The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz (Book Summary & Review)

Dreams Are For Living
Dreams Are For Living

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz shares an interesting take on how we perceive the dream instead of reality and how to change that.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
This book comes from renowned spiritual teacher Miguel Ruiz, who shares Totlec wisdom with scientific temperament. It will help you realize how we all live the dreams of other people, and how to see the reality to reduce our suffering.

Last update on 2022-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

About the author of The Four Agreements

miguel ruiz

Don Miguel is a renowned spiritual teacher. He teaches ancient Toltec wisdom that he studied under Toltec.

Toltec is mythological, but don claims that he has combined Toltec Mythology with modern science with common sense.

Besides this book, he has also given some other popular titles like:

  1. The Mastery of Love
  2. The Voice Of Knowledge.
  3. The Fifth Agreement
  4. The Circle Of Fire

Over 12 million copies have been sold internationally in 46 languages, according to his website.

How did I discover Don Miguel Ruiz?

I read many books on philosophy.

My first book by Don Miguel Ruiz was The Voice Of Knowledge. In fact, the very first video on my YouTube channel is the summary of that book.

Miguel always seems obsessed about building heaven on earth, which is one of the things I like about him.

Is don Miguel Ruiz a legit guy?

Well, I haven’t met him personally. And I don’t agree with all his ideas. 

I think he is legit, as learning wisdom takes time. His books are philosophically deep. I can relate his concepts with some of my favorite books on philosophy.

Learn more about don Miguel Ruiz on his website.

The Four Agreements Summary

In this book summary, I’ll share 7 best lessons that I learned from this book.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in.


Lesson #1: We are not living our dreams.

What if I tell you that you are not living your own dream?

You might not agree, right?

But this is precisely what happens with all of us, according to the author.

Almost all of our beliefs and thoughts come from other people.

As soon as we take birth and start understanding some things about the world, our parents teach us everything.

From what to eat and what not to eat, to what to believe and what not to believe, they tell us all.

Of course, they do it to prepare us for the chaotic world we live in.

And when we become a teenager, we make friends and interact with society.

Now society has its own rules.

It tells us what to think and believe.

It tells us what is praiseworthy and what is abominable. 

It tells us which goals and dreams are worth seeking.

Not only that, but it tells us what success must look like when almost every individual is confused about life and still figuring it out.

The problem?

We are trained to go by the thinking of other people.

Although other people might have good intentions, but still, it’s their perspective.

You don’t learn very early on when to say no to stupid ideas.

We silently learn to agree with all those views.

Heck, many of those opinions impact what we think and how we see ourselves.

It impacts how we see the world.

Remember, we all are imperfect creatures far from perfection despite having so many wonderful abilities.

All those things that we agree to in the childhood affect us in our adulthood.

We never get to choose anything, or do we?

Lesson #2: We are blind to our suffering.

We don’t know ourselves.

And that’s why we agree to stuff that doesn’t help us in the long term.

It could anything: a bad idea, a bad opinion, a faulty concept, a bad goal, a wrong definition of an important word, etc.

We make bad choices.

And those choices cause more suffering.

Allow me to explain.

Who suffers the most on this planet?

It’s us.

Don’t believe me?

Just think about it.

Look at any species on the planet.

As long as they eat, sleep, and pro-create, they are content. 

Have you ever found an animal searching for the meaning of life and seeking happiness?

We don’t find that, right?

That’s because animals don’t think as much as we do.

We have a strong memory that keeps records of all our actions and experiences.

We have concepts of karma.

Humans are the only species that can believe in Gods and Supernatural things that don’t exist.

We have morals that guide us and tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Or you can also say that we don’t see without biases and concepts.

As long as you are grounded in reality, you can avoid suffering.

But since most of us don’t know much about ourselves, we keep suffering, not knowing why we are suffering.

Most people follow rules without knowing why they exist. For example, many people follow diets and rituals without understanding their meaning.

Many people choose careers without first asking why they are choosing it.

And since we act blindly in almost all phases of our lives, we also remain blind to our suffering.

But don’t bother, in the following lessons, we will figure out answers to these bigger problems.

Keep reading.

Lesson #3: Words are tools that can build both heaven and hell based on how they are used.

Words are more powerful than we think they are.

Every idea that you believe is made of words.

Thinking is impossible if you don’t have words in your mind.

In this book, the author reminds us that powerful leaders hold so much power because their words can influence masses and can can have consequences.

A lot of us don’t pay attention to the words we hear and say to ourselves.

As a result, we also tend to ignore how the words of other people affect our lives.

Think about all the times you have cursed yourself for making silly mistakes.

Did it bring any positive result? Probably, not.

When we keep using negative words for ourselves, we start believing in them and think they tell the reality.

