Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Four Agreements

A friend reminded me of Don Miguel Ruiz' book The Four Agreements a couple of months ago. I took it from my bookshelf and was surprised to see I had purchased it in 2002 ( I write the year I read each book inside the front cover). I was also surprised to see it was first published in 1997.
The copy I have

Gave this one to daughter

When I reviewed the book I was struck by how simple and obvious, yet how necessary, it is for us to live by these agreements. I remember thinking the same thing when I first read the book but I moved on to other self help books and on with my life and forgot these simple yet effective principles to live by. For the last month I have been very busy with board and committee meetings with the occasional public meeting thrown in for the fun of it. I began to notice how easily we fall into the trap of thinking we are the centre of the universe and what we believe is the right way. There are those people who are always jockeying for control or position regardless of who is hurt in the process. There are those who believe they have some entitlement by the simple fact of living in one place all their lives. There are those people who assume they are being treated unfairly without asking what is behind decisions or actions. There are a lot of assumptions made and too many times a lack of integrity shown. I can fall prey to these tactics as much as the next person. So I am working to follow these agreements in my personal and professional life. I believe it will make a difference in my enjoyment of both. I have written the basic description of each one here but I would encourage you to read the whole book. 

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of  you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask the questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances simply do your best and you will avoid self judgment; self abuse; and regret.


  1. I loved this book! I think I need to reread it monthly and maybe it will stick!!

  2. Ha!! Wendy stole my thoughts exactly. In fact I have reread it twice now, plus listened to it on Audio Books! My brain is like a leaky hose these days. I think I'll put the disc in my car player and give it another listen.

  3. I too have to keep saying them over and over to get all four to stick. Funny how I can remember a couple so easily and cannot "get" the other two. Think it may be the two I need are the ones that have stuck.

  4. Need to read this. Struggling with Number 2.