The Four Agreements Summary (Miguel Ruiz)

Have you ever felt trapped by your own negative thoughts or hurt by the actions of others? Then, you must read this summary. It will help you build a positive mindset and resilience.

In the book “The Four Agreements,” author Don Miguel Ruiz shares ancient Toltec wisdom that can change your life. This wisdom is built on four simple agreements you make with yourself.

These agreements seem simple but hold incredible power. They can free you from limiting beliefs, help you build stronger relationships, and guide you toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

Ready to transform your life with simple, powerful wisdom?

What Is Toltec

The TOLTEC were known as ‘the women and men of knowledge.’

They were scientists and artists who had the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancients. They came together as masters (naguals), and students formed a society to explore and conserve. For that, they lived outside Mexico City; they also knew the place where ‘Man Becomes God.’

The Toltec knowledge was passed on through generations by different lineages of naguals. Don Miguel Ruiz (the author) isnagual from the Eagle Knight lineage. He has been here to share the powerful teachings of the Toltecs with us.

It’s not a religion, but a spiritual way of life that will lead you to a life full of happiness and love.

The Smokey Mirror

A man who was studying to be a healer had a powerful dream thousands of years ago.

One night, he dreamed that he saw himself sleeping. He came out; it was a night of a new moon. He saw millions of stars in the sky. Then something happened that transformed his life; he could feel his body. He heard his voice:

“I am made of light; I am made of stars.”

He understood that he, the stars, and everything in the universe were made of light, expressions of a single divine source.

This understanding changed him. He saw that the physical world is like an illusion – smoke, obscuring our true nature as beings of love and light.

The smoke wall was made by interpreting images of light, called the Dream of Humans. He knew that he would soon forget all he had learned, so he started calling himself Smokey Mirror. This way, he would know that the smoke in between is the Dream and the mirror is the dreamer.

He saw himself reflected in everyone, but they couldn’t see this connection because they were lost in their illusions (the “Dream”). To remind himself of this cosmic truth, he named himself Smokey Mirror.

The Smokey Mirror

Domestication And The Dream Of The Planet

What you hear or see right now is nothing but a dream. We are all dreaming right now. You are dreaming with the brain awake. Before we were born, humans created a big outside dream known as society’s dream or the dream of the planet, including society’s rules, beliefs, laws, religions, and so on.

When a newborn is born, we hook the child’s attention and introduce these rules in their mind. As children, we didn’t have the opportunity to choose our beliefs. We must agree with the information that we got from the dream of the planet via other humans. This process is known as domestication.

We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering. It is normal for humans to suffer and to live in fear in the dream of the planet. Our dream can also become a nightmare in which we suffer and live in a state of fear. But we don’t need to dream and have nightmares? There is a way to live a peaceful dream.

You must have made thousands of agreements with other people, with God, with society, with your parents, with your spouse, and with your children. But the most important agreements are the ones that you make with yourself.

In these agreements, you tell yourself who you are, what you feel, what you believe, and how to behave. One single agreement is not a problem; many agreements make us suffer and fail.

If you want to live a life with joy and happiness, you have to find the courage to break fear-based agreements and claim your personal power.

When you are finally ready to change our agreements, four powerful agreements will help us break those that are depleting our energy.

Agreement 1: Be Impeccable With Your Word

The First Agreement is the most powerful and difficult one to do. It is ‘Be Impeccable With Your Word’.

The word is more than just a sound or a written symbol. It is a force that has the power to create everything we know. It is the most powerful tool we humans have. Your word can create a beautiful world or even destroy everything around you.

Positively using words is magic, and misusing words is black magic.

The human mind is like fertile ground. Seeds—ideas, opinions, and concepts—are continually planted there. We will get rotten fruit if we plant bad seeds with bad words. The human mind can fertilize any seed; we have to see which kind of seed should be fertile and also prepare it to receive the seed of love.

The seed of fear can create so much drama in the mind, making life hell.

Impeccability means ‘without sin.’ Being impeccable is not against yourself. When you are Impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but without judging or blaming.

  • Can words hurt you?

