I read a lot of books. This means the bar for books that move me to tears in the first 100 pages is set incredibly high. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz exceeded all my hopes and expectations. I’m bringing this explanation of the four agreements in laymen’s terms and an outline of this book (and why you need to buy it right now), a few hours after I completed it.
Here’s my unbiased review of The Four Agreements.
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What Are the Four Agreements?
The four agreement are as follows:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
These seem simple and in theory they are. The book does an excellent job of delving into each agreement and helping you to better understand how it is working behind the scenes in your own life. Essentially, don’t say negative things, don’t assume things about anyone, don’t get bent out of shape over how people behave as you don’t know the whole picture, and do you best even though your best may vary.
The Four Agreements Book Summary
The Four Agreements begins by explaining the concept of agreements we make with ourselves and how they create ourselves. It sets the stage for the following chapters which delve into each of the four agreements individually. The book is short, but it doesn’t need to be a thousand-page tome to get the point across.
I will say, it can be a winding read. At times it felt a bit rambly but that goes with the nature of this type of read. At times I would find myself thinking, ‘I get it, why are we still on this?’ right before the author unleashed a clear point. Trust the book, go into it with an open mind, and enjoy the journey. It will certainly make you think about your life and your perceptions of the world even if you decide you aren’t a fan of the book.
How It Will Help You
This book helps you to understand your behaviors and the behaviors of those around you. It teaches you the concept of agreements and how to make or break them with yourself. It will help you to understand how to handle feeling offended by a person (don’t take anything personally). You will come out of this read with a new perspective of interactions and views of life. It left me with a much calmer and adjusted spirit.
The Four Agreements: Poignant Quotes from the Book
Some quotes just live with you. These are the most poignant quotes from this book that I want to scribble in the margins of my notebooks like my crush’s last name. *Chef’s kiss*
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
“Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system.”
“If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.”
“Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”
Who This Book is Best For
Perfectionists, procrastinators, creatives, 20-somethings, anybody honestly. The Four Agreements is truly something I’d recommend anyone read. It seems to be especially poignant if you are at a place in your life of reflection, recuperation, and reset. But, even if you are going about your merry way, this book will give you lots (and lots) to think about.
Note: This book has light mentions of religious elements. However, this book could be easily consumed by someone of both a religious and non-religious background. It is highly adaptable.
Stepping into the World of Toltec Wisdom & The Four Agreements
The Four Agreements is just one book in the Toltec Wisdom collection of, well, wisdom. I highly recommend you start with The Four Agreements, it’s where I started and where I was recommended to start.
From there you can branch off into more focused books that examine individual agreements. You can purchase a collection of many of the Toltec Wisdom books by Don Miguel Ruiz. The work produced by Don Miguel Ruiz includes:
There is also a Toltec Wisdom Card deck associated with the agreements, but from what I can tell it can be a bit difficult to track down.
The Four Agreements changed the way I look at my life and is helping set me on a path to happiness. This is a book I’ll be recommending for years to come.