The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

by don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills

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Overview

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

• A New York Times bestseller for over a decade.
• Over 8.5 million copies sold in the U.S. 
• Translated into 46 languages worldwide. 

"This book by don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter." — Oprah Winfrey

"Don Miguel Ruiz’s book is a roadmap to enlightenment and freedom." — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

"An inspiring book with many great lessons." — Wayne Dyer, Author, Real Magic

"In the tradition of Castaneda, Ruiz distills essential Toltec wisdom, expressing with clarity and impeccability what it means for men and women to live as peaceful warriors in the modern world." — Dan Millman, Author, Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781878424310
Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing
Publication date: 11/07/1997
Series: Toltec Wisdom Series
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 361
Product dimensions: 9.60(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Don Miguel Ruiz is the bestselling author of The Four Agreements (a New York Times bestseller for over a decade), The Mastery of Love, The Four Agreements Companion Book, The Voice of Knowledge, The Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement. The teachings of Ruiz are best known for transforming complex human issues into simple common sense — a talent that has earned him millions of fans, international acclaim, and a vote of approval from Oprah Winfrey. 

Janet Mills is the founder and president of Amber-Allen Publishing. She is the co-author, with don Miguel Ruiz, of six books in The Toltec Wisdom Series, and the creator of "The Four Agreements for a Better Life" online course. Her life’s mission is to publish books of enduring beauty, integrity, and wisdom, and to inspire others to fulfill their most cherished dreams.

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


Domestication and
the Dream of the Planet


What you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream. You are dreaming right now in this moment. You are dreaming with the brain awake.

    Dreaming is the main function of the mind, and the mind dreams twenty-four hours a day. It dreams when the brain is awake, and it also dreams when the brain is asleep. The difference is that when the brain is awake, there is a material frame that makes us perceive things in a linear way. When we go to sleep we do not have the frame, and the dream has the tendency to change constantly.

    Humans are dreaming all the time. Before we were born the humans before us created a big outside dream that we will call society's dream or the dream of the planet. The dream of the planet is the collective dream of billions of smaller, personal dreams, which together create a dream of a family, a dream of a community, a dream of a city, a dream of a country, and finally a dream of the whole humanity. The dream of the planet includes all of society's rules, its beliefs, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be, its governments, schools, social events, and holidays.

    We are born with the capacity to learn how to dream, and the humans who live before us teach us how to dream the way society dreams. The outside dream has so many rules that when a new human is born, we hook the child's attention and introduce these rules into his or her mind. The outside dream uses Mom and Dad, the schools, and religion to teach ushow to dream.

    Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that which we want to perceive. We can perceive millions of things simultaneously, but using our attention, we can hold whatever we want to perceive in the foreground of our mind. The adults around us hooked our attention and put information into our minds through repetition. That is the way we learned everything we know.

    By using our attention we learned a whole reality, a whole dream. We learned how to behave in society: what to believe and what not to believe; what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; what is good and what is bad; what is beautiful and what is ugly; what is right and what is wrong. It was all there already — all that knowledge, all those rules and concepts about how to behave in the world.

    When you were in school, you sat in a little chair and put your attention on what the teacher was teaching you. When you went to church, you put your attention on what the priest or minister was telling you. It is the same dynamic with Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters: They were all trying to hook your attention. We also learn to hook the attention of other humans, and we develop a need for attention which can become very competitive. Children compete for the attention of their parents, their teachers, their friends. "Look at me! Look at what I'm doing! Hey, I'm here." The need for attention becomes very strong and continues into adulthood.

    The outside dream hooks our attention and teaches us what to believe, beginning with the language that we speak. Language is the code for understanding and communication between humans. Every letter, every word in each language is an agreement. We call this a page in a book; the word page is an agreement that we understand. Once we understand the code, our attention is hooked and the energy is transferred from one person to another.

    It was not your choice to speak English. You didn't choose your religion or your moral values — they were already there before you were born. We never had the opportunity to choose what to believe or what not to believe. We never chose even the smallest of these agreements. We didn't even choose our own name.

