Right away I’m skeptical when a book is sold in Jamba Juice, and when it’s also $12.95 for a slim pocket-sized volume, my skepticism meter goes into the red zone. But I had enough time between ordering my smoothie and receiving it to check out the first couple of chapters of The Four Agreements, the wildly popular advice book. So I had enough information to make an informed purchase decision.
One of the Agreements is to make no assumptions. That’s good. We can all be reminded from time to time, to overcommunicate and not get all bundled up over things that don’t happen the way we want them to. I don’t know that I’d pay three dollars for that reminder (roughly 25% of the $12.95 cover price) but it’s not a bad message.
The next Agreement, “always do your best,” left me colder than the Jamba Juice itself. You think? No shiz: always do your best. I started to wonder about the “Four Agreements” hype and the type of folks who swear by books like this. Are we that needy? You can get a Daily Affirmation calendar that’ll get you through the whole year for $12.95 – probably less at Half.com. I wavered, at the cash register; and I passed on the book. For one, I didn’t want to be seen walking out of Jamba Juice with “The Four Agreements.” But also, I’ve read too many pop-psychology, down-in-one-gulp self-help books for one lifetime as it is. So I took my smoothie and left the book on the counter.
Then I got home and visited Amazon and read this teaser for “The Four Agreements:”
“Sit at the foot of a native elder and listen as great wisdom from days past is passed down.”
Phew! I dodged a bullet.