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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  91,008 Ratings  ·  4,878 Reviews
In The Four Agreements, 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. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published September 14th 2001 by Amber-Allen Publishing (first published 1997)
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Jim Mitchell
Mar 19, 2016 Jim Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Jim by: Friend
I am reading this book, and even though it is a small book, when I finish page 129, I start over again on page 1. I have been reading it for about five years thirteen years now, and I suspect I will continue reading it for as long as I can read. A few pages at a time is more than enough to give me something to kick around in my head for a few days.

The book could be tagged as a self-growth book, but that is too limiting. It is a book that challenges one to live up to four simple truths, and offe
Mar 12, 2008 Mikaela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I'd like to propose this book as required reading for the course, Life. Make four simple agreements with yourself and living becomes so much easier, so much lighter:

1. 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.

2. Don’t take anything personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own
Sep 17, 2007 Suz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who want to live an authentic and happy life
This is my second time reading this book and I picked it up again because I felt I was compromising too much in my life and it was affecting my core. I have a chapter to go but here's the summary:

The book cites four agreements that, with practice, will lead you to a happier state of living, essentially and dramatically, lead you out of your living hell. The idea is focused 100% on you. You can only control yourself and only honor yourself.

1. Be impeccable with your word. Your word is your power
Jun 02, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I never thought I would fall for a book by someone who would allow this picture of himself to adorn the back cover:

I can't explain it. I'm not one to be floored by silly, little self-help books full of spirituality and cliches and horrible stories and simple advice. But I was. This book might just change my life.

I'll hand the rest of this review over to David Foster Wallace:

"It seems to me that the intellectualization and aestheticizing of principles and values in this country is one of the thin
Jun 27, 2010 Jessica rated it did not like it
Shelves: rr-book-group
I was surprised. I thought I would really like this book. A friend of mine told me the basic ideas were to be impeccable with your word, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions,and always do your best. To me, these sounded great: be honest, be forgiving, give others a chance to say what they think and try your best...or so I thought!

The ideas were actually more along the lines of: don't send out poisonous words that put spells on people, don't let others poison you with their spells
Jan 22, 2014 Diana rated it it was ok
Shelves: nevermind
OK. So. I liked several parts of this book very much. I love that happiness is a choice. I especially appreciated reading about the third agreement: Don't Make Assumptions because communication is something I can always work on. I loved the parts about accepting and loving yourself and others. There is some amazing advise in this little book and I can see how it can be life changing for many people.


I'm going to be honest and admit that Ruiz almost lost me at "Everything is God" in the introd
Yuki Shimmyo
Jun 16, 2015 Yuki Shimmyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seeking clarity, inspiration
Shelves: motivational, 2008
"Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering." The Toltec wisdom of this book is commonsense which we all have heard, but do not always believe and apply every moment. As I read each section, specific relationships (of mine or others) came vividly to mind, esp. "negative" or "toxic" people I have had to walk away from; and the ones we can't leave (family) but can learn not to blame for their sickness. It's a very quick read, and I plan to re-read it at different stages. I think I will get somethi ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ???
Every human is a magician, and we can either put a spell on someone with our word or we can release someone from a spell. We cast spells all the time with our opinions. An example: I see a friend and give him an opinion that just popped into my mind. I say, "Hmmm! I see that kind of color in your face in people who are going to get cancer." If he listens to the word, and if he agrees, he will have cancer in less than one year. That is the power of the word.

This book is what my mother would have
Oct 02, 2007 Jackye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those fighting against themselves.
Ruiz used to be a surgeon, until he fell asleep at the wheel one night and crashed into a wall. He recalls being outside of his physical body pulling two people from the wreckage. The near-death experience woke Ruiz to the teachings of his people, The Totecs, and thus renewed his original commitment to learn the Four Agreements.

This book spoke to me on a universal level because its principles are in harmony with the methodology of many other transformational techniques, and most importantly, wit
Jul 24, 2007 Illyria rated it it was amazing
I know this little book is the type of cliché self-help item that makes its way to the impulse-purchase-friendly shelves by the registers at Barns and Nobel around Christmas time and subsequently gathers dust on bookshelves across the nation unread by recipients because they are not the "type of person who reads self-help books."

But please don't judge this book by it's section.

