The Four Agreements
Table of Contents

Highlights and notes

  • Highlight: To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive—the risk to be alive and express what we really are.
  • Highlight: The more Self-love we have, the less we experience self-abuse.
  • Highlight: Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal.
  • Highlight: Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that which we want to perceive. We can perceive millions of things simultaneously, but using our attention, we can hold whatever we have to perceive in the foreground of our mind.

The four agreements

Be Impeccable With Your Word.

  • Highlight: The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate; to think, and thereby create the events in your life.

Something that resonated with me following the description of this commitment was how meaningless and harmful Gossip is. When we use our word to manifest negative energy towards others in our lives—regardless of whether or not we know them—we perpetuate negative energy throughout the world.

Don't Take Anything Personally.

  • Highlight: You make something big out of something so little, because you hand the need to be right and make everybody else wrong. You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions.

Folks have pointed out that they perceive me as having a desire to "always be right", as well as being inclined to nitpick and correct minor inaccuracies without much tangible benefit, other than to nitpick and correct minor innaccuracies. These are fair critiques; what can I say, I just enjoy diving into the nuance of everything. I am also a loudmouth, happy to voice my opinions to whoever will engage in compelling discourse. I strive to be mindful of how these manifest in my life, to what extent they play a role in my communication with others, and whether they are helping or hurting me.

  • Highlight: You get mad because you are afraid, because you are dealing with Fear. If you are not afraid, there is no way you will get mad.

What are the Fear-based agreements I’ve made with myself that cause me to suffer?

  • Highlight: Only by making an inventory of our agreements will we uncover all of the conflicts in the mind and eventually make order out of chaos.

What are all of the personal commitments that I’ve made to myself, and what is my gut reaction to them?

Conflicting agreements are the reason why humans are frequently unsure of core aspects of their lives—what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.

Which of my agreements/commitments conflict with each other the most, creating the greatest Tension in my life?

The agreements we make with ourselves come from different parts of our being. These agreements have different desires and functions, and each has a unique "voice" and "personality." This complexity makes it difficult for our agreements to live harmoniously at all points in our lives. Such difficulties cause Tension and other negative feelings.

Don't make assumptions

Making assumptions is unfair to people in our lives because we project onto them what we know about ourselves, assuming that they “should” know. This is toxic, unfair, and detrimental to Relationships.

  • Highlight: It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.
  • Highlight: Real love is accepting other people the way they are without trying to change them.

Always do your best

  • Highlight: You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love.
  • Highlight: Doing Your Best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward.
  • Highlight: If you take action because you have to, then there is no way you are going to do your best. Then it is better not to do it.
  • Highlight: Your Life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art. And you can change your life anytime is you aren’t enjoying the dream. Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices. Everything has consequences and a dream master is aware of the consequences.