This book by Don Miguel Ruiz has been called life changing by a whole lot of readers and critics. The Four Agreements opened to fantastic reviews and is still a great suggestion to whoever is starting with self help books. Every agreement has multiple lessons that help us to break down the parts of our conditioning that no longer serve us as adults and keep us from being free thinkers.
The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best. The ideas may be simple to grasp, but because they conflict with our conditioning, we must hear them repeatedly, just as we are forced to repeat things ad infinitum until we become obedient members of society.
Summary Read Time: Less than 4 minutes
Actual Book Length: 168
First Published in: 1997
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book:
Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word.
The words we use have more power than we often realize. They shape the labels, concepts, and beliefs we have.
To avoid creating new, harmful illusions, we should be very conservative in how we use words on ourselves and others.
It’s important to get in the habit of saying only what we mean and meaning only what we say. If we’re ever unsure, it’s best to say nothing at all.
Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally
It’s important to remember that other people’s words and actions are a product of their own realities, which may be different than your own. If you shared the same reality, you would likely act and speak in the same way.
Therefore, it’s important not to take anything personally. This knowledge can help defuse the power of others’ words and actions.
Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions
We all know that assumptions are often wrong, yet we still act as if they’re gospel. This creates a lot of problems and hurts feelings in our personal and professional lives.
Try to be more aware of your tendency to assume things. Instead of making assumptions, look and listen without prejudice or judgement. And when surprises do come up, don’t get upset with the other person or thing – it’s your own failing, not theirs.
Agreement 4: Think Win-Win
Always do your best in each moment. Don’t worry if it’s not as good as it was yesterday or even five minutes ago.
Your best changes all the time, depending on what’s going on around you. So just do what you can, with what you have, from where you are – that’s all you can ask of yourself.