    As children, we didn't have the opportunity to choose our beliefs, but we agreed with the information that was passed to us from the dream of the planet via other humans. The only way to store information is by agreement. The outside dream may hook our attention, but if we don't agree, we don't store that information. As soon as we agree, we believe it, and this is called faith. To have faith is to believe unconditionally.

    That's how we learn as children. Children believe everything adults say. We agree with them, and our faith is so strong that the belief system controls our whole dream of life. We didn't choose these beliefs, and we may have rebelled against them, but we were not strong enough to win the rebellion. The result is surrender to the beliefs with our agreement.


    I call this process the domestication of humans. And through this domestication we learn how to live and how to dream. In human domestication, the information from the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole belief system. First the child is taught the names of things: Mom, Dad, milk, bottle. Day by day, at home, at school, at church, and from television, we are told how to live, what kind of behavior is acceptable. The outside dream teaches us how to be a human. We have a whole concept of what a "woman" is and what a "man" is. And we also learn to judge: We judge ourselves, judge other people, judge the neighbors.

    Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal. In order to teach a dog we punish the dog and we give it rewards. We train our children whom we love so much the same way that we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward. We are told, "You're a good boy," or "You're a good girl," when we do what Mom and Dad want us to do. When we don't, we are "a bad girl" or "a bad boy."

    When we went against the rules we were punished; when we went along with the rules we got a reward. We were punished many times a day, and we were also rewarded many times a day. Soon we became afraid of being punished and also afraid of not receiving the reward. The reward is the attention that we got from our parents or from other people like siblings, teachers, and friends. We soon develop a need to hook other people's attention in order to get the reward.

    The reward feels good, and we keep doing what others want us to do in order to get the reward. With that fear of being punished and that fear of not getting the reward, we start pretending to be what we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone else. We try to please Mom and Dad, we try to please the teachers at school, we try to please the church, and so we start acting. We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected. The fear of being rejected becomes the fear of not being good enough. Eventually we become someone that we are not. We become a copy of Mamma's beliefs, Daddy's beliefs, society's beliefs, and religion's beliefs.

    All our normal tendencies are lost in the process of domestication. And when we are old enough for our mind to understand, we learn the word no. The adults say, "Don't do this and don't do that." We rebel and say, "No!" We rebel because we are defending our freedom. We want to be ourself, but we are very little, and the adults are big and strong. After a certain time we are afraid because we know that every time we do something wrong we are going to be punished.

    The domestication is so strong that at a certain point in our life we no longer need anyone to domesticate us. We don't need Mom or Dad, the school or the church to domesticate us. We are so well trained that we are our own domesticator. We are an autodomesticated animal. We can now domesticate ourselves according to the same belief system we were given, and using the same system of punishment and reward. We punish ourselves when we don't follow the rules according to our belief system; we reward ourselves when we are the "good boy" or "good girl."

    The belief system is like a Book of Law that rules our mind. Without question, whatever is in that Book of Law, is our truth. We base all of our judgments according to the Book of Law, even if these judgments go against our own inner nature. Even moral laws like the Ten Commandments are programmed into our mind in the process of domestication. One by one, all these agreements go into the Book of Law, and these agreements rule our dream.

    There is something in our minds that judges everybody and everything, including the weather, the dog, the cat — everything. The inner Judge uses what is in our Book of Law to judge everything we do and don't do, everything we think and don't think, and everything we feel and don't feel. Everything lives under the tyranny of this Judge. Every time we do something that goes against the Book of Law, the Judge says we are guilty, we need to be punished, we should be ashamed. This happens many times a day, day after day, for all the years of our lives.

    There is another part of us that receives the judgments, and this part is called the Victim. The Victim carries the blame, the guilt, and the shame. It is the part of us that says, "Poor me, I'm not good enough, I'm not intelligent enough, I'm not attractive enough, I'm not worthy of love, poor me." The big Judge agrees and says, "Yes, you are not good enough." And this is all based on a belief system that we never chose to believe. These beliefs are so strong, that even years later when we are exposed to new concepts and try to make our own decisions, we find that these beliefs still control our lives.

