A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
Life gets busy. Has The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari been gathering dust on your bookshelf? Instead, pick up the key ideas now.
Robin Sharma’s Perspective
Robin Sharma is considered one of the top 5 leadership experts worldwide. He is also the author of the bestselling books, The 5 AM Club and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Robin is admired by some of the world’s most successful people. He has advised rock stars, royalty, billionaires, and celebrity CEOs. Robin quit his career as a lawyer at the age of 25 to pursue stress management and spirituality.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is about a fictional character named Julian Mantle. Julian is a successful lawyer but is struggling with stress and work pressure. He finally decides to leave his previous baggage and luxurious life behind and travel to the Himalayan Mountains. Julian travels there in search of peace. After arriving, he encounters Yogi Raman. Yogi Raman offers Julian seven virtues for him to obtain enlightenment. After a few months, Julian returns and narrates all the teachings of Yogi Raman.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari describes the Seven Virtues required for a life of inner peace, joy, and a wealth of spiritual gifts.
StoryShot #1: Virtue One – Master Your Mind
The first principle is associated with the magnificent garden. The magnificent garden is a metaphor for our brain. We need to cultivate our minds like a gardener cultivates a magnificent garden. Sowing good seeds will eventually produce tasty fruits and beautiful flowers. Improve your quality of life by improving your quality of thoughts. It’s impossible to remove negative thoughts from your mind completely. Letting your negative thoughts take over is equivalent to under-watering your plants and leaving all your trash in your garden. You can decide to substitute them with positive thoughts when they arise. Sharma offers kindness, love, and empathy as examples of positive thoughts you can choose to adopt. So, you should develop a sense of inner peace.
It is essential to have goals and reach high levels of potential. That said, it is also crucial to value the journey and appreciate what you have right now. This is particularly relevant in modern society. We live in a world where we are bombarded with stimuli from all directions. These stimuli embed themselves in your subconscious mind, whether you’re aware of it or not. We have to choose consciously what type of information we want to allow into our minds.
Robin Sharma highlights that mistakes do not exist. Instead, these so-called mistakes are merely lessons to learn from. He encourages readers to reinforce their self-appreciation and self-respect. Gratitude for yourself and the world that you live in will allow you to learn from every experience, as you will be constantly using them as lessons.
StoryShot #2: Techniques to Master Your Mind
Sharma recommends you pick up an actual rose for this technique. Obtain a fresh rose and sit in a silent place. Then, start staring at the center of the rose. Notice the color, texture, and design of the rose. Your mind may wander away at first, but this is just a sign of an untrained mind. Do not worry about your wandering mind, and simply return your attention to the rose. If you practice this form of meditation daily, you will grow strong and disciplined. Robin Sharma recommends spending 10-20 minutes per day performing this technique.
Sages, who are enlightened men within Chinese Buddhism, have utilized this technique. The sages would stare into the waters of the still lake and envision their dreams becoming a reality. Everything is created twice. First, in the mind, and then it is realized in a physical form. We can visualize everything that we want to be, do, or have.
StoryShot #3: Virtue Two – Follow Your Purpose
Sharma uses the analogy of a lighthouse to explain the idea of following your purpose. A lighthouse aims to show people the right direction. Similarly, we need to choose the right path in our lives. But you can only find the right path if you know your destination. Your destination is your purpose.
Happiness comes from achievement. Without goal setting, you will not achieve anything. Find the purpose of your life, make goals, and write them down on a piece of paper. Sharma believes that unwritten goals are not actually goals.
Humans have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day. Writing goals sends signals to the subconscious mind, suggesting this thought is more important than the other 59,999 daily thoughts. Then, the subconscious mind provides energy to carry out these goals.
Discovering and then realizing your lifework brings lasting fulfillment. Set clearly-defined personal, professional, and spiritual goals, and then have the courage to act on them. You have to do things that break through your comfort zone.
StoryShot #4: The Five-Step Method to Following Your Purpose
Sharma offers a clear step-by-step process that anybody can use to start following their purpose.
- Have a clear vision of your outcome.
- Create positive pressure to keep you inspired.
- Never set a goal without attaching a timeline to it.
- Stay with your goal for 21 days.
- Enjoy the process.
StoryShot #5: Virtue Three – Practice Kaizen
Kaizen is the Japanese method for improvement and optimization. It directly translates into continuous learning and improvement. This idea is most commonly applied to sumo wrestlers, who have to be very disciplined to maintain their large size and skill set. It’s a process that involves optimization and incrementally improving in the crucial areas of your life, business, and work.
Self-mastery is the DNA of life mastery. Suppose you master yourself and use the philosophy of Kaizen to help guide you. In that case, you’re well on your way to mastering external circumstances. Success begins within. You don’t attract what you want; you attract who you are. This mantra is worth repeating and reflecting on many times. Enlightenment comes through the consistent cultivation of your mind, body, and soul. Consistent cultivation means the development and optimization of your mind. Robin Sharma believes the most effective technique for practicing Kaizen is doing the things you fear. Consistently engaging with fearful activities will encourage the death of fear altogether.
StoryShot #6: The Ten Ancient Rituals for Radiant Living
Linked to the practice of Kaizen, Sharma also offers readers a list of ten ancient rituals that supposedly encourage radiant living.
- Ritual of Solitude – Spend 15-20 minutes in silence daily.
- Ritual of Physicality – Nourish the temple of your body daily through vigorous exercise.