The writing is a bit choppy and the use of repetition can be annoying initially, but the message is completely worth it
Jul 22, 2012 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

I was given this book as a Birthday present from my little brother. He said its teachings can be life changing. I ENJOYED it a lot!!! As with any self help type of book you gotta "take some" and "leave some" if you know what I mean? For me this was a definite TAKE way more than leave. My brother and I have similar personalities and I can see very much why he gave
Jan 19, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
Struggling somewhat to rate this one. There were a few nuggets that were very enlightening but a lot of unoriginal concepts or overly fluffy statements as well.

I found myself thinking "hey, that reminds me of..." very frequently while reading this book. The book reads like retreads of various scriptures, warm fuzzy stories, and self-help manuals. It's not a new concept that words are powerful and we should think and speak positively about ourselves and others. Not taking things personally is ano
Jul 23, 2007 Renee rated it it was ok
-It's good to be reminded not to assume why people treat you a certain way. It is often not personal.
-I liked the thought that if you shouldn't take negative comments personally, you also shouldn't take positive comments personally. Trying to believe one side and not the other is contradictory, and our views of ourselves should be maintained on our own.
-I felt there was a lot of filler fluff and repitition.
-The author tried to simplify religion to a point where it didn't
May 09, 2008 Anita rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction-read
New age psycho babble that nearly had me giving up, but it was so short I persevered. The middle part was good how to change your life with the four agreements: speak impeccably, don't take things personally, do your best and some live each moment or something. Good stuff, but not ground breaking or earth shattering. We know all this stuff, but it is nice to be reminded and hopefully inspired to do better. Unfortunately it ended with more new age stuff. It's sort of a sandwich and just like an O ...more
May 17, 2015 Holly rated it did not like it
Shelves: pompous-dreck
Trivial introduction to New Age ethics with a large side order of third-rate, rancid leftovers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, all written for a third-grade reading comprehension.

This guy thinks that the ideal human is--get this--a toddler:

If we see a child who is two or three, perhaps four years old, we find a free human. Why is this human free? Because this human does whatever he or she wants to do. The human is completely wild. Just like a flower, a tree, or an animal that has not been domestica
Feb 02, 2016 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is juvenile. The universally acceptable platitudes that make up the four agreements are the only useful phrases in the book. Every explanation is conclusory, circular, and intentionally unclear. His conclusions aren't drawn from any deductive reasoning or analysis, and nothing rings true. I suppose you could find solace in the book if you wanted to blame your parents and society for your unhappiness, but I am not unhappy and I don't believe that anyone else is responsible for my happin ...more
Jan 06, 2008 Claudia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This quick read was interesting in that I gained a new perspective on how others view the world. The book itself is quite simply written and very repetitive, and although brief, could have been about 1/8 the length to get the main points across. There are definitely some good takeaways that we should all apply to our lives. I always struggle with individualistic worldviews, even if the goal is to love others, so that might have been difficult for me to get past. Additionally, the book was sprink ...more
Daniel Forbes
I've read the book and listened to the audio version. The audio is my favorite. Wonder what the four agreements are?

1) 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.

2) Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and ac
Mar 09, 2010 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came upon this book after reading an article in the Rolling Stone about Jeff Bridges. I liked the way he referenced it in relation to his life. I'm normally not one who can stomach much of things that are categorized under New Age (violation of Agreement #3: Don't make assumptions), but I found a few things here that were very helpful in thinking about problems my 23 year old son is facing and problems that I am facing in my own life. The crux of this book are the four "agreements" that you ma ...more
Jan 20, 2013 Tammy rated it liked it
Recommended to Tammy by: Julie, Robyn L
Shelves: self-help
I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought there were some good messages spread throughout it but I had such a hard time getting past the author's writing style.

To me, it seemed like a lot of short sentences using similar words. For example, it starts, "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 24-hours a day. It dreams wh
Feb 20, 2012 Amirh rated it it was amazing
The Four Agreements are:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Don’t
Mindi Rosser
May 19, 2011 Mindi Rosser rated it did not like it
Promoted as “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” The Four Agreements was not my first choice to read in my spare time. Upon request of a dear friend, I forcibly attempted this 138-page book mustering somewhat of an open mind. Already, I have wasted many years as an idealist, grasping at wishful thinking as a way to truth. Being a childhood survivor of religious indocrination, I now err on the side of skepticism before embracing any proposal as legitimate. That preface made, I share with you ...more
Rézina Dějová
K rádoby duchovním filozoficko-motivačním bestsellerům mám podobný vztah jako k pavoukům, držkovce nebo revizorům. (Nemám je ráda - jen tak pro pořádek.)

