Review of “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

I’ve wanted to read this book for some time, and I’m sorry that I waited so long to do so. Reading this book and applying it to my life are two separate things. After reading the book, I have so many unanswered questions, but awareness is the first step to making these changes.

Four agreements, it sounds so simple, but I think it’s hard to make these agreements, and I have a great deal of work before they become a part of my life.

Here are the four agreements:

  • Be impeccable with your word.
  • Don’t take anything personally.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Always do your best.

Here’s some of what I’ve personally gotten from each agreement:

Be Impeccable with Your Word

  • Always say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • What I say must represent my values and beliefs, not what I think others want to hear.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

  • Don’t take ANYTHING, good or bad, personally.
  • Whatever anyone says to me is their opinion and view of the world and represents what they are going through; it doesn’t have anything to do with me.
  • I shouldn’t take what others say about me as the truth; I need to have my own opinion of myself, which needs to be rooted in reality.

Don’t Make Assumptions

  • I need to question things more often.
  • Don’t assume that what others tell me is the truth or correct; I need to discover the truth myself by questioning and searching for answers.

Always Do Your Best

  • In every situation, do the best that I (and I emphasize the word “I”) can do.
  • What I am capable of doing changes from minute to minute. Each minute, I should do the best that I can do at that moment.
  • I shouldn’t compare myself to others; just do the best that I can do.

Some of my favorite highlights in the book include:

  • “We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected.”
  • “Even if the Book of Law [all the things the world around us has taught us] is wrong, it makes you feel safe.”
  • “Ninety-five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all these lies.”
  • “…our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive.”
  • “Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be.”
  • “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
  • “Even opinions about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.”
  • “We only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We don’t perceive things the way that they are.”
  • “If others change, it’s because they want to change, not because you can change them.”
  • “If you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustration, self-judgment, guilt, and regrets.”
  • “When you always do your best, you take action.”
  • “If you take action because you have to, then there is no way you are going to do your best.”
  • “Action is about fully living.”
  • “You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action.”
  • “Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive.”
  • “Practice makes the master.”
  • “Repetition makes the master.”

I still have many unanswered questions, and I need to do much work to fully implement the things I’ve learned in this book. But I look forward to doing the work, making my life better, and clearing out a lot of the clutter in my mind.

If you haven’t read this book, I’d highly recommend it. I think it can help us all have the kind of life we want to have.

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Brenda Keller

Brenda Keller

Software coach showing others that software is easy to learn.