • Develop an awareness of all the self-limiting, fear-based beliefs that are holding you back. Examples:
    • What things do you tell yourself that make you feel down?
    • What do you assume about yourself that might be wrong and that you should test?
    • What are assumptions you have about other people that you should clarify?

2. Forgive those who have hurt us

  • When you have been hurt, the last thing you may want to hear is that you need to forgive.
  • The pain is intense.
  • You have been betrayed, rejected, lied to, or perhaps even physically, mentally or emotionally harmed.
  • Unforgiveness is holding a grudge against someone.
  • It is probably based in hurt and, you may believe you are completely justified.
  • However, people who do not forgive become bitter.
  • What happens to rotting garbage? It is bitter; it stinks; it poisons whatever it touches.
  • There is no peace where bitterness and unforgiveness live.

3. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pronounced that “perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence”.

I don’t really go for living every day as your last – write a list of what you would like to do and make each and every day the most beautiful day of your life…

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” — Mark Twain

Don’t take this well-known quote too literally, rather follow these simple daily principles:

  • Be grateful
  • Practice perpetual kindness
  • Eat consciously
  • Connect with the people you love
  • Help those in need
  • Learn one lesson from your job each day
  • Have sex often (optional) Make sure it is with someone you trust and love…don’t rush…find out who they are and that you are compatible before exchanging each others energy with intimacy

You cannot fit everything you love and are passionate about in a single day.

But you can choose to fill every day with love and see the positive in every negative.

Life is a journey — don’t wait until your death sentence to focus on what matters, make every day matter.

“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

  • But Tolstoy was also a mortal, like us. So how did he manage to maintain his perpetual kindness? Was his kindness a feeling or was it an action? How was he able to prevent the persistent, conflicting emotions derailing him from his path of perpetual kindness?
  • Would he have given us a pass, or would he have failed us if we were kind than unkind most of the time?
  • Tolstoy, a perpetual teacher that he was, was he telling us to be aware of our responsibility?
  • Was he teaching us values here?
  • Was he telling us to moderate our behaviour?
  • A master observer of human nature that he was, was he telling us that to be kind or unkind is a choice we can make?
  • All religions instruct us to develop kindness, to be kind to ourselves and to extend kindness to others.
  • Does anyone have any idea how to develop “perpetual kindness”?
  • The world is in dire need of it!

10 Life Tips

  • Live below your means. No debt. Save 40-60% of your income. Then invest it.
  • Simplify your life. Get rid of things that you don’t use and forgive and let go of people who you don’t love / who don’t love you!
  • Stop trying to derive happiness from materialistic things. Happiness comes from the quality of work you do and the quality of life you lead.
  • Focus on health. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anything in life.
  • Live generously. Give more than you receive. I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about time, love and care.
  • Bless others with your blessings.
  • Connect with nature. Walk on sand without shoes, meditate, hike up a hill for no reason, swim in the sea and creeks and look within yourself often.
  • Uplift someone else. Help at least one more person live a better life. Because true measure of success is how many people are better off because you lived.
  • Learn one new skill every year. Humans are made to grow and thrive.
  • Celebrate life.

Life is as beautiful as you make it.

So grateful…To my awesome son, Thierry… Graduation day… partnered by the beautiful Isabella, with our dear friend Rhonda who has been there for us through thick and thin. Photography by the very talented Karen, so many beautiful, genuine people who celebrated the day with us. We are forever grateful.

Thierry, Enjoy the journey! Love you forever, so proud of the beautiful man you have become,

Love always, Mum. XO

You now have the beginning of a new understanding for how you can live your life: a new dream.

I wish you much Love, Joy, and Laughter in your Journey, Lynnie

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