I'm a huge fan of self-help books. Like many, I was caught up in the self-help era of the 90s. Reading _The Four Agreements_ is revisiting ideas and beliefs that helped me through a difficult period of my life. The ideas espoused in this text are familiar, but knowing something isn't the same as applying principles to our lives. I believe in refresher courses.
Ruiz breaks down a path to better living to four agreements: (1) Be impeccable with your word. This is about integrity. Be consciously aware of the power of the spoken word. (2) Don't take anything personal. I laughed at this one. I immediately thought about Susan Jeffers who wrote, _What You Think of Me Is None of My business_. Simply, this means what people say about you isn't about you but them. Don't buy into the hype or criticism. (3) Don't Make Assumptions. Ruiz argues we'd rather make assumptions than ask questions. Ask the questions. (4) Always do your best. Your best changes. Do what you can in the moment and avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
Ruiz doesn't say any of this is easy. It's a process. It's repetition. My feeling: why not try it? There is plenty to gain. It takes a lot to change and having someone remind me in simplistic terms is encouraging.
If you are a sensitive person like myself, this book will help you to see things in a different light and stop taking everything personally. It really helped me in dealing with some difficult people in my life.
I enjoyed this little book. It's a quick read, and gives a lot to think about. Even so, I can't give it perfect marks because there were some points I felt Ruiz didn't elucidate well enough. I wanted more justification for his beliefs, and what I got instead was "this just makes sense, so try it."
Nevertheless, I do think reading this book will result in significant changes to my interactions with people.
Reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering..........offers a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love.
Ruiz has come up with four principles from ancient Toltec wisdom. If one adopts these four agreements, Ruiz argues, they will help bring a sense of peace and happiness to one's life. Generally the agreements sound reasonable enough: don't take things personally, say only good things about others, etc. So far, so good. But there's some serious theoretical problems that underlie Ruiz's plan. Ruiz seems to suggest that the self can determine the majority of one's experience outside of social context. He claims that society is composed of collective dreams. Even recognizing that Ruiz is infusing dreams with more importance than western culture generally does, it still strikes me that the message here is that if one has fortified one's spirit with these four principles, nothing anyone else says or does can strongly affect you. Maybe I'm too close-minded, but I just can't buy it. We all live in social and cultural worlds, and those worlds do shape our experience, whether we like it or not.
This book changed the way I think in very practical terms. 1. Be impeccable with your word. To others and to yourself. 2. Do not take anything personal. Anything someone else does has nothing to do with you. 3. Don't make assumptions. This one agreement if practiced will change your world.
John N. (gaxunil) reviewed The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom on
Helpful Score: 1
Great little book. Thoughts fit in well with other books like Tole. Lots of simple truth and insight about the agreements we make with ourselves and how we can break the bad ones and make new ones to change our lives. If you are into inspirational reading and thoughts on living the now, give this book a shot. His philosophy comes form the Toltec traditions and philosophies. Makes me interested in learning more about this culture.
Ugh. Four common sense pieces of advice (like "Always do your best") couched in a lot of New Age gobblygook. If Ruiz is a direct line to ancient Toltec wisdom, then I'm a reincarnation of a Vestal Virgin.
When my girlfriend told me about this book, I thought it sounded interesting. The four agreements, as she remembered them, were things that I had kind of already decided for myself. She thought it was a really good book, so I thought I'd give it a read too. The basic premise of the book is that in the process of becoming a person, we are domesticated. During that domestication, we make agreements with ourselves. Some of them are true and some of them are not but they become part of our inner 'book of law.' Challenging those beliefs is difficult because that 'book of law' makes us feel safe, even if it's wrong. In order to break away from the pain, fear, and self judgement that goes along with those agreements, we have to make new ones.
I feel that the four agreements he lists are good ones. Like I said, I'd already started trying to follow them without actually reading the book.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
Of course he expounds on these, explaining why he feels each is important both for us and the people around us. I think much of what he writes makes a lot of sense, but I wasn't thrilled about it being explained through the filter of Toltec wisdom. I don't understand why a practical matter had to be turned into a spiritual one. I guess the pursuit of Toltec knowledge is this author's thing, but I don't feel that making these agreements sort of spiritual helped me in any way, shape or form. It's easy enough to skip over those statements and get to the meat of the agreements, but I just didn't need to be reading things like "Don't resist life passing through you, because that is God passing through you." Or "It is an expression of God to say, "Hey, I love you." Then you get to the very end of the book and there's a prayer to the creator. It seems out of place to me, you've got this whole book teaching you how to be comfortable with yourself and how to live without guilt and fear, but then you keep mentioning this concept whose very purpose is to fill people with guilt and fear.