Do you know how many people stop pursuing their dreams when they are criticized by people who have no clue?

How many times have we criticized other people just because we were not feeling right?

We do this because we don’t understand how words turn into beliefs, and ultimately into actions.

Think of words as tools that we use to communicate with the inner world and the outer world.

When you use the word in the right way, when you uplift yourself through your words. You start building heaven for yourself.

But when you keep complaining about how weak you are and how chaotic the reality is, you create a living hell for yourself.

The author suggests that you be in love with true yourself and remind that you can overcome your suffering through action.

But it doesn’t mean that you have to be in love with your opinions or beliefs.

Let’s understand.

Lesson #4: Don’t consider every thought or opinions as truth.

Know why people take opinions very seriously, even though they are wrong most of the time?

Most people get offended easily if you say something against their ideas.

This happens because they take it personally.

What happens when we take something personally?

We attach our sense of Self with the idea in question.

That’s why we feel bad when someone doesn’t agree with our opinions.

The same thing happens when we hear someone’s opinions about ourselves. 

We never learn how to distance ourselves from our ideas.

We think that someone’s opinion must have some kind of truth in it.

If this wasn’t enough, we all carry guilt from the past within us, which further multiplies how bad we feel when someone criticizes us.

Just remember when someone criticizes you, it’s just an opinion. 

Put in other words, it’s simply another telling you what they think about you. Kindly note that “What they think about you” can change with time.

That’s why you don’t have to believe it every time.

You can consider it and evaluate it further. 

But you have the choice to ignore it as well.

Here is the trickiest part: We tend to ignore advice that doesn’t please us.

Remember that this rule of questioning opinions applies to both sides.

Neither your nor mine or anybody else’s opinions should be considered as truth without questioning.

Every opinion is an idea or thought.

And it can or must be challenged to realize the truth.

We are on to something amazing here.

Let’s proceed to the next lesson and dig deeper.

Lesson #5: Try to see without thoughts and don’t make any assumptions about anything in the world.

Most people don’t see clearly.

We all try to fit complex things into our knowledge box, even when we don’t understand them.

Whatever we interpret, we do it based on what we already know.

Hardly any people bother about investigating the perceived reality.

Or in other words, we assume we know the truth.

Questioning and clearing assumptions is a time taking process. And without it, you can’t see truth.

Because all of our knowledge comes from the past.

But observation of reality has to be in the present.

When we observe something, let’s say a chair, all the thoughts related to the chair come in our minds.

Thoughts just happen.

And along with them comes the knowledge of the past, which interferes with your present.

You can say that if you are trying to observe something based on your past knowledge, you are bringing bias into the picture.

You can’t control your thoughts, but you can at least try to eliminate bias from the picture.

That is what seeing without thoughts mean. And that’s also how you stop dreaming and see the reality without any assumptions.

The thing is: We don’t realize how Assumptions negatively impact our day-to-day lives.

Be it your relationship, career, or health, living on assumptions gives you the sense that you are not dreaming and doing the right thing.

How many times have you seen that people destroy their health by following bad advice? Or have you seen people who buy junk items thinking they would benefit them?

Wrong choices stem from assumption.

Don’t assume anything.

Don’t assume that everybody is a good person or bad person.

Don’t assume that life is going to linear all the time. 

Don’t assume that every person is the same.

Don’t assume that every job is the same.

Don’t assume that every company takes their mission seriously.

If you sit and down and start listing out your assumptions about the world, it’s going to be a very long list.

The only way to avoid making assumption is to ask the right questions.

The quality of your questions also shows the level of your intelligence.

Most people don’t ask questions.

Know why?

It’s because when they ask questions, their dream world full of assumptions might collapse. 

So, they tend to play safe.

It’s easy to play safe, isn’t it.

Remember, you can play it safe, but someday assumptions will be proven wrong because they aren’t truth. 

Only the truth survives the test of time.

Lesson #6: Give your best under any circumstances, be it good or bad.

This lesson is simple to apply compared to the previous ones.

Just give your best at whatever you do.

This might sound easy.
But interestingly, most people do all their work half-heartedly.

This happens because of all the problems we discussed above.

Often people aren’t clear why are they doing a particular job. That’s why they are always unsure of whether they should give it their all or not.

To be hundred percent into something, one must have zero doubt in his mind. The purpose must be clear.

Now, you may ask:

Why we should always give our best?

Here is why:

  • No guilt or regret when you do your best. After you do your best, there is hardly any guilt left within you. You feel satisfied even if you fail. The experience itself becomes the reward.
  • Doing best is fun.  Doing your best allow you to push your limits. It allows you to grow. Growth is fun, right?
  • Doing best is a choice, not an obligation. The best part about giving hundred percent is that you remind yourself that you can make a choice. You allow yourself to get a taste of absolute freedom. Remember, you can only give your best once you have full clarity.

