20 Inspiring Quotes from “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz, published in 1997, leads us on a journey that shows the origins of self-limiting ideas that deprive us of enjoyment and cause unnecessary pain.

For more than a decade, the book has been a New York Times best-seller, drawing inspiration from ancient Toltec wisdom and offering an effective code of conduct for quickly transforming life into an experience of freedom, joy, and love.

Ruiz begins the book by introducing the concept of “the planet’s dream,” a communal dream comprised of mankind, family, and community. This is subdivided further into culture, societal beliefs, religions, and laws. Governments, schools, and events are some of the mechanisms through which humanity’s ambitions can be realized.

Notable quotes

  • “The Four Agreements, 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best.”
  • “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
  • “If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
  • “I will no longer allow anyone to manipulate my mind and control my life in the name of love.”
  • “God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive at the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”
  • “Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”
  • “If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self-pity, suffering, and tears.”
  • “Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.”
  • “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”
  • “But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally.”
  • “You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward”
  • “Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.”
  • “Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.”
  • “Also, go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.”
  • “It is when we lose control that we repress the emotions, not when we are in control.”
  • “True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.”
  • “Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system.”
  • “The big difference between a warrior and a victim is that the victim represses and the warrior refrains.”
  • “What you will see is love coming out of the trees, love coming out of the sky, love coming out of the light. You will perceive love from everything around you. This is the state of bliss.”
  • “Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”