After revisiting an old book a few weeks ago, I’ve been feeling motivated to re-read more books on my shelf. The book that I’ll chat about this week is one that I bought over 10 years ago. I remember buying it at the suggestion of my counsellor at the time – I was in such a messy stage at that point that I trusted every recommendation and idea that she presented to me. As I picked up this book again, I remembered that this was one time that she led me astray – this was a book that I did not particularly like, though over 10 years later I couldn’t tell you why. But alas, I believe in giving some things a second try, so here we go…
The Four Agreements: Companion Book is the follow up book to Miguel Ruiz’s original book The Four Agreements. Ruiz uses this book to expand on the concepts discussed in his first book, further discuss the application of those concepts, and to provide readers with an author interview that delves even further into the content. The Four Agreements are as follows: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Ruiz states that, if you are able to live your life by these agreements, you will be happy and living in the moment.
Ok, so this book actually tells me to say what I mean and be impeccable with my word. So here it goes…I can’t even handle this book. No, I don’t mean that in a fun, colloquial way. I’m serious. I had barely read past the first sentence of the book’s dedication when I remembered exactly why I did not enjoy this book over 10 years ago. It is 100% not the style of writing that I like at all – it’s very mystical and fanciful…not my cup of tea. As someone who prefers science, I find it hard to care about or even wrap my head around the things discussed in this book, like the Parasite, Book of Law, and the Judge (yes, those things are all capitalized throughout the book). I frequently caught myself zoning out, so I quickly accepted that, despite my best efforts, this book would be a skimmed one.
Now, with all of that being said, I do have an appreciation for the Four Agreements themselves. Not all the airy-fairy explanations, but the four actual statements. I can see the value in each of them and I have tried to apply them in my own life. I can also see nuggets of useful information throughout the book. Unfortunately, those pieces are often so mired by the style of writing that they can be hard to pick out. So, here’s my honest opinion (again) – if you enjoy the style of writing that I’ve described, that’s cool – pick up this book. Some people really like it (as evidenced by the success stories at the end of the book), but I’m just not one of them. If you and I are the same in our preference for more structured, realistic, and even science-based writing, pick up this book, read the dust jacket (where the Four Agreements are listed), and put it back on the shelf. Knowing and contemplating the Four Agreements will be beneficial for anyone.
Interested in the book? Click here.