The Four Agreements

By Don Miguel Ruiz

(Download .pdf synopsis.)


Ruiz offers a simple yet powerful code of conduct that can lead to a new, less stressful life of freedom, happiness and love.

The Four Agreements:

Be impeccable with your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best

Key Takeaways:

Nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves. We punish ourselves endlessly for not believing what we think we should be.

Impeccable = Without sin/Not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibilities for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.

Most of the time we user word to spread our own personal poison—to express anger, jealousy, envy or hate.

Personal importance, or taking things personally, is selfish because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.” But nothing other people do is because of you. It is about themselves.

We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way that we do. It’s the biggest assumption that we make—that others think, feel, judge and abuse the way that we do.

Don’t make the assumption that others know how we feel or what we think—that we don’t have to say what we want.

Always do your best or you’re denying yourself the right to be you.

“Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word. Your routine habits are too strong and firm rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will take anything personally; just do your best. Don’t expect that that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best. By doing your best, the habits of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time.”

Your body is a manifestation of God, so if you honor your body, every action becomes a ritual in which you are honoring God.

The whole drama of your life is the result of what you believe, and what you believe is not real.

Be a warrior:

Be aware—aware that the war in our minds requires discipline.

Have control—control over one’s emotions and over one’s self.

What I got out of it:

The four agreements may sound easy, but putting them into practice is difficult.