Book notes: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz book summary review and key ideas.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Synopsis:

“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.

Opening thoughts:

This book came recommended from another friend who is also into personal development books. I had never heard of this book and when I looked it up, I was surprised by how many reviews it had, and the high average rating! I’ve been putting it off since it is a short listen, but this month is a perfect month to finally listen.

Key notes:

  • Everything is made of light, and everything that exists is one being
    • Light is the messenger of life because it is alive and contains all information
  • The man discovered that everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God
    • Everything is God
    • He came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light
    • Matter is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light
  • Language is the code for understanding communication between humans
  • Every letter, every word in each language is an agreement
    • Once we understand the code, our attention is hooked and energy is transferred from one person to another 
  • To have faith is believe unconditionally
  • Growing up, we are conditioned to please others so we start acting
    • We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected
    • This comes from the fear of not being good enough
  • Eventually, we become something we are not
  • We become a copy of the beliefs of those around us, our family, society, and religion
  • There’s a part of us that judges everything around us based on our belief system
    • There’s another part of us that’s the victim and believes were not good enough, and the judge in us agrees
    • This is based on a belief system we never chose to believe
  • Even if our internal “book of law” is wrong, it makes us feel safe
    • Anything that challenges what you believe is going to make you feel unsafe
    • That is why we need a great deal of courage to challenge our own beliefs
    • Even if we know we didn’t choose these beliefs, we know we agreed to them

Reader’s note: This idea of courage being necessary to challenge our beliefs goes into the idea of why it takes courage to truly LISTEN to someone who has different beliefs

  • The way religions depict hell is the same as this world
  • It is a place of punishment, fear, pain, and suffering
  • All of humanity is on an eternal search for truth, justice, and beauty because these don’t exist in our belief system
    • We keep searching when everything is already within us
  • We can’t see the truth because we are blind from all those false beliefs we have in our mind
  • Our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and express who we really are
  • Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans
  • Nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves
    • The limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit you will tolerate from someone else
  • 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
  • The most important agreements are the ones you make with yourself
  • The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy
  • The agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy
The First Agreement: Be impeccable with your word
  • This is the most important and most difficult to honor
  • Our words cast powerful spells on each other
  • The word can enter our mind and change a whole belief for better or worse
  • A sin is anything you do that goes against yourself
  • Sin comes from rejection of yourself
    • Rejection of yourself is the biggest sin you can commit
  • Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison
  • You can measure the impeccability your word by your level of self-love
  • How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word
The Second Agreement: Don’t take anything personally
  • Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about me
  • Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves
    • All people live in their own dream, their own mind. They’re in a completely different world than the one we live in
    • When we take something personally, we make the assumption they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world
  • You are never responsible for the actions of others. You are only responsible for you
  • When you truly understand this and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others
The Third Agreement: Don’t make assumptions
  • All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally
  • When we believe something, we assume we are right about it to the point that we will destroy relationships in order to defend our position
    • We make the assumption that everyone sees life the way we do
    • We assume others think the way we think, feel the way we feel
  • Real love is accepting people the way they are without trying to change them
    • Find someone whom you don’t have to change at all
  • It’s much easier to find someone who is already the way you want him or her to be instead of trying to change that person
The Fourth Agreement: Always do your best
  • Keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next
    • Sometimes your best will be high-quality, and other times it won’t be as good
  • If you take action just for the sake of doing it without expecting a reward, you’ll find that you enjoy every action you do
    • Rewards will come but you’re not attached to the reward
  • You always do your best because you’ll have no regrets if someone tries to judge you
  • Do your best because you want to do it, not because you have to do it or to please other people
  • Action is about living fully. Inaction is the way that we deny life
  • When you don’t do your best, you deny your right to be you 
  • The first three agreements will only work if you do your best
  • Children are usually the only humans truly free because they’re smiling, having fun, exploring the world, not afraid to play
    • They don’t worry about the past and don’t care about the future, and only live in the present moment
    • Very young children are not afraid to express what they feel
    • They’re so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into love
      • They are not afraid to love at all
    • The is the description of a normal human being
  • There is no need to blame your parents for teaching you to be like them
    • What else could they teach you but what they know. They did the best they could
    • If they abused you it was due to their own domestication, their own fears, and beliefs
      • They had no control over the programming they received so they couldn’t have behaved any differently
  • The real you is still a little child who never grew up
    • Sometimes that little child comes out when you’re having fun or playing
    • When you feel happy, doing something you enjoy, or expressing yourself in some way
    • The happiest moments of your life are when the real you comes out and you don’t care about the past and you don’t worry about the future
  • Awareness is always the first step because if you’re not aware, there’s nothing you can change
  • We cannot change an agreement with less power than we used to make the agreement
  • Almost all of our personal power is invested in keeping the agreements we have with ourselves
    • That’s because our agreements are actually like a strong addiction
      • We are addicted to being the way we are
  • To adopt the four agreements, you need to put repetition in action
    • Practicing the new agreements in your life is how your best becomes better
    • Repetition makes the master
  • Forgiveness is the only way to heal
    • Forgiveness is the key to self-acceptance and self-love
  • The Warrior has control over one’s own emotions and one’s self
  • The angel of death can teach us to live every day as if it’s our last, as if there may be no tomorrow
  • Imagine you have the ability to see the world with different eyes whenever you choose
  • Suffering makes you feel safe because you know it so well
    • But there is really no reason to suffer
  • The only reason you suffer is because you choose to suffer
  • Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering

Themes / Main ideas:

  • We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected
  • Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans
  • 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
  • You can measure the impeccability your word by your level of self-love
  • Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves
  • All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally
  • Real love is accepting people the way they are without trying to change them
  • You always do your best because you’ll have no regrets if someone tries to judge you
  • Children are usually the only humans truly free because they’re smilinghaving funexploring the world, not afraid to play
  • Don’t blame your parents for teaching you to be like them because their actions were the result of their programming
  • Forgiveness is the only way to heal and the key to self-acceptance and self-love
  • Happiness is a choice, and so is suffering

Closing thoughts:

Another fantastic book. I think this is a great book for anyone because I think most if not all people struggle with self-love and self-acceptance and living your true self

This book has a lot of similar themes and concepts as three other works I highly recommend:

Again, a very good book and a solid framework for anyone who wants to live a happier and healthier life. The four agreements address the best way to live in relation to others and yourself.

Nutshell:

Four principles of how to live to be happier and have more love in your life.

Rating:

4/5


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5 thoughts on “Book notes: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz”

  1. I really love the message this book is putting out there. I am not always a fan of the way this books spiritual aspect is put out there. But outside of that, it is a solid read.

    Liked by 1 person

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