Life Lessons From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Life gets busy. Has Who Will Cry When You Die? been gathering dust on your bookshelf? Instead, pick up the key ideas now.
About Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma is considered one of the top 5 leadership experts worldwide and is also the author of the bestselling books, The 5 AM Club and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Sharma is admired by some of the world’s most successful people. He has advised rock stars, royalty, billionaires, and celebrity CEOs. Sharma quit his career as a lawyer at the age of 25 to pursue stress management and spirituality.
In Who Will Cry When You Die?, Robin Sharma offers advice on overcoming the difficulties of life while developing your personality and skills. The book is the third in Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series. The book offers 100 solutions to everyday life problems. These solutions range from sleeping less to discovering your calling. We are providing you with 25 of these solutions.
StoryShot #1: Discover Your Calling
If you don’t act on life, then life has a habit of acting on you. Without a calling, days can slip into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. After this time has passed, you could be left with a life that was only half-lived. Alternatively, you can actively seek your calling. We are all here for a purpose, and this purpose is unique to us. This calling will manifest as our higher human potential and will add value to the lives around us. So, Robin recommends creating a mantra that you live by in all parts of your life. You will then be able to seek a higher meaning from your everyday activities and your work.
StoryShot #2: Create Good Habits
As you live your days, so you will live your life. Robin explains that our lives are not a dress rehearsal. Lost opportunities will rarely arise again. So, the key to success and happiness is self-discipline. Being stricter with yourself will help you to live your life on your terms.
Here are some habits that Robin recommends you introduce into your daily routine:
- Decompress before you go home after work by doing something you find relaxing
- Have a daily family meal without fail
- Get up early
- Laugh more
- Keep a journal
- Take more pictures
- Always carry a book
Robin reminds readers that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. So, try to stick with your new routine, even if it seems challenging at first.
StoryShot #3: Ask Yourself Who Will Care About You When You Die
Have you ever thought about who will attend your funeral? Who will speak? Who will cry? And who will still be loving you? Asking ourselves questions like these can bring peace and calm to our daily life. These questions help remind us that we are human. We are not robots, and our days do not have to be repetitive.
Similarly, the book urges us to schedule our daily life tasks. We should pay attention to this schedule and identify when we are not spending enough time being human. We must allocate time for our loved ones, family, friends, and nature. We must also allocate time to being alone. Being alone allows us to think about life.
We should do what we love to do. Scheduling, passion, and self-discipline are ideas that consistently arise throughout the book. Scheduling is an important art that everyone needs to master to become highly effective and successful. We should make a to-do list every day. In this list, separate the essential and unimportant activities. The real secret to getting things done is to know what things need to be left undone.
StoryShot #4: Be the Best You
Firstly, Robin recommends that you start being as honest as possible. He describes our world as untruthful, where we do not realize the number of lies we tell each day.
Secondly, Robin recommends that you should try to be more loving. He explains that you should make frequent deposits into your ’love account’ by engaging in small acts of kindness to those around you. These acts of kindness will create joy.
Finally, Robin recommends being humble, forgiving, and thankful. These actions will help you be more accepting of yourself, those around you, and the environment you inhabit. This acceptance will help you and the people in your life live happier lives.
StoryShot #5: Be Positive, Stop Worrying, and Start Living
Let the brightness of positivity enter your life. We should stop worrying and thinking about the things that we wish never happened to us. We should never worry about past events. This thinking blocks all the positive things that we hope for in our life. Our thought patterns are incredibly impactful. When we think positively, we can start attracting positive things. It makes no sense to worry about past mistakes unless we want to experience them for a second time. So, one of the key messages from this book is that we should all worry less and live more. Strong people move on and don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
StoryShot #6: Start Your Day With the Platinum 30
You must start your day well, as it will determine how you live the rest of your day. Robin calls the first 30 minutes after you wake up the ‘platinum 30.’ These 30 minutes should be spent with only the purest of thoughts and the finest of actions. If you can master these 30 minutes, then your whole life will be changed. Our Platinum 30 should be a time when we go back to our base camp and reconnect with our life’s mission, renew ourselves, and refocus on the things that matter most.
