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The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

  1. “Be impeccable with your word”: Say only what you mean.
  2. “Don’t take anything personally”: Understand that other’s words are the product of their domesticated lives.
  3. “Don’t make assumptions”: Be brave to ask questions.
  4. “Always do your best”: Your best will change from moment to moment.


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Short Summary

Short Summary

  • We are Domesticated” — Social norms & rules are lodged deep within us.

• Practice three skills to rebel against “Domestication.”

  1. Awareness: Practice meditation and mindfulness
  2. Forgiveness: Awareness brings forgiveness
  3. Action: From forgiveness, you will receive the strength to Act


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Lesson1: Be impeccable with your word

Lesson1: Be impeccable with your word

• Speak with integrity.

Say only what you Mean.

• Avoid using the words to speak against yourself or gossip about others.

• Use the power of your words in the direction of truth and love.


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Lesson 2: Don't Take Anything Personal

Lesson 2: Don't Take Anything Personal

  • When someone calls you ugly, it says a whole lot more about them and their problems than about you.
  • Whatever issues they’re dealing with has led them to take their frustration out on you.
  • The only way to really make this a habit is to become very, very self-aware.
  • Knowing deep down who you are, what your truth is and that you’re good enough allows you to stop seeking validation and acceptance.


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“Comments are a reflection of the commentator’s reality, not yours.”



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Lesson 3: Don’t Make Assumptions

Lesson 3: Don’t Make Assumptions

  • In Miguel’s eyes, making assumptions leads to suffering.
  • Assumptions often have very little basis in reality and are only real in our imaginations.
  • To overcome this expectation, ask questions and maintain clear communication with others. This transparent communication prevents assumptions from taking hold.
  • This agreement will help you avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.


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“Ninety-five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies, and we suffer because we believe all the lies.”



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Lesson 4: Always Do Your Best

Lesson 4: Always Do Your Best

  • It means doing the best that you can individually manage, which can vary by situation.
  • You can avoid feelings of regret and accept that people do their best at every moment.
  • You will come to enjoy the action itself, rather than just enjoying the rewards associated with actions.
  • If doing your best means working hard because you love the task, your work will begin to feel effortless.


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Three Ways To Break Old Agreements

Three Ways To Break Old Agreements

  • There are lots of them, waiting to be learned.
  1. Start noticing the beliefs you have, which are based on fear and make you unhappy
  2. Learn to forgive the people who hurt you, most of all yourself.
  3. Remember that each day could be your last to stay in the present.


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  • … is a process that starts the day we’re born. You don’t pick your first language, you don’t choose your first school and you can’t control what attitudes your parents instill in you.
  • Parents, peers, teachers, religion, all these influences instill a set of rules in us.
  • As children, we have no power over them. We’re rewarded when we do good and punished when we step out of line.
  • Compound this for almost two decades and you become someone who’s chasing brownie points, afraid of rejection and not questioning society’s rules.


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“Our biggest fear is not dying, it’s being ourselves.”



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"A good curated idea should be like a girl's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

View all The Four Agreements Book Summaries


The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz, Janet Mills

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