Lesson #7: End all those agreements you made blindly.

We are wrong about so many things in life. It’s only a matter of when we realize that.

Many things we know are just assumptions or things that we assumed, are right.

It’s time we wake up and see the dreams we are all living in.

Which dreams?

We all see the world differently based on our beliefs and experiences.

The right way is to just see without any preconceived notions.

The concepts of right and wrong, the concepts of good and bad, they all prevent us from experiencing reality.

And when those concepts are proven wrong, we feel guilty of not following those rules.

Remember, any rule is made for us. It’s there to help us live freely and be peaceful.

If it’s doing the opposite, we must stop following it blindly and find a solution with scientific temperament.

At the same time, we should remember how easily we get biased and pleased by shiny objects.

In the language of author, we need to break those bad agreements that we made as powerless children.

After all, we are not born only to suffer. 

We can think and progress.

We have a choice to become wiser.

Think this is enough? You are wrong!

It’s all about understanding. Not about how much you know.

Read the review below and get a copy of this book.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
This book comes from renowned spiritual teacher Miguel Ruiz, who shares Totlec wisdom with scientific temperament. It will help you realize how we all live the dreams of other people, and how to see the reality to reduce our suffering.

Last update on 2022-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

The Four Agreements Critical Review


  1. The book is short and simple.
  2. Great for someone who has just entered the realm of philosophy.
  3. The book is deep and filled with so many realizations about life.
  4. It’s wonderful how the author compressed complex ideas into 4 simple, actionable tips.


  1. The only con is that if you have read don Miguel’s other books like The Mastery of Love or The Voice of Knowledge, you might find the information repetitive.

The Four Agreements Table of Contents

The book has a total of 7 chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Domestication and the Dream of the Planet
  • Chapter 2: THE FIRST AGREEMENT (Be Impeccable with Your Word)
  • Chapter 3: THE SECOND AGREEMENT (Don’t Take Anything Personally)
  • Chapter 4: THE THIRD AGREEMENT (Don’t Make Assumptions)
  • Chapter 5: THE FOURTH AGREEMENT (Always Do Your Best)
  • Chapter 6: THE TOLTEC PATH TO FREEDOM (Breaking Old Agreements)
  • Chapter 7: THE NEW DREAM (Heaven on Earth)

The first chapter discussed the idea of how we are all living in our dreams without realizing.

From chapter 2 to chapter 6 author gives simple rules to how to live the right way.

In the last chapter, the author discusses how heaven is possible on the earth if you just follow the simple rules discussed in the previous chapters.

FAQs about The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

What are The Four Agreements Of Life?

The four agreements of life are: 1. Be impeccable with your words. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Always do your best. 4. Don’t make assumptions.

What was the purpose of The Four Agreements?

The purpose of four agreements is to help you live a richer and meaningful life.

What The Four Agreements taught me?

The four agreements taught me that I have said “yes” to so many things in life that I forgot to say “no.”

How do you apply The Four Agreements to your life?

The four agreements are easy to apply in almost any area of life. For example, you can always give your best despite how difficult a task or a situation is.

What is the dream of the planet in The Four Agreements?

The dream of the planet consists of all the concepts that we commonly agree on without speaking explicitly.

What is the parasite in The Four Agreements?

The parasite is other people’s opinions that we carry throughout our lives without investigating them.

What does it mean to be impeccable with your word?

To be impeccable with our word simply means that we don’t use our words to create more suffering for us as well as others.

How do you teach the four agreements to children?

You can teach your children by the four agreements by playing games. For example, give a task to your children, and ask them to give their best without worrying about failure. Reward them even if they fail. Don’t scold them too much when they get less grades in an exam. Teach them that they can always improve.

Is ‘The Four Agreements’ really Toltec?

Yes, the author is a spiritual teacher and spreads Toltec wisdom through his books.

Who is the author of The Four Agreements?

Don Miguel Ruiz is the author of The Four Agreements.

How to buy The Four Agreements and from where?

You can buy The Four Agreements book as per your preferable format below.

Get the physical book on Amazon: Paperback | Spiral-bound

Get the Kindle version: Buy on Amazon

Get The Four Agreements audiobook: Buy on Audible

Now It’s Your Turn

There you have it.

If you loved this book summary, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family members.

And make sure you bookmark this page so that you can return and read and watch other actionable book summaries as well.

Thanks for reading.

Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind This Website

I'm Shami Manohar, the Founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more. My mission is to educate and empower every individual through proper knowledge that works in real life.

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