Book Review - The Four Agreements

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book #5 - The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

[image source: Goodreads]

Sorry that I didn't do a book post in May but blogging every day kept me from doing any reading. I'm back on track this month though!

I had heard about this book from several people and everyone kept raving about it. Some even said that it had changed their lives, so I thought with all of the hype I should give it a shot. I was definitely not disappointed after reading it but I wouldn't necessarily call it great either. I've never read any "self-help" books before so this was totally new to me but overall I did take some good things away from it.

Summary (source)
In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The Four Agreements are: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don't Take Anything Personally, Don't Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best.

My Review
What I Loved
1. The book really did give some awesome advice. I really liked the second and third agreements and the ideas they presented. It really made me think about the way I perceive other people and how I can change that to make my life more positive. Taking all of the negative garbage that others give us can be very detrimental to our lives, so seeing people in a different light, as this book presents them, helped me to realize that we can shed a lot of that burden and be happier in general.

2. It's a relatively short book. I was able to read it in a couple of hours. I also liked the fact that, while it isn't very long, it felt like I had read something that was. There's so much packed into it that it'll definitely leave you thinking.

3. I feel like I want to read this book again. Or I guess I feel like I have to read it again in order to pick up on everything. There's a lot of good stuff to take away from this book once you can get past the writing style.

What I Didn't Love
1. The writing was incredibly segmented and choppy. I literally had to read some paragraphs three times to get what he was trying to explain. I honestly felt like I was reading the writing of someone who didn't speak English very well. Or maybe the writing of a third grader. "See this dog. See that cat. See this dog chase that cat." That kind of stuff.

2. I am not a huge fan of all the ancient Toltec fluff. I really was just looking to take away the overall message, not treat this stuff like a religion - which I'm sure some people may try to do.

3. Apart from the writing being choppy, it was also insanely repetitive. Maybe Ruiz did this to try to really drive home the principles and help readers to remember them but it really just felt redundant to me. I swear I read the exact same sentence in multiple sections throughout the book.

3 out of 5 stars

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