The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz

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“The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz and Janet Mills is presented as “A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery”. This book is a follow up to Don Miguel Ruiz’s 1997 book “The Four Agreements”. From a young age, I have always sought to categorize all aspects of my life. I have achieved this through the implementation of certain attributes. These include objectiveness, perfectionism, officiousness, industriousness and decisiveness. I thrive upon structure, without which I experience excessive anxiety. Whether it is a mild form of obsessive compulsive disorder or my inner drive to seek perfection in everything I do, it has impacted my relationships with others as well as my relationship with myself. My impartial nature and my desire to classify all aspects of my life have led me to judge myself and others very critically. My striving for perfection and my strong work ethic, has allowed me to become the best I can be in almost any field I put my mind to. The purpose of this essay is to consider the precepts of the book within the context of certain stages of my own life. Through reflecting on personal experiences I hope to gain a better understanding of myself. “Be impeccable with your word”. This is the first of the five agreements in the Toltec wisdom book. Although, it may seem ambiguous, the wisdom which these principles promote is invaluable. The symbols that we use to describe our environment, ourselves and other people are only “our interpretation of reality” (p36). These interpretations “are not the truth; they’re just a point of view” (p39). Reality exists indifferent of its interpretation; however the virtual reality that we create in our minds is subjective to our intent, “which manifests thr... ... middle of paper ... ... do this. What I discovered was that there appeared to be a natural connection between what I had experienced and how this related to each of the agreements. This proved to be cathartic. I gained a better understanding and perspective of my story. At the beginning of this essay I highlighted certain key characteristics which I felt were present at different stages of my upbringing. These were objectiveness, perfectionism, officiousness, industriousness and decisiveness. What I sought to do was to link them to the five agreements described by the authors. Although I would stop short of claiming self-mastery, this book has provides assistance in walking the pathway of knowing myself. Bibliography Miguel Ruiz, Jose Ruiz, and Janet Mills. The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery. San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Pub., 2010. Print.
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