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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  229,868 ratings  ·  12,533 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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Erica R Don't usually log onto this site, but I found this comment and everyone's response disturbing. First and foremost, it's problematic (like Justin Knigh…moreDon't usually log onto this site, but I found this comment and everyone's response disturbing. First and foremost, it's problematic (like Justin Knight mentions) that everyone is brushing off this accusation because the book was helpful to you. A very close second, after doing some quick research, I haven't found anything to support this claim. Where did you get your info from, Harry?(less)
Eileen Not taking things personally. I really felt like that was something that I needed to learn. I can be sensitive at time with people, and I needed to re…moreNot taking things personally. I really felt like that was something that I needed to learn. I can be sensitive at time with people, and I needed to realize that I shouldn't take in all the things that people say about me. It's more a reflection of them than it is me.(less)

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Jim Mitchell
Jun 04, 2008 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 eighteen 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 or a week.

This is a book that challenges one to live up to four simple truths, and offers transformational results if one could live a life completely engaged i
Jan 29, 2010 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
Mar 12, 2008 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
Jan 29, 2013 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book, Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements, was published in 1997 and has sold around 5.2 million copies in the U.S. and has been translated into 38 languages.

The book advocates personal freedom from beliefs and agreements that we have made with ourselves and others that are creating limitation and unhappiness in our lives.

The Four Agreements are:
1 - Be impeccable with your word.
2 - Don't take anything personally.
3 - Don'
Aug 14, 2014 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.

Considering that the first agreement is "be impeccable with your word," it's ironic and even more horrifying that the words in this book are so lazy, careless, contradictory, infantile, incoherent, and devoid of integrity.

Miguel Ruiz thinks that the ideal human is--get this--a toddler:
If we see a child who is two or three,
Sep 17, 2007 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 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 thi
Heidi The Reader
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Four Agreements is a simple and short presentation of some very deep wisdom. In a world filled with spiritual reading material, this one's a goodie. It just made a lot of sense to me.

These lessons come from the shaman culture of Central America. "Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. While it does embrace spirit,
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
Kalyn Nicholson
This is my third time returning to this book, and each time I absorb it more in-depth and find further wisdom within the words. I love that it's a quick read, so it's easily doable in a day or on a long car ride home. It sounds simple to believe we can live our lives based on four main agreements to overcome things like frustration, anger, sadness, envy, or any other difficult emotion. That assumption would be correct in the sense that it isn't just about implementing the four agreements broken ...more
Fabian {Councillor}
Miguel Ruiz' self-help nonfictional work could easily be summarized in a few words, and if - upon reading the book's blurb here on Goodreads, which basically provides such a summary - you find nothing worth investigating in this novel, then maybe you should rather choose another book. Ruiz' ideas are very insightful and thought-provoking, but in their core nothing ground-breaking and some of his examples are actually rather questionable.

Ruiz basically implies the importance of standing up for yo
2020: January
As with every year I try to re-read this gem of a book. Will this be the year I practice all four agreements? Stay tuned to find out.

2019: November
According to Goodreads, this is my 6th time reading this book. Every time I pick it up I feel renewed that I need to find a way to implement all four agreements.

One of my favorite books to re-read at the start of the year.

There are four simple agreements, if we are able to stick to these four things, our lives will improve sig
Apr 10, 2014 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
Mindi Rosser
May 18, 2011 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
Jun 12, 2007 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
Yuki Shimmyo
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seeking clarity, inspiration
"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
Jul 24, 2007 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 20, 2012 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
Dec 09, 2009 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
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think most everyone has read this book . Basically it tells us to be true to our real selves, look for the good, not bad, live in the moment, not to accept others opinions of you as true. Don't make assumptions, tell people what you need. Don't take things personally - in short who could be a better judge of who you are than yourself. In my experience it's much easier to be yourself as an " older" person. You've had those extra years to figure out who you are, and hopefully what's most importa ...more
Feb 20, 2012 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
Jan 06, 2008 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
May 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Rosie Nguyễn
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful words, with practical ideas, to live a better life and to have more freedom.

A friend recommended this book to me a long time ago, but only recently I had the time to finish it. And it didn't disappoint me. However, I didn't like the book at the first sight, and it took me half of the pages to really immerse myself in it.

The Four Agreements includes the essential principles of life: be impeccable with your word, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your
Jon Nakapalau
There are so many lessons we can learn from past cultures...this book is rich with wisdom that comes from the past, yet still can guide us to a better future.
This was quite insightful and full of practical wisdom and ideas that really make you think.

I like that it's short and easy to read, though to be honest it does seem to repeat itself a fair bit. I think that's intentional to kind of help the message sink in, but it had the opposite effect for me and made me want to skim.

It's an accessible kind of book that is a nice easy introduction to opening the mind. It essentially teaches strategies for looking beyond the material world so that one can feel
Jul 19, 2007 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 repetition.
-The author tried to simplify religion to a point where it didn't
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like self-help books
I read this book at my therapist’s suggestion. I don’t normally go for self-help books; I know others find them helpful but I personally prefer other methods of self-improvement. But because my therapist recommended The Four Agreements specifically, because it’s so short, and because it was only something like $6 on Kindle, I figured I’d make an exception.

My therapist warned me going in that there would be a lot of spiritualism in this book. For the most part I tried to ignore that aspect becaus
Sep 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tammy by: Julie, Robyn L
Shelves: self-help, quotes
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
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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

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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.” 1057 likes
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