Think about it. Being Impeccable With Your Word” means being honest and kind to yourself. It sounds easy, but it’s super hard! We’re all used to little lies, even the ones we tell ourselves. This can create a mess of bad feelings inside.

Gossip is pure poison because it is the worst black magic. People feel closer to each other when they gossip, which makes them feel better when they see someone else feel the same way.

Gossip is compared to computer viruses. One small piece of misinformation can break down communication between people. Whenever you gossip, you spread the virus to others, infect that person, and so on.

Using words with care and honesty can be like cleaning up a mess in our minds. It clears out negativity and makes room for good feelings.

Now, this doesn’t mean being perfect or ignoring all criticism. But if you choose your words wisely and stick to the truth, nasty comments from others won’t sting as much. Think of it like building a shield against negativity.

So, let’s use our words for good and create a more positive world for ourselves and everyone around us.

Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally 

Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Even if someone insults you directly, don’t take it personally. It’s not about you. They’re just acting how they learned to act.

  • Think of it like this: Imagine someone throwing a piece of trash at you. You wouldn’t pick it up, right?

The same goes for mean words. Please don’t pick them up and let them make you feel bad. Their words can’t hurt you. Stay calm, and don’t get upset. It’s like being immune in a tough situation. This can be difficult to do, but the reward is feeling good and avoiding negativity.

When you take things personally, you defend your beliefs and create conflicts. You want to prove yourself right and prove that everyone else is wrong. You can even create a big drama, which was so little initially.

Furthermore, you also try to correct them by giving your opinions. Your perspective is something personal to you. It is only your truth, not anybody else’s.

Instead of getting mad at someone, try to understand why their words might have bothered you.

  • Are you afraid they might be right?

Maybe a quick breath and a conversation will help clear the air instead of creating a fight.

If you love and live without fear, negative emotions will not exist. When you feel good, everything feels good and makes you happy. If you love yourself, others will also love you.

Whatever people feel, do, think, or say, don’t take it personally. Even your opinions are not true. Therefore, you don’t need to take whatever you think in your mind.

The mind can also talk and listen to itself. It is divided into two parts.

  1. At one time, parts of the mind speak while others listen. This is called mitote, which is compared to a marketplace where people are talking, buying, and selling simultaneously. Everyone has different thoughts and feelings. Because of mitote, humans have difficulty knowing their choices; they disagree with themselves.
  2. At a certain time, some parts of the mind want one thing, and others want exactly the opposite.

Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions

Everybody tends to make assumptions about everything. The problem with assumptions is that we believe that they are true. All the drama and sadness in life are just because people take things personally and make assumptions.

It all starts when we gossip about our assumptions, as we are afraid of asking for clarification. It’s better to ask questions instead of making assumptions because it makes us more likely to suffer.

Making assumptions in relationships can cause arguments and confusion with the person we love. We assume the other person knows what we want because we make assumptions and then add more.

We assume that everyone sees life the way we do, thinks the way we think, feels the way we feel, judges the way we judge, and even abuses the way we abuse.

This is why we fear being ourselves around others. We always think others will surely judge us, blame us, or abuse us as we do ourselves. So, even before others reject us, we have already rejected ourselves. That is how the human mind works.

We also make assumptions about ourselves, which creates a lot of inner conflict.

When you go into a relationship with someone you like, you have to justify why you like that person. Real love is accepting others as they are without trying to change them. If you try to change them, it means you don’t really like them. It is always better to live and make an agreement with the person who is undoubtedly the way you want him or her to be.

Asking questions is the best way to avoid making assumptions. Ensure the communication is clear, and be courageous in asking questions until you are as clear as possible.

Agreement 3 Don't Make Assumptions

Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best

The fourth agreement is the action of the first three: Always do your best. Always do your best in every circumstance, no more or no less. But your best will not be the same from one time to another because everything is alive and constantly changes. So sometimes your best will be of the best quality, but sometimes not.

The quality of being ‘the best’ can vary depending on one’s mood, changing from moment to moment and day to day. Your best will also change over time. Your best will improve as you develop the habit of the four new agreements.

