There’s Only Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz provides the most primitive concept to reach a high level of inner peace regardless of our external circumstances.
The same book should be read regularly. It allows you to newly consume the richness this book once bestowed upon you— A promise I can’t regularly keep. Due to my constant pursuit of learning, I am always picking up new books and engaging with them. I tend to buy more books than I can keep up with and that may be the root of this problem. However, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of my personal favorites and a book I am constantly reading whenever I get a chance to.
It’s not just MY favorite. The Four Agreements was published in 1997 and has sold around 9 million copies, translated into 46 languages worldwide, and been on the New York Times Best-Selling list for almost a decade. I would be stunned if you search for a “Personal Freedom” book online and this book is not displayed on your search results.
I’ve come to realize people who have reached personal freedom (or on track to) are trustworthy, infectious, and open-minded people who truly work well with others. Don Miguel Ruiz provides the most primitive concept to reach this level of inner peace regardless of our external circumstances and reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Ruiz’s inspiration behind the book was revealed to him after turning to the wisdom of his Mexican family’s ancient Toltec roots. The Toltecs, Ruiz elaborates, were artists and spiritual seekers who thrived in Mexico hundreds of years ago. Ruiz's grandfather and mother both practiced Toltec healing and teaching. Ruiz was born into a family of healers. His family wished and anticipated Ruiz would embrace the ancient legacy of his ancestors and further his knowledge on the field. However, engulfed in the modern world, Ruiz rejected his family traditions and went into medical school to become a surgeon. In his last year of medical school, during a dark and breezy night in the early 1970s, Ruiz fell asleep on the wheel and was part of a horrendous car accident. He vividly described being in a spiritual state to which his soul was disconnected from his physical body—as he pulled his two friends to safety. After walking out physically unscathed and unable to explain what occurred, he sought his grandfather's guidance.
Seeking spiritual answers, he vigorously studied the ancient Toltec wisdom of his ancestors and composed a guide for all of us to study and understand. The agreements are (1) Be impeccable with your word—speak with integrity. Say only what you mean and If you are going to use the power of your words to gossip or speak against yourself, put a stop to it immediately. (2) Don't take anything personally—what other people say or do isn't because of you, it's because of their own life experiences and their projection of reality. Essentially, when you’re immune to other’s opinions and actions, you won’t experience needless suffering. (3) Don't make assumptions—sometimes our mind creates a different idea of what a person meant to say due to unforeseen circumstances. Ruiz harped you must face those preconceived ideas immediately as they can build into bigger issues. (4) Always do your best—this may change depending on your current status. After all, no one knows you like you know yourself, therefore, do what you’re capable of doing.
You may be starting to think you will have to devote hours to this book to decipher it’s long and strenuous sayings—this is far from the truth. Ruiz carefully crafted this book in such a marvelous way, you may feel like you’re reading a children’s book. I get an infectious smile when I come across people reading this book out in the world. During the summer of 2019, I made a trip to the Dominican Republic to spend a weekend with family members and, of course, I packed my hardcover copy of this book to read on the plane. Once settled in the plane, I took my book out and began to succumb to the words of Ruiz in Chapter One when I was abruptly interrupted. An accountant from Long Island going to Punta Cana, the go-to Caribbean getaway hub in the Dominican Republic, to relieve his work stress was ecstatic to find out I was reading his favorite book and wanted to let me know how mind-blowing it was for him to see others reading The Four Agreements. I had a humongous smile from ear to ear and we began sharing how this book impacted our lives. I didn’t even get a chance to read the book after three hours of sharing wine and book recommendations with my newly made knowledge seeker friend. This book has this kind of effect on people.
Ultimately, this book may change your perspective on life—or not. There’s only one way to find out.
Thank you for your time and I hope this may be helpful to you.
Talk to you soon.
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Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash