The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma
This humdinger is about an enchanting tale providing an organized approach for living with balance, abundance, and joy. The story narrated through a fable keeps the reader engaged to what could otherwise become a tedious listing of do’s and don’ts for self-help. The guidance is fundamental, which makes the aspects brought out to settle deep in our minds. The clever narration enables the book to stand out in a crowd of other self-help books.
The wonderfully crafted story tells an exceptional tale of Julian Mantle, a successful attorney who was forced to face the spiritual crisis of his out of balance life. He travels to an ancient culture, which proves to be a life-changing odyssey. In the process, he discovers powerful, wise and pragmatic lessons that guide him to pursue his life’s objectives and aspirations. It teaches him to value time as the most important commodity, to cherish relationships. The travel helps him develop joyful thoughts and live fully, one day at a time.
In cautiously planned chapters, the author narrates the story. Julian Mantle, a successful lawyer who achieved everything most could ever want- a stellar professional reputation with an income in seven figures, a spectacular mansion in a neighborhood favored by celebrities, a private jet, summer home on a tropic island and his prized possession- a shiny red Ferrari parked in the center of his driveway. The book talks about the transformation from all this to a monk deciding to improve the life of his own and that of others.
The initial chapter depicts the background of life of Julian Mantle when he is a successful lawyer. His outrageous courtroom theatrics regularly made the front pages of newspapers. It all starts with Julian collapsing right in the middle of a packed courtroom and being taken to the hospital. He has a heart attack- inevitable because of his obsession with work. In the last few years, Julian had worked day and night without care for his mental and physical health. This helped him earn a lot as a successful lawyer but took a toll on his health and mental state. At 53 he looked as if he was 70 and lost all his sense of humor. While at the hospital Julian refused to meet with any of his friends and colleagues. He then announces his departure from the law firm that he was heading.
Following his heart attack, he sells his property, leaves home and heads for India. Three years pass without any news from Julian and one day he appears to his friend and former colleague, John. There is a vast difference in the Julian who had collapsed in the court and the Julian who had returned from India. He had miraculously transformed into a healthy man who now looks young with physical vitality and spiritual strength.
In the following chapters, the author talks about the journey of Julian in India. He narrates how he met the sages of Sivana, who had changed his life for good. He shares his story of transformation with his friend John as Julian thinks he needs to know about the secrets of a happy and fulfilling life. Julian tells John about the sages of Sivana, a small number of people living high in the great Himalayas. They knew the secrets of living life happily and fulfilling dreams to reach the destiny.
Julian tells John about Yogi Raman, the leader of the sages of Sivana. He is the person who taught Julian the secrets of a happy and fulfilling life. He narrates the fable that contains the seven virtues for a life overflowing with inner peace, joy and a wealth of spiritual gifts. The following chapters revolve around this fable. He tells about the techniques that he learned from Yogi Raman. These techniques, such as the heart of rose technique or the secret of lake technique help in mastering one’s own mind. He tells John to cultivate one’s own mind and to see setbacks as opportunities for personal expansions.
In the next two chapters, Julian talks about following one’s own purpose and teaches John the ancient art of self-leadership with techniques such as do the things you fear and the five-step method for attaining goals.
In the last two chapters, Julian speaks about discipline and respect of time. Again he teaches John many techniques like the ancient rule of 21 and the vow of silence. He teaches focus on priorities, maintaining balance and simplicity of life. He gives examples that willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualized life. In the last two chapters, Julian teaches the virtue of selflessly serving others- embracing the present and living in now, never to sacrifice happiness for achievements. To savor the journey and live each day as the last one. At the end, Julian asked John to spread the secrets that he shared with John for the betterment of other people.
This book has been a spiritual teacher to me in many ways.
While going through this book, one will discover:-
You will change only when your backs are against the walls.
There is tremendous power in ritual.
Discovering the real purpose of your life is of utmost importance.
You can always lead an extraordinary life.
It teaches to live in “now” rather than brooding over the past or fretting over the future. It shows us there is no need for perfection in life, but we can always make it interesting and memorable. It reveals the truth that material possessions gives happiness outside but not from within. It tells us to keep our cup (mind) empty so that we are always open for new things to sink in. It reminds us again that time is the most precious commodity as it is not renewable. Most importantly “never overlook the power of simplicity”. Once you master your mind, you begin to control your destiny.
This book creates a lasting impact on the reader.
2nd February 2017
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