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

Life Personal Development Philosophy Psychology

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 Toltec 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 2024-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Get The Four Agreements audiobook: Buy on Audible

Get the Kindle version: Buy on Amazon

Get the Paperback version: View price on 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

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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.

Best Tools for Bibliophiles

Lesson #1: We are not living our dreams.

What if I tell you that you are dreaming someone else’s dream right now?

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.

From the moment we are born and start to understand the world around us, our parents teach us all they can.

They tell us what to eat and what not to eat, as well as what to believe and what not to believe.

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

As we become teenagers, we make friends and engage with society.

Society has its own rules.

It tells us what to think and believe.

It tells us what is praiseworthy and what is abominable. 

It reveals which aspirations are worth pursuing.

Not only that, but it also tells us what “success” must look like to us when almost everyone is uncertain about life and still trying to figure it out.

The problem?

We are conditioned to accept the opinions of others.

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 false ideas.

We learn to accept the views of others without expressing our own opinion.

Heck, many of those opinions shape our thoughts and self-perception.

It influences our perception of the world.

The agreements we make in childhood have a lasting impact on our adult lives.

The question is: Do we ever get to choose anything?

Lesson #2: We are blind to our suffering.

We may think we know ourselves, but in reality, we don’t.

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 often make poor decisions, which lead to further 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 seen any animal other than humans searching for the meaning of life and striving for happiness?

We don’t find that, right?

Animals don’t think as much as humans do.

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

We have concepts of karma.

Humans are the only species capable of believing in supernatural phenomena that have no basis in reality.

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

We cannot view the world without our biases and preconceived notions.

The positive aspect is:

As long we are grounded in reality, we can prevent suffering.

But since many of us lack self-awareness, we continue to suffer without understanding the cause.

Most people follow rules without understanding why they exist.

For instance, many people adhere to diets and rituals without grasping their significance.

Many people choose careers without first considering their motivations.

We often act without thinking clearly, and this leaves us unaware of our own suffering.

Don’t worry, in the upcoming lessons we’ll tackle these bigger issues and find solutions.

Keep reading.

Lesson #3: Words can construct either heaven or hell, depending on how they are used.

Words have more power than we realize.

Every idea you hold is made of words.

Thinking is impossible without words in your mind.

In this book, the author reminds us that powerful leaders have such a strong influence because their words can sway the masses and have far-reaching consequences.

Many of us don’t take notice of the words we hear and say to ourselves.

Consequently, we often overlook the impact that other people’s words have on 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 continually use negative words to describe ourselves, we start to believe them and think they reflect reality.

How many people give up on their dreams when they are criticized by those who have no understanding?

How often have we criticized others simply because we weren’t feeling well?

We do this because we lack understanding of how words can shape beliefs, and eventually lead to action.

Words are tools we use to communicate with both our inner and outer worlds.

When you use words in the correct manner, and uplift yourself through your speech, you begin to create a paradise 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 to be in love with true self and remind yourself that you can overcome 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 take every thought or opinion as gospel truth.

Do you know why people take opinions so 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: See without thoughts and don’t assume anything about anything in the world.

Most people don’t see clearly.

We all attempt to fit complex concepts into our existing knowledge, even when we lack understanding of them.

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

Few people take the time to examine 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 must take place 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.

With the knowledge of the past comes interference in the present.

When you attempt to interpret something based on your prior knowledge, you introduce bias.

You cannot control your thoughts, but you can strive to remove bias from the equation.

That is what it means to see without thoughts. This is also how you can stop dreaming and view reality without any assumptions.

The thing is: We often fail to recognize the detrimental effects of making assumptions on our daily lives.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your relationship, career, or health; living on assumptions gives you a false sense of security that you’re doing the right thing.

Have you ever witnessed people ruining their health by taking bad advice? Or have you seen individuals purchasing useless items, believing they would be beneficial?

Wrong decisions often stem from incorrect assumptions.

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 down and start listing your assumptions about the world, the list will be lengthy.

To avoid making assumptions, ask the right questions.

The quality of your questions reflects your intelligence level.

Most people don’t ask questions.

Know why?

They fear that asking questions may cause their dream world of assumptions to 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. 

The truth is the only thing that stands the test of time.

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

This lesson is simpler to apply than the previous ones.

Just give your best at whatever you do.

This may seem simple, yet interestingly, most people do not put their full effort into their work.

This happens because of all the problems we discussed above.

People often lack clarity about why they are doing a particular job. This leaves them unsure of how much effort to put in.

To be fully committed to something, one must have no doubts. The goal must be clear.

Now, you may wonder: why should we always strive to 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 agreements made without careful consideration.

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

Many of the things we think we know are merely assumptions.

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

What dreams, you may wonder?

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 rules or concepts are proven wrong, we feel guilty.

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.

We must also not forget how quickly we can become biased and enticed by attractive 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 Toltec 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 2024-01-04 / 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 Four Agreements audiobook: Buy on Audible

Get the Kindle version: Buy on Amazon

Get the Paperback version: View price on Amazon

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

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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