Here is an outline of Robin Sharma’s Platinum 30:
- After waking, head down to your personal sanctuary. This should be a space where you can practice renewal activities without being disturbed
- Spend 15 minutes in silent contemplation. Focus on all the good things in your life and how the day will unfold in a positive way
- Then, pick up a book from the wisdom literature pile, which includes books that anchor you in successful living
StoryShot #7: Learn to Say No Gracefully
If your life priorities are unclear, then it is easy to say yes to every request on your time. Be clear about what your life’s most significant priorities are. Then, you have to learn to say no with grace. The most effective people concentrate on their areas of excellence. These are the things that they do best, and they prioritize these activities. Being consumed by these activities makes it easier to say no to irrelevant requests on your time.
StoryShot #8: Model Yourself on a Curious Child
Our body needs food for its nourishment. Our mind needs creative and positive thoughts for its nourishment. We should live life like a child who wants to learn new things every day and is curious about the world.
Human beings have a natural tendency to observe, feel, and look deep inside what is going on around them. If you take a small child into a garden and point towards the moon, the child will look to the moon. Take your dog into the garden and point towards the moon; the dog will look at your finger.
Instead of behaving like other animals, we should live our lives like a curious child who asks different questions. Robin Sharma has used a Chinese proverb to explain this point, “He who asks may be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn’t is a fool for a lifetime.”
StoryShot #9: Be Inspired
Every great genius who has lived was inspired and driven. These geniuses were inspired and driven by the desire to enrich the lives of others. Sharma provides some advice for when your aspirations might be low.
- Read a good book
- Watch an interesting movie
- Listen to some uplifting music
- Go to a public lecture
Each of these activities has the opportunity to inspire you for that day. Incorporating these times of inspiration into your life will raise your aspirations to a new level.
StoryShot #10: Try Something New Every Day
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
A similar point was made by Booker T. Washington, the scholar, and adviser to multiple US presidents who was from the last generation of African American leaders born into slavery, he said, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
We should take risks in our life because life is not on the side of the faint-hearted. The more risks you take, the more rewards you will receive. Always remain in search of opportunities and stop spending your days searching for security. Swap security for opportunity.
It is not essential to be a Jack of all trades. Instead, you should be specialized in a particular field.
StoryShot #11: Some Lives Are Tragedies
We are living in a strange era where we are alive, yet we don’t live. This is precisely what Norman Cousins has depicted in this quote: “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.” Some people are buried at the age of 80, but they die at the age of 30. We don’t only die when we stop breathing; we also die when we stop thinking and imagining new ideas. When we have no goals, perspective, or meaning in our lives, we are dying inside. Years wrinkle our skin but to give up on ideas and enthusiasm wrinkles our soul. All deaths are taken as tragedies, but some lives are even greater tragedies.
StoryShot #12: Prioritize Your Time
Robin explains that people tend to live their lives as if they have unlimited time. In reality, time is our most precious commodity. Successful individuals are those who maximize their 24 hours each day. The real secret to maximizing your time is to know when things are better left undone. Here are some tips that Robin provided for prioritizing your time:
- Make more time for your family and friends
- Don’t finish every book that you start
- Don’t pick up the phone every time it rings
StoryShot #13: Practice Forgiveness
Don’t carry a grudge on your back. A grudge is just like anger. Anger builds up in us, when not dealt with, and erodes us. The main issue with grudges is that they don’t fulfill the purpose of what they are there to serve. They don’t give us a feeling of betterment or healing.
However, you don’t have to carry grudges as a badge of honor. This badge will only drain you of energy, enthusiasm, and peace of mind. You can decide to let this badge go and feel better for it.
StoryShot #14: Carry a Goal Card
On multiple occasions, Robin has seen highly successful people carrying a goal card. When the day slows down a bit, these individuals will check their goal cards and realign themselves. The goal card should include your top life goals, along with clear deadlines for achieving them.
People tend to fill their days with activities that seem important in the moment, but count for very little in the grand scheme of their lives. So, the goal card offers a reminder of the activities that are and will always be important. The card will also provide you with the self-control you need to advance your goals and say no to activities that don’t match these goals.
StoryShot #15: Focus on the Quality of Sleep, Not the Quantity
We should focus on the quality of our sleep, not the quantity. It doesn’t matter whether we are having six, eight, or nine hours of sleep. If the quality of sleep is low, then the quantity of sleep is a waste of time.
Robin Sharma provided some tips that can help you to have higher quality sleep. Firstly, don’t eat after 8 PM. Instead, you should have an early dinner. You do not want your body to be digesting while you try to sleep. Additionally, don’t rehearse the activities of your day while sleeping. Finally, don’t read in bed and watch the news before you go to sleep. These last two tips will help make your bed a place that is solely for sleeping.
