“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny” by Robin Sharma is an inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy.
The book tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life, and the subsequent wisdom that he gains on a life-changing odyssey that enables him to create a life of passion, purpose and peace.
It teaches readers how to:
Follow Our Life's Mission and Calling
Cultivate Self-Discipline and Act Courageously
Value Time as Our Most Important Commodity
Live Fully, One Day at a Time
Robin Sharma is one of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery. For nearly 20 years, many of the most well-known organizations on the planet, ranging from Nike, GE, Microsoft and Oracle. Sharma has been ranked as one of the Top 5 Leadership Gurus in the World in an independent survey of over 22,000 businesspeople.
1) Search for the positive in every event
In the book, the monk says that one’s outer world is a reflection of their inner world and that by controlling their thoughts, they can control the way they respond to events and thus begin to control their destiny.
Interestingly, the Chinese character for ‘crisis’ is comprised of two sub-characters: one that spells ‘danger’ and another that spells ‘opportunity.’
Every challenge, obstacle and hurdle may at first seem like a negative event, but it is actually an opportunity for you to grow as a person by overcoming it.
“From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher,” the author writes.
Negative experiences and mistakes aren’t all that bad if you look at them with a positive mindset and learn from the outcome.
“Every event offers you lessons. These little lessons fuel your inner and outer growth. Without them, you would be stuck on a plateau” (pg 47).
This mindset is quite similar to that of Jocko Willink, the best-selling author of several books and retired Navy SEAL of 20 years.
Bad experiences and events will happen in life. There is no way in avoiding it.
However, getting upset or depressed about it won’t improve the situation or make life better.
Instead, look at each experience and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” or “What is one positive takeaway from this event?”
When Jocko and his team had their operation canceled, he said “Good, more time to plan the next one.” Or when he didn’t get the new high-speed gear he wanted, he said: “Good, we can keep the mission simple.”
Look for the positive in every event.
2) Never stop learning
The author encourages readers to become lifelong students. Not only that, but he says that people must apply what they’ve learned.
Knowledge is only potential power, it must be put to use to provide actual benefits.
One of the best ways to learn is to read books. Read 30 minutes every day and it will do “wonders for you.” Read philosophy books, great literature and classical works. Read books about amazing humans who have accomplished incredible achievements.
Why is reading so important?
It’s because the answer to almost every problem can be found in a book. How to become a better lawyer, friend or lover, there are tons of books on these subjects. All the mistakes and problems modern day people face have likely been faced by people in the past who wrote books on the topic in order to help others.
“Read the right books. Learn how those who preceded you have handled the challenges you are currently facing. Apply their strategies for success and you will be astonished by the improvements you will note in your life” (pg 118).
3) The 7 Virtues of Enlightenment Living
#1) Master your mind
Cultivate your mind–it will blossom beyond your expectations.
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
There are no mistakes–only lessons. See setbacks as opportunities for personal expansion and spiritual growth.
#2) Follow your purpose
The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
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.
#3) Practice kaizen
Self-master is the DNA of life mastery.
Success on the outside begins within.
Enlightenment comes through the consistent cultivation of your mind, body and soul.
#4) Live with discipline
Discipline is built by consistently performing small acts of courage.
The more you nurture the embryo of self-discipline, the more it will mature.
Willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualized life.
#5) Respect your time
Time is your most precious commodity and it is non-renewable,
Focus on your priorities and maintain balance.
Simplify your life.
#6) Selflessly serve others
The quality of your life ultimately comes down to the quality of your contribution.
To cultivate the sacredness of each day, live to give.
By elevating the lives of others, your life reaches its highest dimensions.
#7) 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.
You’ve probably heard of the stereotypical story of the rich, high-powered lawyer who, although financially successful, is unhappy with his life. So, he drops everything and goes on a spiritual journey.
That is this book.
Today we see this story as a cliche: a rich person (CEO, lawyer, surgeon) who has a nice house, fancy car and expensive clothes, is unfulfilled in life so they sell everything and become a yoga teacher, priest or in this case, a monk.
Don’t get me wrong, this book is filled with great lessons and Sharma does an excellent job of telling a story and he gives readers lesson takeaways and action points. However, reading this book in 2018, it seems to be a bit dated. If I read this book 20 years ago when it was published, it would have gotten 5 out of 5 stars. For me personally, it’s not a life changing book, but it is still worth reading.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
If you’re interested in getting the book, click here or on the image below.
Here are a few similar books:
For literally a few dollar a book will give you an enormous amount of valuable information that can help you in life. It’s practically highway-robbery. So take advantage of this and read as much as you can.
If you want to check out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.