Written by: Don Miguel Ruiz
Amber – Allen Publishing (1997)
Genre: NonFiction, Self Help, Spirituality
3 Sentence Summary
The Four Agreements is a guide to finding peace within yourself and freedom from negativity. Ruiz addresses the challenge of being yourself in a world where we live to please others. Ultimately, this book asks readers to test their reality in hopes of uncovering a new outlook on life.
This book is short and to the point. I read it in just a few days, and it wasn’t overly challenging to get through. The author is somewhat mystical in his approach. He dabbles in spirituality and existential themes, but overall he keeps things grounded with concepts that pretty much anyone can grasp. There is no shortage of metaphors throughout the book. Ruiz’s style is creative, which allows him to dress up some rather simple lessons in the garb of age-old wisdom. Ultimately, this book is compelling because of the practical applications of the advice it teaches. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever felt like they just can’t get out of their own way, or for the person knee-deep in a bad situation. We all could use a positive influence on our lives, and The Four Agreements can stand in as that sound advice we needed to hear.
- Treat yourself better when situations don’t work out as planned. Harboring guilt and fear can only hold you back.
- Strive for clarity in all communication. To be right or wrong is less important than to be understood.
- Focus on the life you want to create. The opinions that you accept to be true determine your reality.
Words From The Author
“We keep searching and searching when everything is already within us.” p.15
“We have millions of questions that need answers because there are so many things that the reasoning mind cannot explain. It is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe.” p.68
“Practice makes the master.” p.86
“The first step is to become aware of the fog in your mind.” p.106
- What is something that you are grateful for today? What are three things you value above everything else in this world?
- The author suggests that we lose track of who we are as we adopt the views of those around us. If you never had to measure up to outside expectations from your parents and peers, what life choices might you have made differently along your journey to right now?
- According to Ruiz, our outlook is heavily dependent on our emotional state. Do you have strong emotions? What are some feelings that tend to get you in trouble from time to time? (e.g., fear, jealousy, anxiety, apprehension, laziness, love, dedication, enthusiasm, empathy, etc.)
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