“The Four Agreements (book) draws on the long tradition of the Toltecs, an ancient, indigenous people of Mexico, to show you that we have been domesticated from childhood, how these internal, guiding rules hurt us and what we can do to break and replace them with a new set of agreements with ourselves.” – source
Mexican surgeon and author Don Miguel Ruiz, who turned from science to spirituality after a near-fatal car accident, published his 1997 book The Four Agreements which spent eight years on the New York Times bestseller list, selling over six million copies and spreading these four guiding principles to live by:
Once you have read, or started reading the book, here are some sample discussion questions perfect for 1-to-1 or group English discussion sessions.
- In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz introduces the concept of “domestication.” What are some examples of how you were domesticated in your childhood? If you are a parent, are you aware of the ways in which you are domesticating your children?
- Don Miguel claims that the human mind is dreaming all the time. It dreams when the brain is asleep and it also dreams when the brain is awake. Do you agree with his assertion? Why or why not?
- Describe what don Miguel means by the “image of perfection.” Why does this cause so much suffering? What is your image of perfection? How does this image affect your happiness?
- The First Agreement is “Be Impeccable With Your Word.” Can you explain why this agreement is so powerful? Are you aware of the power of your word? What are some of the ways you’ve experienced the power of the word in your life?
- The Second Agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” What are some of the ways you have taken things personally? Do you believe the opinions of others are more important than your own? Do you take it personally if someone disagrees with you?
- The Third Agreement is “Don’t Make Assumptions.” Provide some examples of why making assumptions can cause so much suffering. Do you assume worst-case scenarios?
- The Fourth Agreement is “Always Do Your Best.” What are some examples of how practicing this agreement would transform your life? Do you tend to push yourself too hard? Do you know when you’ve done your best?
- The Four Agreements seem like common sense. Do you find it easy or difficult to practice these agreements? Has practicing one or more of the Four Agreements changed your life?