    Whatever goes against the Book of Law will make you feel a funny sensation in your solar plexus, and it's called fear. Breaking the rules in the Book of Law opens your emotional wounds, and your reaction is to create emotional poison. Because everything that is in the Book of Law has to be true, anything that challenges what you believe is going to make you feel unsafe. Even if the Book of Law is wrong, it makes you feel safe.

    That is why we need a great deal of courage to challenge our own beliefs. Because even if we know we didn't choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them. The agreement is so strong that even if we understand the concept of it not being true, we feel the blame, the guilt, and the shame that occur if we go against these rules.

    Just as the government has a book of laws that rule the society's dream, our belief system is the Book of Laws that rules our personal dream. All these laws exist in our mind, we believe them, and the Judge inside us bases everything on these rules. The Judge decrees, and the Victim suffers the guilt and punishment. But who says there is justice in this dream? True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.

    How many times do we pay for one mistake? The answer is thousands of times. The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake they make. But not us. We have a powerful memory. We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty, and we punish ourselves. If justice exists, then that was enough; we don't need to do it again. But every time we remember, we judge ourselves again, we are guilty again, and we punish ourselves again, and again, and again. If we have a wife or husband he or she also reminds us of the mistake, so we can judge ourselves again, punish ourselves again, and find ourselves guilty again. Is this fair?

    How many times do we make our spouse, our children, or our parents pay for the same mistake? Every time we remember the mistake, we blame them again and send them all the emotional poison we feel at the injustice, and then we make them pay again for the same mistake. Is that justice? The Judge in the mind is wrong because the belief system, the Book of Law, is wrong. The whole dream is based on false law. 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.

    In the dream of the planet it is normal for humans to suffer, to live in fear, and to create emotional dramas. The outside dream is not a pleasant dream; it is a dream of violence, a dream of fear, a dream of war, a dream of injustice. The personal dream of humans will vary, but globally it is mostly a nightmare. If we look at human society we see a place so difficult to live in because it is ruled by fear. Throughout the world we see human suffering, anger, revenge, addictions, violence in the street, and tremendous injustice. It may exist at different levels in different countries around the world, but fear is controlling the outside dream.

    If we compare the dream of human society with the description of hell that religions all around the world have promulgated, we find they are exactly the same. Religions say that hell is a place of punishment, a place of fear, pain, and suffering, a place where the fire burns you. Fire is generated by emotions that come from fear. Whenever we feel the emotions of anger, jealousy, envy, or hate, we experience a fire burning within us. We are living in a dream of hell.

    If you consider hell as a state of mind, then hell is all around us. Others may warn us that if we don't do what they say we should do, we will go to hell. Bad news! We are already in hell, including the people who tell us that. No human can condemn another to hell because we are already there. Others can put us into a deeper hell, true. But only if we allow this to happen.

    Every human has his or her own personal dream, and just like the society dream, it is often ruled by fear. We learn to dream hell in our own life, in our personal dream. The same fears manifest in different ways for each person, of course, but we experience anger, jealousy, hate, envy, and other negative emotions. Our personal dream can also become an ongoing nightmare where we suffer and live in a state of fear. But we don't need to dream a nightmare. It is possible to enjoy a pleasant dream.

    All of humanity is searching for truth, justice, and beauty. We are on an eternal search for the truth because we only believe in the lies we have stored in our mind. We are searching for justice because in the belief system we have, there is no justice. We search for beauty because it doesn't matter how beautiful a person is, we don't believe that person has beauty. We keep searching and searching, when everything is already within us. There is no truth to find. Wherever we turn our heads, all we see is the truth, but with the agreements and beliefs we have stored in our mind, we have no eyes for this truth.

    We don't see the truth because we are blind. What blinds us are all those false beliefs we have in our mind. We have the need to be right and to make others wrong. We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering. It is as if we live in the middle of a fog that doesn't let us see any further than our own nose. We live in a fog that is not even real. This fog is a dream, your personal dream of life — what you believe, all the concepts you have about what you are, all the agreements you have made with others, with yourself, and even with God.

