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By Nicole Jide-Ojo

Don Miguel Ruiz is a Mexican author and spiritual teacher, famously known for his Toltec Wisdom Series and best-selling novel, The Four Agreements. Ruiz joins his son, Don Jose, to write a sequel to The Four Agreements, which can be read as a stand-alone, in which they shed more light and build on previously discussed topics.

The Fifth Agreement highlights five practices a person should prioritize in their life to reach happiness in one most accurate form, or as he said, “transforming lives into a personal heaven.” The book takes the readers on a journey of self-awareness and allows them to be self-reflective and intentional in their endeavors. 

According to the authors, society’s symbols and the people around us influence our minds. When we are born, we are fed all sorts of signs and symbologies to judge ourselves because we do not know any better. Ruiz explains how we need to notice and unlearn them, then create new symbols that help us become a better version of ourselves. 

The journey of self-mastery begins with self-awareness. A person cannot begin to fix something they are not aware may need fixing; the agreements Ruiz highlights guide us on the journey to self-fulfillment. The five agreements enumerated are: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, always do your best and be skeptical but learn to listen.

Although most of Ruiz’s ideas are not new phenomena, it is still great to have these ideas at the forefront of our minds. In this transitional stage in our lives where everything feels like it is falling apart but going well at the same time, we must inculcate the practices highlighted by Ruiz into our daily lives.