Čtyři dohody si u mě stojí stejně jako Coelhovy vysoce výnosné pseudointelektuální výplody. Je to knížka pro lidi, kteří nechtějí nějaké to duchovno nebo moudrost sami hledat a nacházet, ale dostat je za pár stovek přímo na poněkud ušmudlaném podnose. Že tyhle knihy "změnily životy miliónům čtenářů" beru. Cesta k "osvícení a svobodě" podle mě ne
This book is very similar to a lot of other New Age/Self-Help books I've read. They always have some great advice and simple truths that are often overlooked or that we can all improve and practice. The mystical language and storytelling style of this book is entertaining and it is a quick read. I feel he touches on some universal truths that I have given a lot of thought (i.e. being mindful, being honest and loving in language, and realizing everyone is more consumed with their own 'stuff' so w ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Erika rated it it was ok
I had several disagreements with this book (pun intended).
As I had mentioned in an earlier status, the First Agreement (be impeccable with your word) is generally a great idea and I really appreciate the author's urges to be kind and careful with your words and thoughts, however, I felt that further details were misleading and could easily lead to confusion and disappointment. Statements such as "If I love you, then you will love me" (p. 32) are just simply not true. I know that from repeated, d
Jamie F
Oct 30, 2007 Jamie F rated it it was ok
I liked the concept of the four agreements. All good things to live by: Be impeccable with your words, Do not take anything personally, Do not make assumptions, and Do your best. With that said, I do not think this book was anything earth shattering. Instead of saying you are in control of your own life with your thoughts, he substituted the word dream for life. I think this was a lot of the same stuff over again...manifest reap what you sow....if you believe you are great, you are ...more
Azar Hoseininejad
Jun 12, 2012 Azar Hoseininejad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality

هیچ کدام از کارهایی که دیگران می کنند به خاطر شما نیست. به خاطر خودشان است. همه ی مردم در رویا و در ذهن خود زندگی می کنند. آنان در دنیایی کاملا متفاوت با دنیای ما زندگی می کنند. ما وقتی چیزی را به خود می گیریم، فرض می کنیم که آن ها می دانند در دنیای ما چه می گذرد، و می کوشیم دنیای خود را به دنیای آنها تحمیل کنیم.

Nov 02, 2015 شهرزاد rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
خیلی لذت بردم چون واسم مثل تلنگر بود. به همچنین گوشزدی احتیاج داشتم و همینطور توی بدترین شرایط روحی خوندمش. واسه همین بیشتر منو وابسته خودش کرد.
Jul 28, 2010 Todd rated it did not like it
It was hard to take this book seriously. Early statements went something like this:
..everything is made of light
..light is alive and contains all information be alive is the biggest fear that humans have
Once we get past that silliness we come upon the agreements.

#1 says that words are power. I disagree. I think it is our thoughts that are our true power. He says that we are all conditioned by our culture and language but never explains why there are counterculturals or whether it's a good id
Polly Trout
Aug 23, 2008 Polly Trout rated it liked it
This is a sweet little book -- a few parts are overly naive or treacly, but on the whole it has good advice in a wholesome format. Ruiz claims this is ancient Toltec wisdom, a la Castaneda -- so check your scholarly skepticism at the door, because this is a very contemporary spiritual worldview filtered through dreamland and nostalgia for the "primitive" -- but frankly, that's a worldvuew I like so I'm not opposed to Ruiz promoting it with a bit of anthropological sleight of hand.

Ruiz starts wit
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The tools shared by don Miguel are based on common sense and shared with such simplicity, that the universal message underlying his teaching is recognized by many. don Miguel's message is simple, practical and when implemented, even incrementally, changes lives.

In the tradition of the Toltec, a Nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Combining new insights with old wisdom, don Miguel has
More about Miguel Ruiz...

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“The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ”
“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn't walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.” 803 likes
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