    Your whole mind is a fog which the Toltecs called a mitote (pronounced MIH-TOE'-TAY). Your mind is a dream where a thousand people talk at the same time, and nobody understands each other. This is the condition of the human mind — a big mitote, and with that big mitote you cannot see what you really are. In India they call the mitote maya, which means illusion. It is the personality's notion of "I am." Everything you believe about yourself and the world, all the concepts and programming you have in your mind, are all the mitote. We cannot see who we truly are; we cannot see that we are not free.

    That is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are just being ourself is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our life trying to satisfy other people's demands. We have learned to live by other people's points of view because of the fear of not being accepted and of not being good enough for someone else.

    During the process of domestication, we form an image of what perfection is in order to try to be good enough. We create an image of how we should be in order to be accepted by everybody. We especially try to please the ones who love us, like Mom and Dad, big brothers and sisters, the priests and the teacher. Trying to be good enough for them, we create an image of perfection, but we don't fit this image. We create this image, but this image is not real. We are never going to be perfect from this point of view. Never!

    Not being perfect, we reject ourselves. And the level of self-rejection depends upon how effective the adults were in breaking our integrity. After domestication it is no longer about being good enough for anybody else. We are not good enough for ourselves because we don't fit with our own image of perfection. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being what we wish to be, or rather what we believe we should be. We cannot forgive ourselves for not being perfect.

    We know we are not what we believe we are supposed to be and so we feel false, frustrated, and dishonest. We try to hide ourselves, and we pretend to be what we are not. The result is that we feel unauthentic and wear social masks to keep others from noticing this. We are so afraid that somebody else will notice that we are not what we pretend to be. We judge others according to our image of perfection as well, and naturally they fall short of our expectations.

    We dishonor ourselves just to please other people. We even do harm to our physical bodies just to be accepted by others. You see teenagers taking drugs just to avoid being rejected by other teenagers. They are not aware that the problem is that they don't accept themselves. They reject themselves because they are not what they pretend to be. They wish to be a certain way, but they are not, and for this they carry shame and guilt. Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be. They become very self-abusive, and they use other people to abuse themselves as well.

    But nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves, and it is the Judge, the Victim, and the belief system that make us do this. True, we find people who say their husband or wife, or mother or father, abused them, but you know that we abuse ourselves much more than that. The way we judge ourselves is the worst judge that ever existed. If we make a mistake in front of people, we try to deny the mistake and cover it up. But as soon as we are alone, the Judge becomes so strong, the guilt is so strong, and we feel so stupid, or so bad, or so unworthy.

    In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.

    If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, "I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I'm not worthy of love and respect. I'm not good enough."

    We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don't accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don't accept others the way they are,


PRELUDE TO A NEW DREAM


    There are thousands of agreements you have made with yourself, with other people, with your dream of life, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones you made with yourself. In these agreements you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. The result is what you call your personality. In these agreements you say, "This is what I am. This is what I believe. I can do certain things, and some things I cannot do. This is reality, that is fantasy; this is possible, that is impossible."

    One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that make us suffer, that make us fail in life. If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power. The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.

    Each of us is born with a certain amount of personal power that we rebuild every day after we rest. Unfortunately, we spend all our personal power first to create all these agreements and then to keep these agreements. Our personal power is dissipated by all the agreements we have created, and the result is that we feel powerless. We have just enough power to survive each day, because most of it is used to keep the agreements that trap us in the dream of the planet. How can we change the entire dream of our life when we have no power to change even the smallest agreement?

    If we can see it is our agreements which rule our life, and we don't like the dream of our life, we need to change the agreements. When we are finally ready to change our agreements, there are four very powerful agreements that will help us break those agreements that come from fear and deplete our energy.

    Each time you break an agreement, all the power you used to create it returns to you. If you adopt these four new agreements, they will create enough personal power for you to change the entire system of your old agreements.

    You need a very strong will in order to adopt the Four Agreements — but if you can begin to live your life with these agreements, the transformation in your life will be amazing. You will see the drama of hell disappear right before your very eyes. Instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream — your personal dream of heaven.

