Maria Shriver

Inspired: Don Miguel Ruiz

Image: Don Miguel Ruiz
Don Miguel Ruiz Aaron Landman

What inspires those who inspire others? That’s the question we’re asking in this feature as we invite participants to share experiences which have spurred them to act, reflect or create.

Don Miguel Ruiz is the author of “The Four Agreements,” the international best-selling distillation of Toltec wisdom which spent over seven years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to be translated into 38 languages.

The book inspired readers around the globe with a set of four simple principles: be impeccable with your word; don't take anything personally; don't make assumptions; always do your best. Ruiz has since authored a series of international bestsellers, including “The Mastery of Love,” “The Voice of Knowledge,” “Prayers,” and ‘The Fifth Agreement,” a collaboration with his son Don Jose Ruiz.

Here, Ruiz shares the art, literature, and life experiences which have inspired and influenced his life.

I visited Teotihuacan, an archeological site close to Mexico City in 1989. I was inspired by the great Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, as well as by the Toltecs who participated in the creation of this powerful location.

I met my first child on December 3,1975. For the first time I felt responsible for somebody else and experienced unconditional love bigger than myself.

In my childhood I heard my Mother say that everything is possible and that my dreams can come true if I have the courage, the will, and the discipline to manifest them.

I saw "The Last Supper," Leonardo Da Vinci's greatest painting, during my last visit to Milan. I felt the emotional inspiration in the execution of this masterpiece. He was a real master.

I read Hermann Hesse’s book "Demian" in my adolescent days; it had a big influence on my life and helped me to understand not only my behavior but also that of all my friends and brothers.

I had a near-death experience in February 2002. I was in an induced coma for nine weeks. It became obvious that I am not matter but life, that life is eternal, and the mind is only a dream...the story of our life.

For more information and inspiration visit