StoryShot #16: Sleep Less
Robin Sharma also advises us to sleep less. Other visionaries have also recommended sleeping less. For example, Thomas Edison once stated that “Sleep is like a drug, take too much at a time, and it makes you dopey. You lose time and opportunities.” Most of the time, we sleep to avoid reality, not to reduce our fatigue. Fatigue is often a mental creation that stems from doing things you do not like doing, rather than not sleeping enough.
StoryShot #17: Life’s Greatest Pleasures Are Often the Simplest Ones
As humans, we often strive for the complicated and elaborate pleasures in life. But often the greatest pleasures in life are the simplest ones. These simple pleasures are vital as they are the ones we can all engage in. So, feed an animal, water a plant, or plant a tree. Be closer to nature.
StoryShot #18: Negative Thoughts Can Kill You Alive
As mentioned earlier, negative thoughts should be avoided. The book explains negative thoughts through this famous quote, “Chita burns the dead body while Chinta burns the living.” This quote gives us a lesson of how we should live life to the fullest. Here, “Chita” means funeral pyre, while “Chinta” means thinking negatively or worrying. Chita, heaped wood, is used to burn dead bodies. However, our negative thoughts kill us alive. The latter is arguably worse.
As well as wasting our time as we move towards death, negative thoughts can also impact our likelihood of dying. Negative thoughts are incredibly dangerous for the human body. The body responds to negativity with a stress response. This response can result in many diseases, like high blood pressure and heart problems.
StoryShot #19: Take Care of Your Body
In a solid body rests a solid mind. Our minds are the most important things for us, as humans. However, our minds rely on our bodies. Having a healthy body allows us also to have a healthy and peaceful mind.
Robin Sharma recommends eating healthily and engaging in exercise. These two activities will have two impacts:
- Add years to your life
- Improve the well-being of the years you are alive
StoryShot #20: Be Productive, Not Just Busy
Have you ever asked yourself whether you are productive or just busy? We should not only be busy but productively occupied. If we are just the former, then we need to consider why this might be. Perhaps you don’t need to be so busy and can scale some things back. Scaling things back might help you to focus more on the fundamentals of being productive.
StoryShot #21: Pain Is a Teacher, and Failure Is the Highway to Success
We learn from our pain and failure. Difficult times are crucial for self-discovery. During life’s most difficult times, we discover who we are and the fullness of the strength that lies within us. So, we should try to be happy, whatever our life circumstances. Even if our life is difficult at this time, it will make us stronger. Just think, the lives we are living could be a dream life for someone. We should always count our blessings, not the sufferings.
StoryShot #22: Keep Moving Towards Your Goal
Most of the time, we ignore the greatness of doing little things, and we overvalue discussing our great intentions. An action may seem very small, but it will always be far more effective than being passive or inactive. Words that are not followed by actions are worth nothing. You can share many impressive ideas with other people, but your words are destined to lose value without action. In the end, people remember us for our actions, not our words. Action is vital to achieving something with your life.
StoryShot #23: Use Your Words Carefully
We should be cautious when speaking. We need to keep in mind both what we are saying and to whom we are talking. Once you have said something, it will be adapted as the other individual’s interpretation. You cannot take this back.
StoryShot #24: Imagine a Richer Reality
We see the world not as it is but as we are. These are our perceptions and can dramatically change the way we see the outside world. When we are sad, we perceive everyone as sad. That said, when we are happy, we perceive everyone as having this same positive energy. So, being happy and positive will attract more positivity from the world around us.
StoryShot #25: Don’t Worry About Things You Can’t Change
Don’t stress if you have wasted time in the past. One of the most beautiful things about time is that you can’t waste it in advance. It doesn’t matter how much time you have lost in the past. Stop thinking and worrying about wasted time, and utilize the coming hour with your full potential and make it perfect and unspoiled.
Who Will Cry When You Die? Final Summary, Review and Analysis
Who Will Cry When You Die? aims to help readers live life to the fullest. People dying is a tragedy but often people’s lives are a greater tragedy. This is because they are wasting their time alive on Earth. The book is full of actionable tips that you can apply in your life.
We rate this book 4.2/5.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in 2019 but was updated in November 2021.
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