It is a good book. I feel that living by these agreements had made me a better and happier person, but I didn't need a lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo to come up with them.
This book reminded me of The Secret in that the presentation is a bit hokey but the information is solid. It's not an "ancient secret". It's knowledge any person can access if they want to. I loved this book because the four agreements are things I struggle to accomplish in my daily life. The explanation for each agreement is simple and easy to understand and put to use. The way they fit together is easy to see. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their quality of life. You have to start with how you think!
I really loved this book. I keep going back to it time after time. I had rented it from the Library a few times and then decided to wish for it on here. Now I have my own copy! I've also read the other books by Don Miguel Ruiz. The message speaks right to the heart and mind and is very soothing. It is just what I needed to lift me up and help me out.
Not bad. It is a pleasant and reassuring read. It reiterates much what is echoed in other new age writings. It is written by a man who claims to be a nagual of toltec heritage. Overall, I liked it, but it didn't change my life. It was interesting, because it had a very different feel from the Carlos Castaneda books (which are supposedly based on toltec wisdom and practices). Ruiz strikes the reader as very compassionate, patient and warm -- very much in contrast to Don Juan from the Castenada books, who is a very interesting, wise, but severe personality. The wisdom taught in Casteneda's books is borne of sobriety, austerity and audacity. Ruiz writes more of compassion, tolerance and humility. The approach couldn't be more different. Castaneda books 3-11, are definitely worth a read, and I found to be more profound than Ruiz. YMMV.
Reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. A powerful code of conduct tat can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness and love.
Marycarmen H. reviewed The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom on
The four agreements breaks down in a simplistic manner the way to living a life free of judgements, self defeating emotions and what I call the Eeyore syndrome. If you are open to the possibilities to a different life, this is the book for you.
Very inspiring reading material for those looking for the answers. It is mostly common sense that we tend to forget about. As children we were told not to take those kid's seriously as they bully us because they have issues and are projecting on us. I don't know about you but then I never took that advice seriously but now it is ground breaking and so true. I plan on implementing the four agreements in my life and try to work through all my problems holding me back.
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, an love.
In The Four Agreements shamanic teacher and healer Don Miguel Ruiz exposes self-limiting beliefs and presents a simple yet effective code of personal conduct learned from his Toltec ancestors. Full of grace and simple truth, this handsomely designed book makes a lovely gift for anyone making an elementary change in life, and it reads in a voice that you would expect from an indigenous shaman. The four agreements are these: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. It's the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering.
I will first say that I think this is the kind of book you really have to be ready for, as in searching for something better in your life. In my limited experience with self help books, I would say that's generally the case, actually. If you don't feel there is anything wrong with your life, if you're not searching out something that will make it better or make you happier, it does you no good to read something designed to get you to a happier place.
I agree with the principle of this book, and I think the message is a good one, it's just maybe not something I feel I needed. To a large extent, I think I was kind of living by several of these agreements already, so I don't know that it helps to be told to live by them. I also feel that this stuff is common sense, so I'm not certain it needed to be said.
To read the rest of my review, please visit:
Don Miguel Ruiz does not do a very good job backing up his claim that the basis of this book is Toltec Wisdom. True, it does contain wisdom, but that wisdom can be found in many different non-Toltec books. These pearls of wisdom are things that are important in a guided life of enjoyment and expansion, but are not unique to Toltec beliefs. So my concern is with the statements that it is Toltec Wisdom and not general wisdom.
The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. To embrace and live each of the Four Agreements is to find yourself experiencing personal freedom--possibly as never before. The Four Agreements are:
Be Impeccable With Your Words
Don't Take Anything Personally
Don't Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
From the cover of the book:
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 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 circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
This book may be small in size, but it packs a hefty punch in terms of shattering personal illusions and opening up a path to personal freedom. I consider this book a must-have for anyone wanting to become more conscious and wanting freedom from personal stories and agreements that cause suffering.
It's not horrible, but it's not what I expected ethier... very dull, and why it's title says that it's a "Guide," I do not know: because all it seemed like, to me, was this man's personal beliefs --and since I have never heard of him before, it made me question his creditability!
Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-burting beliefs that rob us of our joy and create needless suffering. This book is based on Toltex wisdom and offers a peacefull code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.
A near-death experience changed his life. Late one night in the early 1970s, he awoke suddenly, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. Don Miguel remembers that he was not in his physical body as he pulled his two friends to safety.
Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with this mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert. His grandfather, who had since passed on, continued to teach him in his dreams.
In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides an individual to personal freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, has dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec.
(From the inside front cover)
The Four Agreements
Be impeccable with your word. . .
Don't take anything personally . . .
Don't make assumptions . . .
Always do your best . . .