The Four Agreements

I know this has little to do with backgammon, but it has made such a great impact on my life, and many others, that I feel compelled to share it with the world.

The Four Agreements

By Phil Simborg


I read a lousy book, called The Four Agreements.  The book was written poorly and went on and on, but the message of the book was terrific, and I have tried my best to live by it.  For the benefit of anyone interested, here is my own summary of the book (so you won’t have to read it).


Do your best to live by these Four Agreements and your life will be far happier and you will be a better person and you will get along better with others as well.


  1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD.  Of course this means always telling the truth and never exaggerating, but it means a lot more.  It means choosing your words carefully so that you accurately convey what you mean.  It means that when you speak and write, know that your words can hurt others or give the wrong impression.  If you are sarcastic, negative, judgmental, mean, you will cause pain.  If you gossip, you belittle others as well as yourself.  It means be succinct, and don’t go on and on and on and on and on.
  2. MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS.  Many problems between people start because of  wrong assumptions.  Someone is short with you, and you assume they are rude or don’t like you, and you treat them the same way, but maybe they were preoccupied or just having a bad day. 
  3. DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.  It’s not always about you.  Again, someone is rude or short with you, but it may not be about you at all.  A person in another car cuts you off…it’s not about you…it’s about them being rude and inconsiderate…they don’t even know you exist.  Don’t take it personally.
  4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.  If you try your best in everything you do, not only will you have more success and more enjoyment in everything you do, but those times you don’t succeed you will have fewer regrets.  Give everything your best effort, whether it be washing the dishes or in your marriage, or trying to win a game or trying to do well at work.  By trying your best, everything will be richer, more interesting, and more meaningful.  Life will have greater depth.  And again, you will have fewer regrets if things don’t go exactly as you had hoped.