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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Four-color Illustrated Ed.) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 312 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a 'how to' reader, but I love this book and frequently give it as a gift. I am also a Christian, while at the same time being open-minded and willing to hear other people's points of view. The basic 'agreements' do not infringe on my beliefs. Those that are offended should try not to 'take it personally' (one of the 4 agreements). If all religions could apply these principles we would be much better off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm in recovery for Bulimia and my therapist actually recommended this book and I'm so glad she did! I thought it was amazing and everything seemed to hit so close to home. It all seems so simple but he elaborates on all the agreements and really makes you want to follow them. One person wrote that he says if someone else is angry w/ you or whatever it's their problem, etc. And the reviewer said maybe sometimes it is your fault. I interpreted it differently. He definitely makes it clear that you are in control and if you judge someone or are angry w/ someone, it has to do with you and your beliefs. So he was saying if someone is angry with you it has to do w/ their beliefs, so it works both way. I like how he really makes you feel like you are in control. Other reviewers have said it's self centered, but the only thing you can truly control is indeed yourself! So if you life isn't going right, etc then it's most likely you and not any of the things you're blaming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many people seem to like this book, but I am not quite sure why. This book is full of very common platitudes and dangerously self-centered ideas. The main premise of this book seems to be that each person should treat themselves like the center of the universe. He states that if someone criticizes you or is angry with you, it is because of their own issues, and not you, and therefore you have no responsibility to address it (he terms their feelings and words 'black magic' and 'poison'). Well, sometimes you ARE the problem, and pretending that you are not will not lead you to any sort of 'heaven on earth,' especially for the people around you. He also contradicts himself (i.e., we are all God but there is also a Creator who is separate - how does that work?), misquotes the Bible to support his statements, and has a tough time staying on topic. Do not waste your time reading this - find something substantial that will move you to exhibit real love to those around you and to yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing how many christians are made about this book This book is about how we how the self is the source of our own happiness All the author is saying is that our thoughts drive our beliefs and actions When we stop judging and hurting ourselves then we can enjoy life even when other people try to hurt or obstruct us You need to look inside u for answers It is not about giving up ur belief in God it is about giving up beliefs that cause u to suffer by ur own hand of the hand of others Stop reading into this as turning against the Bible The book is about finding and attaining inner peace That is it The book was helpful to me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, I read this 2 years ago. I love books like this
Atticablue More than 1 year ago
I recently bought this book again because every copy I've ever owned, I've given away only to realize some months later that I no longer have it when I need to review it for myself! Anyway , this is a wonderful little treasure and a concise way to regain focus and self esteem when the world becomes overwhelming. Life is hard and sometimes we all need a review or a new perspective on how to handle the challenges we face as human beings. Sometimes, the most important relationship we have is the one with ourselves and this book focuses on that and how we all sometimes have mistaken beliefs that effect our daily life in a detrimental way. I think this is a must read for just about everyone and as I've said, I've given away quite a few of these but I always end up buying a copy just for myself to have so I can go back to it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I rate a book here. I bought this book and read it in three days. It does contain some good advices, but I think its lessons are just repetitive. The message of this book is well known by most of us. Be careful when you talk, don't take everything so serious, ask questions before doing something, and do your best at what you do. I was a little disappointed with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a 2 year spirituality class and received much more out of it that is practical for people of all ages. I have kids and have found I can simplify the lessions and help them deal with peer pressure and social situations. It's also helped improve communication in my marriage. What interested me is that as I was reading it, several parents called to talk about things that were upsetting them or their kids and I could pass along the insights of Don Miguel Ruiz. It helped me realize that when people get frustrated and say something that sounds hurtful, it's more about what they are going through and not really aimed at me. They've had a tough day, they are stressed about someone in their family, they're running late. Be impeccable with your words, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions and do your best. I also think you'll enjoy his follow-up book The Fifth Agreement.
bookfan27 More than 1 year ago
