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.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Brenda Keller

Brenda Keller

Software coach showing others that software is easy to learn.