The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a self-help book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. In this The Four Agreements summary, we dive deep into Ruiz’s perspective on human interactions and social life.
This book, which contains teachings based on the Toltec civilization that lived thousands of years ago, tells you how you can live a more understanding and happy life.
The Four Agreements Summary with 20 Lessons Learned
Here are the 20 lessons to learn from The Four Agreements Summary:
#1 Be Consistent
In a peaceful self, there is no room for lies. You can’t get along with others when you’re at odds with yourself. Your words and actions reflect your character. The more lies you resort to, the more you lose your self-esteem. As long as you are a decent person, you have no one to be afraid of.
#2 It’s Not All About You
Other people’s opinions are not as important as you think because they don’t think as much as you think when expressing an opinion about something about you. They don’t even care if your behavior changes after expressing their opinion. Don’t take words and actions personally so you’ll have fewer problems.
#3 Stop Mind Reading
If you have doubts or negative feelings about something, ask and learn. When you try to guess, you get more negative feelings, you become restless. As a result, you feel bad for no reason and you start to react to people.
4. Care About What You Do
No matter what you do, if you try to do your best, even if the result is a failure, you will not feel any regret or guilt. You tried, you tried with all your might, but it didn’t work. Try again, as long as you don’t fool yourself.
#5 Unwritten Rules
From the day we are born, we encounter social rules on different issues. We are guided where and how to act. While these rules generally allow us to respect each other, they may not always be beneficial.
#6 Wake up
We must get rid of the social pressure placed on us by society. Life is changing and old rules are now making people unhappy. If you don’t struggle to be yourself, you will begin to live a life of pain and unhappiness over time.
If you become aware of this pressure, you have taken the first step towards change. The rest is up to you to resist. When you live with your truths, you will see how enjoyable life is and you will be able to reveal your full potential.
#8 You are not Responsible for The Behavior of Others
No matter what kind of person you are, people’s behavior does not change. The good is good and therefore the bad is bad. The disrespect they do or the bad words they say are none of your business. These behaviors that lower their values show the weakness in their character.
#9 No Room for Fear
You need to let go of any beliefs that prevent you from unlocking your full potential. If you believe you can do a job well, go all the way. It is not possible to do your best by thinking about what will happen if you fail.
#10 Start Forgiving Yourself
Forgiving what was done to you and the people you argued with makes you stronger. If it is the people you are in the same environment, the negative air will disperse. You are perceived as more mature. Of course, you have to forgive yourself first. Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you’ve made so far, for all the moments when you don’t trust yourself.
#11 Last Day of Your Life
While this is a way of thinking that shouldn’t affect your whole life, it’s still liberating. Yes, today could be the last day of your life. Whatever you worry about tomorrow, maybe you won’t see it. Don’t forget to enjoy today. Because there is no guarantee that we will see the repetition of today and tomorrow.
#12 Limited Daily Personal Power
We cannot afford to do everything from the moment we wake up in the morning until the time we go back to sleep. The restlessness of trying to complete all our work prevents us from sleeping comfortably in the evening. Disruption of our sleep patterns also causes us to be unhappy during the day.
#13 Our Priorities
The things we do during the day should be the most important things for us. If time increases and we have energy, we should take care of other work. We should do the same in human relations. We should not meet with people who will tire us or waste our time.
#14 Be Like a Warrior
Warriors are strong, disciplined, and controlled. They do not show emotional weakness. They use their strength in a balanced way for the whole war. They practice until they are ready. They do not return on their decision. They inspire confidence. You should act with this logic.
#15 Thinking Too Much
The more you think about something, the more problems you will have. Learn to leave problems in the past. The way to think about a topic is to focus on other issues instead of that topic. The issue we are having trouble with will come to our mind from time to time, but it can no longer make us feel negative emotions as before.
#16 Everything Is Temporary
Everything you see and hear is temporary. Something is going on out there and you believe whatever your brain tells you. You act accordingly and experience different emotions. Someone else sees the same events and he has different feelings. Everyone lives their reality. That’s why it is vital to not take things personally.
#17 Have Your Ideas
Your parents at home, your teacher at school, your friends outside help you learn something. But not everything you learn can be true. Whenever you come across a new piece of information, be sure to question whoever the source is. Because they could be wrong too.
#18 Your Attention Is Valuable
What you pay attention to is important. Focus your attention on the things that will work for you. Focus on your education, work-life, and loved ones. Others do not deserve your attention and time.
#19 Pay Attention to What Your Mind Says
It is our mind that often criticizes us most harshly. When those criticisms start, be aware of them and suggest the opposite. Because we can sometimes exaggerate when we criticize ourselves, but we can avoid sabotaging ourselves with suggestions.
#20 Teach Your Child, too
The earlier this information is learned, the more useful it will be. With a long life ahead of them, they grow into adults who are confident, respected, and loved. Do not forget to guide them.
Top 10 Quotes from The Four Agreements
1. “The human mind is like a fertile ground where seeds are continually being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas, and concepts. You plant a seed, a thought, and it grows.”
2. “Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself. If I see you in the street and I call you stupid, it appears that I’m using the word against you. But really I’m using my word against myself, because you’re going to hate me for this, and your hating me is not good for me.”
3. “The power of the word is completely misused in hell. We use the word to curse, to blame, to find guilt, to destroy. Of course, we also use it in the right way, but not too often.”
4. “Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison. We learned how to gossip by agreement. When we were children, we heard the adults around us gossiping all the time, openly giving their opinions about other people.”
5. “Just imagine what you can create with the impeccability of the word. With the impeccability of the word, you can transcend the dream of fear and live a different life. You can live in heaven in the middle of thousands of people living in hell because you are immune to that hell.”
6. “You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you, and you are trapped in the dream of hell. What causes you to be trapped is what we call personal importance.”
7. “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own minds; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.”
8. “Don’t take anything personally. Even if someone got a gun and shot you in the head, it was nothing personal. Even at that extreme.”
9. “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.”
10. “Just imagine the day that you stop making assumptions with your partner and eventually with everyone else in your life.”
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Oprah’s interview with Don Miguel
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