I’m a big Robin Sharma fan. I’ve met Sharma twice in South Africa, once in a small gathering in Johannesburg, and although cynics may accuse him of being a pop psychologist, I think that his work is smart, simply communicated and inspirational. By now, with so many of Robin Sharma’s quotes on my Blog, Facebook wall, and Twitter, many of you must have realized how much I love reading his books. In fact , I believe that Robin Sharma is a literary genius, who knows how to articulate the most beautiful thoughts in the form of words. He touches the most simplistic aspects of life in such a way that it revolutionizes your thinking. Such is the power in this man’s words.
So if you’re looking for an inspirational book to help you take your life to the next level then this may be the book for you. It’s written as a teaching tale so you won’t be finding any boring or bland content here.
In my opinion, how Sharma structured this book and delivered these life changing lessons is brilliant. He used stories within stories, memorable characters and even tucked some symbols in there to help you remember the key concepts from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.
What is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari About?
The story revolves around two protagonists; Julian Mantle, a high-profile superstar attorney who’s a workaholic, and a young and promising junior lawyer named John.
Mantle’s high-stress lifestyle finally catches up with him and right in the middle of a trial, he crashes to the floor clutching his chest. His heart had finally given out on him and the universe sent him a strong message.
Mantle hears the message loud and clear, checks out of his former lifestyle and treks to the Himalaya’s in search of a more meaningful life.
Several years later, Julian shows up unannounced at John’s office. Mantle is totally reborn and his former colleague doesn’t even recognize him at first. John is mesmerized by this changed man and craves the knowledge and stories that Mantle has come back to share with him and Mantle knows that he’s arrived back in John’s life just in time to save him from making the same mistake he had made years before.
The Key Concepts From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari revolves around 7 key teachings. Sharma calls them the Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning and uses stories and symbols to help you learn these key concepts and easily apply them to your life.
The Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning include:
1. Master Your Mind (Symbol: The Garden): The garden is a symbol for your mind. Master it. Cultivate it daily. Be mindful of what you let into your mindstream. Reality is a product of our dreams, decisions and actions. As James Allen said “You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you”. So Sharma teaches us that all your thoughts must be carefully thought through.
2. Follow Your Purpose (Symbol: The Lighthouse): The lighthouse is a symbol for goals and a life of purpose. Your goals and your purpose give you direction. They shine a light in the darkness so that you know which way to go. Albert Einstein reminded us that “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
3. Practice Kaizen (Symbol: Sumo Wrestler): The sumo wrestler is the symbol of continual self-improvement. Kaizen is a Japanese word or concept for timeless continuous improvement. Success on the outside begins within. Ralph Waldo Emmerson said “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Learn from it. Tomorrow is a new day”.
4. Live With Discipline (Symbol: Pink Wire Cable): The pink wire cable is a symbol for self-control and self-discipline. This is about embracing and using your willpower. Start small and build up to the bigger challenges within your life. Harry Truman famously said “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first”.
5. Respect Your Time (Symbol: Stopwatch): The stopwatch is a symbol representing the limited time that we all have. Become time conscious. It’s a technique that Buddhist’s often use to steer their minds and lives towards success. It’ll work just as well for you. Be mindful of your time. It’s really a non-renewable resource. As Apple CEO Steve Jobs has repeatedly said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.
6. Selflessly Serve Others (Symbol: Yellow Roses): The roses are a symbol of service. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “A little bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that give you roses.” When you work to improve the lives of others you indirectly elevate your own life in the process. As Levi Strauss said, “One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others”.
7. Embrace the Present (Symbol: Path of Diamonds): The winding path of diamonds is a symbol for understanding and paying attention to the miracle of this very moment.
This book, like so many from Sharma, is engrossing, captivating and possesses the potential to be life-changing. The very nuances and basics of life have been addressed in its motivational pages and any and every one of us can relate to his words. The manner in which he relates his thoughts adds an authentic sense of power to his writing.