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Book summary of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny Paperback by Robin Sharma – 1999

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What Is the Book About?

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a self-help book by Robin Sharma, a writer, and motivational speaker.  This book isn’t about not having nice stuff, it’s about choosing a vocation or a purpose in life that 1) Is able to fulfill you in many ways. 2) Provide a deeply meaningful purpose from a place of contribution to others. 3) Allow you to afford to live the lifestyle that you want.

The book is about Julian Mantle who is a successful lawyer but is full of tensions and work pressure, who finally decides to leave his baggage of past and luxurious life behind and goes to Himalayan Mountains in search of peace.

There he comes across Yogi Raman: One of the great sages of Sivana, who teaches him various things to enlighten his life. After few months Julian comes back to meet John and narrates him all the fables and teachings of Yogi Raman.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari mainly describes the Seven virtues for a life overflowing with inner peace, joy and wealth of spiritual gifts.

About the author

Robin Sharma, LL.B., LL.M., is one of the world’s top experts on leadership and personal development, having helped millions of people to live their best lives.

He is the author of 12 major international bestsellers, including The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Greatness Guide. His work has been published in over 60 countries and in nearly 70 languages, making him one of the most widely read authors in the world.

Robin is CEO of Sharma Leadership International Inc., a coaching and training firm that counts Microsoft, Nike, IBM, GM and Panasonic among its clients.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari summary

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary

The book develops around two characters, Julian Mantle and his best friend John, in the form of conversation. Julian narrates his spiritual experiences during a Himalayan journey which he undertook after selling his holiday home and red Ferrari.

Julian Mantle was a successful lawyer, who leaves his practice after his health fails. He then joins the sages of Sivana in the mystical land of Sivana and discovers the path to enlightenment. Mantle wants to share the secrets to lead an enriched life with his friend John, who was also his colleague in the past. The fictional conversation between Julian and John is the core of the book where the author shares a number of techniques to help the reader live happily and healthily.

But in reality, it’s a book about passion, imagination and dreaming. It’s a book to remind you of what it was like to be a child filled with limitless potential and wonder. 

Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The core of the book is the Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning, which Mantle reveals one by one. 

1- Master your mind

The symbol “magnificent garden” represents the act of cultivating the mind and improving the quality of life by improving the quality of thoughts. It’s impossible to completely remove negative thoughts from our mind, however, it can be substituted by positive thoughts.

It’s important to have goals and reach high levels of potential. As much as it’s important to value the journey and appreciate what you have right now.

  • Cultivate your mind it will blossom beyond your expectations. We live in a world right now where there is constant stimulus coming towards our direction, and this stimulus is embedding itself in your subconscious mind whether you’re aware of it or not. We have to hold the key to the gate that allows this information in and choose consciously what kind of information we want going into our mind.
  • The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts. Protect your mind, be aware of the kind of information you are consuming. That information is going into your mind and it’s getting you to think a certain way. When you think in a way that is not in alignment with your vision, you’re probably not going to do things a certain. You are going to consciously choose by simplifying the information and content that you consume to that which supports your vision
  • There are no mistakes–only lessons.  This is a way of thinking that’s based on appreciation self-respect and gratitude for yourself and the world that you live in. Trust that every single experience that you are having every day is teaching you about yourself.

“certain things. It comes when you think certain” 

2- Follow your purpose

Happiness comes from achievement but without goal setting, you will not achieve anything. Find the purpose of your life, make goals and write down on the piece of paper. As I said, we thought sixty-thousand thoughts on an average day.

Writing goals send signals to the subconscious mind that states this single thought far more important than other 59,999 thoughts. Then, the sub-conscious mind provides precious mental energy to carry out goals.

  • It’s important to have goals and reach high levels of potential. As much as it’s important to value the journey and appreciate what you have right now.
  • 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.

3- Practice kaizen

Kaizen is the Japanese method for improvement and optimization. It’s a process that you optimize and you incrementally improve in the areas of your life, business and work.

  • Self-master is the DNA of life mastery. If you master yourself and use the philosophy of Kaizen to help guide you, then you’re well on your way to mastering external circumstances like building a business or having a successful relationship.
  • Success on the outside begins within. You don’t attract what you want, you attract who you are. It’s 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.

“Success cannot be pursued; success ensues. It flows as the unintended byproduct of efforts concentrated in the direction of a worthy cause.”

4- Live with discipline

Represented by a pink wire coil, the notion of discipline entreats you to consistently perform small acts of courage, strengthen your will power, and develop the strength of self-discipline.

  • Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage. You can take big acts of courage, but every day dedicate yourself.
  • The more you nurture the embryo of self-discipline, the more it will mature.
  • Willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualized life. The beauty of willpower is you should approach it from two angles: develop your willpower by practicing self-discipline and set up systems in your life.

Wage war against the weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind. They will see that they are unwanted and leave like unwelcome visitors.

5- Respect your time

Time is the most precious commodity. We all have twenty-four hours a day but effective time management separates successful folk from average folk. Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return. Time mastery leads to life mastery.  

  • Time is your most precious commodity and it is non-renewable.
  • Focus on your priorities and maintain balance.
  • Simplify your life.

Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return again. Those who use time wisely from an early age are rewarded with rich, productive and satisfying lives.

6- Selflessly serve others

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your contributions to the greater 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, your life reaches its highest dimensions.

You should practice daily acts of kindness, give to those who ask and cultivate richer relationships.

7- Embrace the present

There are three techniques you can apply to fully embrace the present. They include living your children’s childhood, practicing gratitude and gently growing towards your destiny. It is also important for you to be fully present and engaged in whatever you do.

  • 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.


What did you learn from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari summary? Is there an important takeaway or lesson that we missed? Comment below, on the text storyshot page at or tweet at us at @storyshots

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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari summary
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari summary

Text storyshot is adapted from the mindmap of Joseph Rodrigues and Wikipedia.

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