The Four Agreements Book Cover

The Four Agreements

A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Publishing Year: 1997
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The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, written by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills, was published in the year 1997. Through this book, Miguel Ruiz and Mills explore the genre of self-help. This book has sold over 2 million copies in the United States, and has also been translated into 46 languages all over the world. Oprah Winfrey endorsed this book on her show in 2001, thus raising it to a new height of popularity. The book has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a decade. It draws inspiration from the spiritual beliefs of the Toltec culture.

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Lesson 1. Dreams.

There are agreements we make with ourselves, our Gods, and even with our life. Our every action is based on these agreements. Whatever we believe, is based on these agreements. If we think highly of someone, it is because these agreements are at work.

 

Certain agreements have the potential to create issues in our lives, as they originate from a place of fear. These issues might be anything starting from exhausting one's emotional energy, to the downgrading of one's self-worth. These self-limiting agreements are the reasons behind our eternal suffering.

 

The book begins by stating that whatever we are seeing and hearing is nothing but a dream. We are actually dreaming but with our brain awake. 

 

The primary function of our mind is to dream. And our minds dream throughout twenty-four hours. It is dreaming whenever our brain is awake. Needless to say, it dreams even when our brain is sleeping.  The difference is that there is a materialistic frame that is perceived as linear by our brain when it is awake. But when we are sleeping, the materialistic frame disappears and the dream serves more of a conceptual purpose and changes constantly.

 

Lesson 2. Domestication.

 

Domestication is complicated and not always fruitful. On the topic of domestication, Miguel Ruiz says that attention helps us to focus only on the things that we want to perceive. One can perceive millions of things at the same time, but by using attention, it becomes easier to hold on to the things that matter. We have learned everything we know because the adults around us have put those information in our brains. After all, this is how they themselves have learned. 

 

Attention is that ability which we use to learn a whole reality and a whole dream. We learn what to believe and what not to, by using our attention. As children, we did not get to choose our beliefs. We were handed down the pre-existing beliefs of our parents and teachers. According to Don Miguel Ruiz, we store information by agreeing. This is the only way to store information because as soon as we agree, we start believing in it. This is called faith. 

 

This is how children learn: they believe everything adults say.  As they did not choose their beliefs, they rebel against them. But human beings are not strong enough to win the rebellion. We end up surrendering to these beliefs with our agreements. The authors call this process “domestication” of humans. And with the help of this domestication, we learn

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Famous quotes from The Four Agreements