When I bought this book years ago - I thought it was poorly written (couldn't get beyond that point), for the simpletons in life, not for the intelligent (me), boring, too easy of a read, and strange (I wasn't buying the whole Toltec BS). So I gave it (gladly) to the library or other suckers to read. I just re-read it on my Nook. I had gone through enough pain and trauma since I first bought it - that I was now ready for it. My life before was a fairy tale and I didn't know it, I was living a lie. Of course I was not able to see the extreme life truths in the book. When living a lie you only see what you choose. Now I see my life as it is - the whole truth: the sadness, the mourning, the joys, the realities. I am now older and wiser. And now I see the truth in the book - it is meant for the wise. It is meant only for people who are ready to read it's truths - no matter how simple (keep it simple, stupid), no matter how easy a read it is (not poorly written), no matter how strange the Toltec BS might seem (so what? We are all strange.) Read it - but if you think it is dumb - it is because you simply are not ready. It's ok, it took me years to wise up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many spiritual authors and after reading the reviews of this book I decided to give it a try. The book has a lovely cover and a lovely premise I just found that it did not ring true for me. I ordinarily do not leave reviews but I thought it might be helpful to give a counterpoint to the lavish praise of this book. I found this prescription for happiness not only simplistic but also a denial of the human condition. I don't even think I'd like living in the heaven that Ruiz describes. Some of his ideas are thought provoking, perhaps even disturbing if a person was to take them to heart. Not for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ruiz has produced a masterpiece. Simple and straighforward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The basic premise behind this book is conveyed through the book. The problem with this book is that it is overly repetative. The author begins discussing great personal tips, then goes outside of the plain of common sense into a world of non-sense. A prime example is within his chapter on Don't Take Anything Personal', he discusses not to even take it person if someone shoots you in the head! What is he talking about? There are better examples to use of than being shot in the head. This book is really good at times and then meanders into repetative mumbo jumbo. Recommend you look elsewhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I brought the book for extra credit for a class and was hesitant to read it at first. I was surprise to find it useful and educational. I started applying these four agreements to my daily life and found it to be true. It was hard to change, but I took it step by step and found that I started being more positive about my future. My job and studies started to improve and don't get in as much trouble as I use to. I see why the professor wanted us to read the book and I want others to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very inspirational to me. I liked it and I will read it again next year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I browsed through the book, it seemed very thought-provoking. However, when I sat down to read it cover to cover, I found the writing style a bit simple for me and occasionally repetitive. Still, there are some interesting lessons to be learned from this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heard some good things with regard to Ruiz's novels, so I decided to read this one. I can honestly say that I genuinely enjoyed this book a lot. It wasn't bland and boring; it was just really inspirational and motivational. It's simple but complex and nicely written. It's a quick read if you become immersed in it and can't put it down. Frankly, I find it really annoying that there are people rating this book poorly and criticizing the author for "going against your religious beliefs" — specifically, where he discusses sins and sinning. Ironically, you're going against some of The Four Agreements by failing to promote love and TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY. Put your religious beliefs aside for just a moment and read this book with an open mind and a simple spiritual mentality, and you're guaranteed to close the book with newly acquired clarity and inspiration. I recommend this book to everyone, and I'm definitely checking out his other stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just had to buy this, I loved every part of it. I also Love MYSTIC by R.E It has a great focus on a diversity of topics
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally loved this book. If you think about it, the four agreements are common sense and we have always known about them but after reading this book I've started to put them into practice. If you do that your life will change. I have to say the readers that have given bad reviews based on the content of the book mostly likely misunderstood the four agreements. Someone said that "it teaches you to be self centered". That is absolutely not true. It doesn't teach you to not care about others when they are angry with you; it teaches you to understand where they are coming from. It helps you respond better to conflict. The four agreements will help you become a stronger person. What is really great about this book is that you can apply what you learn from it in your every day life it will do wonders at the work place if applied correctly. If you are thinking about reading this book then please just do it. I couldn't believe this book had any negative reviews!
lovethesun More than 1 year ago
When I saw don Miguel Ruiz on Oprah I knew I had to order this book. I ordered one for each of my children. This book has some wonderful, thought-provoking ways to live your life in a way that makes sense - lots of common sense. An easy read without having religion pushed down your throat. With these four agreements it is more the way the universe allows you to live your life if you so choose. Very uplifting read.
CarolW More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK HAS BECOME A GUIDE BOOK FOR MY LIFE. IT TEACHES SIMPLE ACTIONS AND WAYS TO HANDLE LIFE...IDEAS I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT OF ON MY OWN. IT DEFINATELY KEEPS ME CENTERED AND I REFER TO IT OFTEN.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book contains a number of truths. It should not be considered the 'end all' of wisdom though-- the acquisition of wisdom is not something one can complete by reading 138 pages. 'Wisdom Literature' was a specialty study of mine when I was earning my master's. Solomon, Confucius, Plato and the other 'great ones' are still the best, even after thousands of years, but Ruiz isn't bad.
nikkirome More than 1 year ago
Great book, but not for those who are set-in their ways, think they know it all, extremely religious, bias, overly opinionated. This book is at the top of my list for personal development. Repetition is good if you are determined to learn something, so I don't see why repetition is an issue for some people. If you are like me and enjoy enlightenment and universal truth as oppose to religious debate, then you will not have any issues with this book.
YoyoMitch More than 1 year ago
This book is difficult to categorize. Is it a book: about a philosophy, a member of the “Self-Help” genre, a “spiritual” basis for Bowanian Theory, a mythological history of Mexican enlightenment or a memoir of a man’s recollections of a beloved Grandfathers teaching?  Any of these designations would be correct at points and all of them (plus a few more) would be needed to accurately describe this slim, non-fiction “booklet” that is right at home in a New Age library. Don Miguel Ruiz survived a near-death experience that led him to study the “wisdom teachings” of his ancestors.  As his grandfather was a nagual (teacher/leader/shaman) of the Toltec, one could say he was drawn into the family custom and has followed the teaching of the Toltec tradition since the early 1970’s.  At the root of that tradition are four agreements, but the reader is given background and is given a short tutorial in the language of this discipline before being exposed to those “agreements.”  The author suggests that the adherence to those four “agreements” will bring internal direction and peace, calmness to one’s household and would lead to world peace (if enough people followed those teachings).  Mr. Ruiz does an excellent job of quickly familiarizing the reader with a long tradition that lead to the development of the agreements. The 1st Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word – as the words one speaks become powerful (“magical” is how the author describes them) speak only truth, let only positive things be spoken and live by what you say.  The 2nd Agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally – what is spoken to you is about the speaker, not you, unless you “make it about you” (take it personally).  Practice detachment in relationship, allowing others to know you without a need to be accepted by them.  The 3rd Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions – “The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth.”  Everyone makes assumptions and, once they are pronounced, they must me defended.  Real love is accepting others and self as “they are” not needing to change others and changing ourselves as we desire.  The 4th Agreement: Always Do Your Best – perfection is a delusion whose pursuit only leads to misery.  Life is fluid and ever changing, learning to do one’s best and accept that limit opens one to the “magic” of a more full life. None of these agreements is earth shaking, new revelation nor are they limited to the Toltec teachings.  They are also words that merit repeating, as most (all) major religions (and many effective psychological treatment modalities) use these teachings, in some form, as the basis for personal peace and healthy community living.  Having them gathered in a volume such as this one causes these “reminders” to be freshened and a point for reminding caring and “loving” people how one is to act that will affect one’s community in a positive way.   Reading this book straight through will take a matter of an hour or two; READING it will require: a fresh highlighter, space for reflection, a sounding board for “spouting off” against and a willingness to hear truth without surrendering one’s Self to another’s opinion.  
Hendriq More than 1 year ago
Serious? Rather read these This book could have been one chapter. The teaching is profound, but the theory that substantiates or develops it is a bit light and open to being hijacked by the very traits these teachings seek to liberate one from. If what you want some theory, this is your book. Serious students of self-development will know one will need practical tools to develop the SKILLS needed to even implement these teachings effectively. For those willing to put in the work, I recommend: Whisperings of the Dragon, and Shadows in the Twilight by Lujan Matus -which should be shown below. Aspiring shamans and healers will benefit greatly as well as those interested in Qigong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend let me borrow the book and I loved it. So i wanted my own copy and found it on Amazon for $7 but I did not buy it because I thought it would be less expensive through B&N Nook. I was wrong and it doesn't make sense that a digital book is more expensive than a paperback. Amazon will be getting my business.