One drawback of the book is that some of the chords are too extreme, and if you take them literally, they can cause additional problems in your life if taken without a proverbial grain of salt. However, with a little balance and a sense of openness, these chords can change and alleviate stress. Here is an explanation of the four agreements. With consciousness and understanding comes forgiveness. I`m sorry for our past and for the persistent “mistakes” we still have in relation to the agreements we still have. Forgive us for letting ourselves and the people around us suffer because of these illusions. I`m sorry for the suffering that others cause because of their illusions. This path begins with the four agreements. These are new ways of life that you can voluntarily follow. These agreements are: these chains are developed from an early age. We are born into social norms that dictate the dreams we can have in life.

The collective dream of the planet influences our individual dreams. This collective dream is taught to us by our parents, our schools, our religions and our politicians. It is through this training that we learn how to behave “properly,” what we should believe, and the difference between right and wrong. Our acceptance of these social agreements should be characterized as our domestication. When we wanted to revolt in childhood or adolescence, we were punished and oppressed by more powerful parents and teachers. Just like an animal, we have been rewarded by obeying these more powerful individuals. Afterwards, we surrendered and decided to follow the collective dream and not our individual dreams. But as we get older, we no longer need a more powerful person to domesticate and control us. These ideas are so integrated that we self-domestic. Don Miguel proposes that we can free ourselves from this structure and establish new agreements for us. These are the four agreements.

To this end, Ruiz proposes four new agreements that he can now conclude with himself: the old Toltecs called themselves dream masters because they understood that we all live more in a dream than in an “objective reality”. And the good news is that we all have the power to change our dream. We must first become aware of our domestication and then adopt new agreements. “The Four Accords” not only gave me the four chords by which I made small positive changes in my life, but the book also helped me understand the process of “domestication” and how this “Domest” shaped my belief systems. Reminds me of a Buddhist idea. A Vietnamese Buddhist professor named Thich Nhat Hanh says we all have a memory consciousness, a place from which seeds form in our daily thoughts. These seeds can be healthy or harmful. So we need to feed the seeds healthy so that they stay in our minds longer.

We must also bring back harmful seeds (such as anger, ignorance and greed) into our camp consciousness. If you want to learn more about these great Buddhist ideas, read our summary of Thich Nhat Hanh`s The Heart of the Buddha`s Teachings. Remember to be impeccable with your word, never take things personally, don`t make assumptions and always do your best.