The Four Agreements

don Miguel Ruiz is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling author.

Born in rural Mexico, don Miguel Ruiz’s parents were healers and practitioners of ancient Toltec traditions. Combining Toltec mythology and science, don Miguel merges ancient wisdom with modern physics and practical common-sense. His landmark bestselling book, The Four Agreements, contains practical steps for long-term, personal transformation and has been read by millions around the world.

Designed as a system to simply your life and release your personal freedom, the Four Agreements reveal the source of our self-limiting beliefs. Do any of these resonate with you?

Be impeccable with your word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Do not speak against yourself or to gossip about others. We act on what we tell ourselves is real. Consider these examples:

  • Don’t tell someone you should catch up soon if you don’t actually want to/intend to.
  • Don’t let your Friday morning coffee turn into a whinge about all your colleagues.
  • Stop telling yourself you aren’t good/smart/beautiful enough.
  • If you don’t want to catch up with a friend, don’t tell them you’ll get back to them. Just back out of the obligation now.

Don’t take anything personally

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. Because each person sees the world in a unique way, the way that others treat us says as much about them as it does about us. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Consider these:

  • The client isn’t trying to make your life hard – they’re just overwhelmed.
  • Your friend isn’t being unsupportive – she just isn’t interested in your particular blog subject, so why should she follow it?
  • The person who cut you off in traffic actually isn’t trying to annoy you – they’re only thinking about themselves.

Don’t make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can do avoid misunderstandings and drama. When we try to mind read, we will often be wrong.

Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

You should not try to do better than your best. Pushing yourself too hard can cause pain, injury, and mistakes. Also recognise that our best will vary from moment to moment, day to day.


When we apply the four agreements to our lives, we increase our capacity for emotional intelligence. We can manage our emotional state by not making it reliant on others. To learn more about the Four Agreements, see Miguel Ruiz’s website or buy a copy of the book.

Claire Deane