- Ritual of Live Nourishment – Fill your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Ritual of Abundant Knowledge – Read for at least thirty minutes daily. Be specific in the topics you read.
- Ritual of Personal Reflection – Review each day and identify areas where you engaged with the wrong action. Learn from this wrong action and do not commit it the next day.
- Ritual of Early Awakening – Rise as soon as the sun is rising. You do not need 8 hours of sleep per night. Instead, improve the quality of your sleep and get up earlier.
- Ritual of Music – Play some music whenever you feel weary. Music can be one of the best motivators.
- Ritual of the Spoken Word – Develop positive self-talk to use anytime you are pursuing your purpose.
- Ritual of Congruent Character – Your habits combine to form your character. This character will determine your destiny.
- Ritual of Simplicity – Live a simple life with reduced needs. Learn to be content with less.
StoryShot #7: Virtue Four – The Power of Discipline
The notion of discipline encourages you to consistently perform small acts of courage. In Sharma’s fables, discipline is represented by a pink wire coil and is worn by the sumo wrestler to protect his modesty. Strengthen your willpower and develop self-discipline. Cords consist of tiny, smaller threads that form to create something far more robust. Similarly, each individual act of courage helps make you a stronger individual.
Build discipline by consistently performing small acts of courage. You can engage with big acts of courage, but ensure you dedicate yourself every day. The more you nurture self-discipline, the more it will mature.
Willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualized life. You should approach willpower from two angles: develop your willpower by practicing self-discipline and setting up systems in your life.
Wage war against the weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind. These thoughts will then see that they are unwanted and leave like unwelcome visitors.
StoryShot #8: Mantras to Build Discipline
Robin Sharma has a specific mantra he suggests you repeat at least thirty times a day:
‘I am more than I appear to be, all the world’s strength and power rests inside me.’
On top of this, spend a long period or a full day in silence. If people around you ask direct questions during this period of silence, you can answer them. You should use this time as an opportunity to increase control over your body.
StoryShot #9: Virtue Five – Respect Your Time
Time is the most precious commodity. We all have twenty-four hours a day, but effective time management separates the successful and mediocre. Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return. Time mastery leads to life mastery. So, focus on your priorities and maintain balance. Procrastination is a habit many of us have that just wastes time.
Despite rejecting procrastination, Robin Sharma does not believe you should be working continuously. Instead, simplify your life down to the essential activities. Respecting and paying full attention to your time will allow you to live your life to the fullest.
StoryShot #10: How to Improve Productivity
The Ancient Rule of 20
This ancient rule is like the 80/20 principle that says our 20% activities give 80% of the result. You must try to incorporate more 20% activities into your life to fully respect your time.
The Deathbed Mentality
To make full use of your time, you must have the courage to say no to requests. One way to increase your chances of doing so is to adopt the deathbed mentality. Live every day as if it were your last. Ask yourself every morning what you would do today if it were your last. On top of that, consider how you would treat your family, friends, and colleagues if it were your last day.
StoryShot #11: Virtue Six – Selflessly Serve Others
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your contributions to the world. To achieve wholeness, you should practice daily acts of kindness, give generously, and focus on your relationships with others. To cultivate the sacredness of each day, live to give. By elevating the lives of others, you elevate your own life.
There’s a famous saying in China that ‘There is always a little fragrance remaining in the hand of those who give flowers to others.’ The satisfaction of helping others is priceless. So, give to those who ask and cultivate richer relationships. Always be kind and compassionate toward others. One way to encourage these behaviors is to start your day by thinking about the goodness you can spread on that day. In a Buddhist proverb, a sumo wrestler was revived from his sleep by the smell of roses. After waking, he discovered a diamond-encrusted path that gave him overwhelming bliss and joy. The sumo wrestler learned that happiness is not the destination, but the journey itself. As you travel this journey, you will notice small wonders. In the fable, these wonders are depicted as diamonds. To appreciate these diamonds, you must practice gratitude at every opportunity. Appreciate your health, your family, and the small joys of life.
The moral of this story is that showing kindness to others will bring you happiness. That said, you must also show gratitude for this happiness to encourage future happiness.
StoryShot #12: Virtue Seven – Embrace the Present
There are three techniques you can apply to fully embrace the present.
- Live in the “now.” Savor the gift of the present.
- Never sacrifice happiness for achievement.
- Savor the journey and live each day as your last.
We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future. Our human brains are designed so that we tend to get disturbed when thinking of our past and worry about the future. We rarely enjoy the small positive moments that we have in the present. These moments are the real diamonds in your life. So, never sacrifice your happiness for achievement.
StoryShot #13: Live Your Children’s Childhood
Take the time to watch your children grow and flourish. The best gift you could ever give your children is your love. Get to know your children. Show them that they are far more critical to you than the fleeting rewards of your professional career. Pretty soon, they will be off, building lives and families of their own. If you do not live your children’s childhood, then it will be too late.
StoryShot #14: Grow Your Destiny
Once you have discovered your higher purpose, you can direct all your energy into it. On top of that, pursuing this destiny will allow you to fulfill many of your desires effortlessly.
Final Summary and Analysis of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’s primary message is built on the Seven Virtues of Enlightenment and how we can apply these virtues to our lives. As a final summary, the Seven Virtues are:
- Master Your Mind
- Follow Your Purpose
- Practice Kaizen
- The Power of Discipline
- Respect Your Time
- Selflessly Serve Others
- Embrace the Present
We rate this book 4.5/5.
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