don Miguel Ruiz and others

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is a self-help book by the author Don Miguel Ruiz. The book outlines a code of conduct based on Toltec teachings that purport to improve one’s life.

The book was originally published in 1997 by Amber-Allen publishing in San Rafael, California. An illustrated edition was later published by the same company in 2010 to celebrate the book’s 15th anniversary.[1]

First published in 1997, the book gained popularity after being endorsed by Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2001 and again in 2013.[2] The book was also on The New York Times bestseller list for over a decade.[3]


According to the author, the book is inspired by a set of the Toltec people’s spiritual beliefs. The intent of the book is to help readers explore “freedom,” “happiness,” and “love.”[4]

The central point is that a person’s life is determined by agreements they have made with themselves, others, God, and society as a whole. Through these agreements one determines how they see themselves, what is possible for them, how they should behave, and their worth as a person.[3][better source needed]

The book is broken up into an exploration of the four agreements: “Be impeccable with your word”, “Do not take anything personally”, “Do not make assumptions”, and “Always do your best”. Chapters include the relevant linguistic and historical context for each. Ruiz says that by making a pact with the agreements described in the book, the individual is able to create a happier and more successful life.[5]

In addition to the book and audiobook, there is also an eBook, a four-color illustrated book, a card-deck, a companion book, and an online course available.[3]