Monday, July 03, 2006

Booknote: The Four Agreements

Title: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Author: Miguel Ruiz
Publication Information: San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997
ISBN: 1878424319
160 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Self-help, spirituality, personal growth

This little self-help/spiritual book is based on four simple agreements:
  • Be impeccable with your word.
  • Don't take anything personally.
  • Don't make assumptions.
  • Always do your best.
Now, I am sure some cynical reader now thinks that I saved them from reading the book. Well maybe, or maybe there is a bit more to those four agreements. The premise is that our lives are bound by various agreements, many of them destructive, that we make throughout our lives. The idea then is to let those bad agreements go and to embrace the four above. On the surface, that seems easy enough, In practice, it may not be as easy as that. Personally, these are things that I have heard before, but Miguel Ruiz has a very nice and nurturing way to put these things forward. I do strive to be impeccable with my word. It's the taking things personally that I have some serious trouble with if you ask. This is a little book that is very accessible, very easy to read, and that you may find yourself revisiting. No one says you have to accomplish every thing in overnight. Like many habits, these agreements are things that may take time to integrate into daily life. There may be other books out there in this genre, but the simplicity and directness of this work means this book will likely be around a lot longer than many other works that seem to come and go with fads. This has definitely become one of my favorites.

Similar reads may include the works of Paulo Coehlo, though Coehlo does mostly fiction. However, the styles are somewhat similar. I think the book is worth reading and recommending. I may look for his other works. On a final note, the book is available in Spanish for our Spanish reading friends.

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