  1. You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward.
  2. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  3. Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.
  4. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  5. Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.
  6. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  7. True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.
  8. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  9. Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system.
  10. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  11. What you will see is love coming out of the trees, love coming out of the sky, love coming out of the light. You will perceive love from everything around you. This is the state of bliss.
  12. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  13. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourslef or to gossip about others. Use your power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  14. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  15. Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be. They become very self-abusive, and they use other people to abuse themselves as well.
  16. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  17. Maybe we cannot escape from the destiny of the human, but we have a choice: to suffer our destiny or to enjoy our destiny.
  18. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  19. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others.
  20. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  21. We judge others according to our image of perfection as well, and naturally they fall short of our expectations.
  22. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  23. We are so well trained that we are our own domesticator. We are an autodomesticated animal. We can now domesticate ourselves according to the same belief system we were given, and using the same system of punishment and reward. We punish ourselves when we don't follow the rules according to our belief system; we reward ourselves when we are the "good boy" or "good girl".
  24. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  25. I will even feel guilty for not telling you how much I love you. The love that makes me happy is the love that I can share with you. Why do I need to deny that I love you? It is not important if you love me back. I may die tomorrow or you may die tomorrow. What makes me happy now is to let you know how much I love you.
  26. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  27. In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit that you will tolerate from someone else. If someone abuses you a little more than you abuse yourself, you will probably walk away from that person. But if someone abuses you a little less than you abuse yourself, you will probably stay in the relationship and tolerate it endlessly.
  28. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  29. Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up. You eat all their emotional garbage, and now it becomes your garbage. But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity to poison in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.
  30. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  31. Imagine living your life without judging others. You can easily forgive others and let go of any judgments that you have. You don’t have the need to be right, and you don’t need to make anyone else wrong. You respect yourself and everyone else, and they respect you in return.
  32. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  33. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
  34. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  35. Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them. If we try to change them, this means we don’t really like them.
  36. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  37. Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.
  38. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  39. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication.
  40. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  41. Very young children are not afraid to express what they feel. They are so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into love. They are not afraid to love at all. That is the description of a normal human being.
  42. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  43. All of humanity is searching for truth, justice, and beauty. We are on an eternal search for the truth because we only believe in the lies we have stored in our mind. We are searching for justice because in the belief system we have, there is no justice. We search for beauty because it doesn’t matter how beautiful a person is, we don’t believe that person has beauty. We keep searching and searching, when everything is already within us. There is no truth to find.
  44. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  45. Who stops us from being free? We blame the government, we blame the weather, we blame our parents, we blame religion, we blame God. Who really stops us from being free? We stop ourselves.
  46. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  47. We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, and abuse the way we abuse. This is the biggest assumption that humans make. And this is why we have a fear of being ourselves around others.
  48. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  49. Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing.
  50. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  51. Wherever I go, whomever I meet, I see myself in their eyes, because I am a part of everything, because I love.
  52. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  53. You have the right to believe or not believe these voices and the right not to take what they say personally. We have a choice whether or not to believe the voices we hear within our own minds,.
  54. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  55. A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself. Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. Being without sin is exactly the opposite. Being impeccable is not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.
  56. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  57. If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is.
  58. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  59. You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you.
  60. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  61. You can speak. What other animal on the planet can speak? The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell.
  62. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  63. The inner Judge uses what is in our Book of Law to judge everything we do and don’t do, everything we think and don’t think, and everything we feel and don’t feel. Everything lives under the tyranny of this Judge.
  64. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  65. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real.
  66. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  67. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
  68. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  69. We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves. The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse. Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal. 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.
  70. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  71. Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.
  72. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  73. Imagine living your life without the fear of being judged by others. You no longer rule your behavior according to what others may think about you. You are no longer responsible for anyone’s opinion. You have no need to control anyone, and no one controls you, either.
  74. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  75. 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.
  76. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  77. Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally... Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
  78. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  79. If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don't tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don't understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions.
  80. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  81. I will no longer allow anyone to manipulate my mind and control my life in the name of love.
  82. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  83. God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, "I love you, God," is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, "Thank you, God," is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
  84. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  85. Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.
  86. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  87. If you live in a past dream, you don't enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.
  88. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  89. 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.
  90. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  91. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.
  92. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  93. But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally.
  94. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  95. Just do your best — in any circumstance in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don’t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been under.
  96. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  97. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
  98. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
  99. We must forgive those we feel have wronged us, not because they deserve to be forgiven but because we love ourselves so much we don't want to keep paying for the injustice...when someone can touch a wound and it no longer hurts you then you know you have truly forgiven.
  100. -Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

Reviews for Summary of The Four Agreements

5.0
Vote: 1
Neha sharma
May 23, 2024
"The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom" is an invaluable roadmap for anyone seeking personal growth, emotional freedom, and a deeper understanding of themselves and others. It serves as a reminder that true freedom lies within our ability to consciously choose our thoughts, words, and actions. I highly recommend this book to anyone ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and conscious living.

About the author

Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills Image

Don Miguel Ruiz, a revered author, is a Toltec spiritual teacher whose wisdom spans ancient traditions and modern insights. His profound teachings in “The Four Agreements” illuminate paths to personal freedom, inviting individuals to embrace tru...

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The Four Agreements Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 2. Domestication.
  • Lesson 3. The First Agreement.
  • Lesson 4. The Power of Words.
  • Lesson 5.  The Second Agreement.
  • Lesson 6. Why shouldn’t you take anything personally?
  • Lesson 7. The Third Agreement.
  • Lesson 8. How to keep yourself from making assumptions?
  • Lesson 9. The Fourth Agreement.
  • Lesson 10. Why should you honour these four agreements?
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FAQs

In the summary of The Four Agreements book, there are 9 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 2. Domestication.
  2. Lesson 3. The First Agreement.
  3. Lesson 4. The Power of Words.
  4. Lesson 5.  The Second Agreement.
  5. Lesson 6. Why shouldn’t you take anything personally?
  6. Lesson 7. The Third Agreement.
  7. Lesson 8. How to keep yourself from making assumptions?
  8. Lesson 9. The Fourth Agreement.
  9. Lesson 10. Why should you honour these four agreements?

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills was published in 1997.

Once you've completed The Four Agreements book, We suggest reading out Getting Things Done as a great follow-up read.

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In the printed version of The Four Agreements book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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