Feb 16, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review: The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

Really enjoyed this quick-read about the agreements we make within our own minds that cause us harm. I learned a ton about relationships and dealing with other people and the filter that I see my own life in as well as others.

The four agreements are as follows:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

The second and third agreements were definitely the most challenging and convicting for me. I love the challenge of living with these two ideas in my mind though and the freedom I feel it will bring me to not view everything with me as the focus. A couple excerpts from the book explain more the ideas behind this.

The Human is the only-animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. (12)

You will only receive a negative idea if your mind is fertile ground for that idea (43)

Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everyting is about “me”. (48)

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have made in their own minds. (49)

The first three agreements will only work if you do your best. Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word…Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally…Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best. (85)

Every day we awake with a certain amount of mental, emotional, and physical energy that we spend throughout the day. If we allow our emotions to delete our energy, we have no energy to change our lives or to give to others. (111)

I love the ideas in this book about living your life free from fear and free from the self judgement and the shield that we naturally put up to avoid being hurt. This book inspired me to want to live more like a child without fear of what others’ think and without worrying about if I fail – just consistently trying my best.

There were a lot of things in this book that I didn’t agree with. It’s written from a very pantheistic viewpoint which made me guarded to the parts of the book that touched on the religions side. I think practically it’s a good book and I think many of the arguments in this book are biblical in principle but the supporting arguments are based on a flawed view of God.

Main Takeaways

I see people around me differently and I am learning to not let their moods or actions affect me as much. I determine my own joy and it can be independent of other people because I don’t have to take their actions personally.

The overarching idea I liked in this book was to continue to try my hardest. I’m a perfectionist and I over-analyze my mistakes so I’m learning to give myself room to fail. If I mess up it’s ok! If I have a bad day I don’t have to let it ruin the next day. I can reset as often as I need to and make an agreement moving forward to try my best at everything I do.