The Four Agreements Summary

The Four Agreements Summary by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz is one of the classic personal development books for all walks of life. For those of you who have never read this short, yet provocative book on how to live life with integrity, I highly suggest it. There’s a lot more in the book than just 4 statements of course, so it’s still imperative to read it if you haven’t. This article is simply a quick summary and reminder for those who have, and hell let’s be honest — I want to remind myself too.

Here they are again in text (as in the graphic above):

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 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.

Awesome, gotta love ‘em: simple, to the point, and all-inclusive. Functional brevity at its finest.

These are excellent guidelines for a polyman (or anyone) to live life by, and have been common sense to me for a few years now. At my point in personal growth, these are very basic meta concepts — though just because I know them and they’re the basics, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered them or can forget about them. It’s always good to go back to the basics in life and practice the fundamentals. Personally as a man, I have no problem sticking to my word and being honest, nor do I feel like I’m not constantly seeking to be the best I can be — that’s practically my life. In my experience, the 2nd and 3rd seem to be the biggest sticking points in relationships for me, if not for myself then for the other person. It can be really frustrating when I’m trying to live up to my agreements and the other isn’t or doesn’t even know/care… but, alas the third & fourth agreements. Touché myself.

Everyone will have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example: if you’re somebody who gossips and tends to be dishonest (to others and yourself), the 1st and 3rd might be your focus. If you’re someone who tends to just get by on the least amount, and tends to take everything anybody says personally until the point the feel like they’re walking on eggshells around you… yours might be the 2nd and 4th agreements.

I believe the more we live out life in congruency and integrity, the happier and more successful and fulfilled we will be in life. As I follow my intuition and keep doing what I love, while keeping the four agreements — I believe that will indeed be the case for myself, and I hope others as well.

Looking to masters these and take your life to the level beyond 4 Agreements to create massive change? Discover how I can help you live a life that runs easily and effortlessly now!


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22 Comments on “The Four Agreements Summary”

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  1. Dave says:

    Great “spoiritual knowledge” from a mysterious people from the dark past, or simplistic nonsense from a failed civilization? Hmmmmmm. I know which I’m going with.

  2. andrea says:

    These four things are learned by most kids before high school:

    1) If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.
    2) Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.
    3) Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.
    4)DYB DYB DYB cubscouts…do your best.

    Simple things wrapped up in “mysticism” and a family ‘history’.

    1. Nick says:

      Haha, I love the four agreements and I didn’t associate them like that before with those quotes. Although I still think it’s an interesting way that Don Miguel presents them, they are simple concepts. But simple doesn’t always mean easy :)

  3. Drew Gerald says:

    Andrea and Dave, thank you for the comments.

    I don’t think you have to believe in any mysticism for these to be useful. Even so, metaphor and story are incredible tools — simply look at any child fable or fairytale.

    Just because they’re learnt doesn’t mean they are actually practiced and applied everyday. Show me a high schooler, let alone adult, who’s mastered these 4 things and you’ve got a rare, enlightened individual indeed. I’d love to learn from them.

    Knowledge isn’t power — applied knowledge is power.

    1. bmoretruthful says:

      Now, Drew…you just made a ghetto granny children’s
      activist extremely proud to have…heard U !

    2. Drew Gerald says:

      Awesome, thanks that makes me happy to hear that!

  4. Bob Sherunkle says:

    Hmmmm… Sorry we sacrificed your wife on the altar but dont take it personally… mmmmmkay?

  5. Ejt says:

    I wouldn’t buy it that this is Toltec. Why do we need that label, or mayan or anything else to see value in words? And the Mayans and Toltec people practiced human sacrifice. I don’t think I want to put them up on a pedestal.

    1. Drew Gerald says:

      You make a good point, we shouldn’t need a label to find value in words… though “ancient wisdom” seems to have more authority than some random person nobody’s heard of. I suppose it’s like Gandhi saying something wise and having more “weight” compared to Joe Bob saying the same thing.

      I think we can find value from any civilization or person as long as it makes sense to us and our morals.

  6. William Pryor Letchworth’s Rules Of Conduct | The Polyman says:

    […] as with my post on The Four Agreements, I think that keeping these simple things in mind during everyday life will have both a subtle […]

  7. Vaibhav Rana says:

    Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Drew Gerald says:

      You’re welcome!

  8. Ben Hensley says:

    Great book.

    1. Drew Gerald says:

      Totally. It’s a classic, easy, motivating read.

  9. David Roberti says:

    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.

  10. Practice the Four Agreements « Daily PlanIt says:

    […] Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I will print this summary of the Four Agreements (found here) and carry it with me this week to remind me to practice […]

  11. Jan Steyn says:

    The guide to selflessness on one page. Read it daily and teach it to your children. Wisdom has never been so easy to understand. Thank you.

  12. Debra Anise Hudnall says:

    There is a huge amount of Freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.–

  13. Lonwabo Maibela says:

    nice one.…

  14. Josh says:

    carlos batista Posted on Hi dear memebr of Scholarship Online I want to know the sebsite to subscribe me or to apply to this sholarship, could you send me the form application of this career. I will be happy to revive it. Thank you very much!

  15. Retta Scott says:

    The Agreements. My New Year’s focus… “Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projec­tion of their own dream. When you are immune to the opin­ions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of need­less suffering”. 2nd Favorite “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.”

    1. Drew Gerald says:

      Great focus for this year!

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