When you always do your best, you take action, and this will make you feel so happy. Doing this will make you more productive and be good to yourself. It’s the action because you love it. You can’t expect a reward for doing your best.

If we like what we do and always do our best, then we truly enjoy life. We don’t get bored and have fun. Being aware of your mistakes and learning from them will make you honest, increasing your awareness.

Only you can do your best if you take action for fun, but if you do it out of obligation, it’s better not to do it. Action means to live fully.

Inaction is the way we deny life. Expressing ourselves can only be done by taking action. Without action on an idea, there will be no results. The great to have is doing your best.

God is life and also life in action. Live your life by doing your best instead of saying ‘I love you’ to God. Let go of the past and live in the present moment; by doing so, you are saying thank you to God.

Only by doing your best will the habits of misusing your words, taking things personally, and making assumptions decrease with time. By doing your best repeatedly, you will become a master of transformation. Practice in any field makes you a master of that field.

If you obey these four rules, you will have a great life. These rules show how the Toltec master transformed, which is a mystery. We must find, adopt, and respect the four agreements and their power in our lives.

The Toltec Path To Freedom

  • What is freedom?

True freedom is with the human spirit — the freedom to be the person you really are.

  • Who stops us from being free?

We stop ourselves. Young children are free humans. They used to do whatever they wanted. Very young children are not afraid to express themselves. They have smiles on their faces. They used to explore the world; these humans are completely wild.

Children are only afraid when they get hurt or hungry, but they don’t worry about the past or the future. They only live in the present.

  • But what happened with the adult humans?

As victims, we can say that something bad happened to us. As warriors, we can say that what happens to us is normal. We are no longer free because the judge, the victim, and the belief system didn’t allow us to be who we really are. The training humans receive from generation to generation makes them unhappy. Never blame your parents for teaching the way they are taught. It is time to change yourself. We are still children from the inside; little of it comes out while playing or having fun activities, when we feel happy, or when we express ourselves in any way.

The thing that changes everything is something called responsibilities. When the word responsibilities come to our mind, our faces change and become serious again.

Awareness is the first step toward personal freedom. If you are unaware of this, you cannot change anything.

After being aware, you can look for a way to clean and heal the wounds of the mind. Suffering is not the reason. You can find a way to heal and transform your personal dream.

The belief system in our dreams is based on lies, so it is important to master our dreams.

Because of this, the Toltecs were considered dream masters. Being a Toltec is a way of life. It is a way of life where there are no leaders and no followers; you have your truth and live that only. A Toltec will again become wise, wild, and free.

There are 3 types of mastery for a human to do to become a Toltec master.

  • Mastery of Awareness — Recognizing our true selves.
  • Mastery of transformation — Changing old programs of domestication.
  • Mastery of intent or mastery of love — Living in alignment with unconditional love.

While discussing the Toltec path to freedom, we find that humans also want to be free from domestication. Humans say that the judge, the victim, and the belief system are like parasites that attack the human mind.

Toltecs believe that all domesticated humans are sick. The reason is the parasite that controls the mind and the brain. The negative emotion is the food for this parasite that comes from the fear.

Book Review (Personal Opinion)

Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” may be small, but it’s a mighty book. I love how this book dives straight into the heart of Toltec wisdom.

There’s no fluff, no time wasted – just powerful principles presented with beautiful clarity.

Here’s what I found so impactful:

  • It is concise, clear, and focuses on four core agreements without overwhelming you.
  • You can absorb the wisdom quickly and start practicing it immediately.
  • While many self-help books feel trendy, they draw on timeless Toltec teachings, giving the message a sense of importance and authenticity.
  • If you’re seeking a quick but impactful read that could reshape your perspective.


Our brain is the factory of emotions, and the mind’s main function is to dream. The Toltecs believe that the parasite controls your mind and your personal dreams.

The real us have two choices after knowing that the judge and the victim control the mind. To surrender and keep living the way we are. Rebel and declare war against the parasite, war against the judge and the victim, war for the right to use our mind and brain.

To be free from a parasite, we must destroy it. Here are three solutions for that-

  • We have to face our fears and overcome them.
  • Stop feeding negative emotions to the mind.
  • Face the angel of death.

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