I resisted reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Remarkable Story About Living Your Dreams by Robin Sharma for a long time because I thought the title was gimmicky. I realized that I was being closed to new ideas by literally judging a book by its cover and title so I picked up the book. I’m glad that I read it as it gave me access to age-old wisdom in a easy-to-read fable. The book is about Julian Mantle, a high-profile lawyer who collapses in the middle of a trial and decides to find the purpose of life by traveling to the Himalayas where he meets a group of sages who impart their wisdom to him via a fable. The fable starts in a magnificent garden with a lighthouse in the middle of the grounds. Out of the lighthouse walks a 9 foot tall 900-pound Sumo wrestler who is naked except for a pink wire cable covering his privates. He slips and falls on a stopwatch that’s been lying on the floor and loses consciousness. However, the wrestler wakes up to the fresh fragrance of yellow roses coming from a distance. He looks over and then discovers that there is a diamond-studded pathway which he takes.
The Magnificent Garden Represents Our Mind
Nurture the mind daily. Only let positive thoughts into your mind. Mind can be mastered through concentration and a useful technique is to practice the “heart of the rose” every morning. This entails focusing on the heart of a fresh rose and improving concentration of mind everyday. Spend time in the morning visualizing what you plan to become.
The Lighthouse Signifies Our Purpose of Life
Life is finite so it is important to concentrate on your life’s main purpose. Find something you love and do it with focus and passion. Goals and objectives can be achieved through a 5 step process. Envision vividly what you desire. Apply some positive pressure or stress. For example, a public declaration of your goal. Put the goals on paper with appropriate timelines. Get a dreambook and divide into sections like health and wealth. Paste pictures and look at this book everyday. Apply the magic “rule of 21″. That is to practice the new habit for 21 days to install it permanently into your system. Laugh, love and live everyday passionately.
The Sumo Wrestler Represents KAIZEN
This entails – building strength of character, developing mental toughness and living with courage.
The mind, body and soul needs to be improved in unison.
The only limits of your life are the ones you set yourself daily. Kaizen means the never ending and daily improvement of oneself.
It signifies pushing the boundaries to develop mind, body and spirit in spite of fear, adversity and discomfort.
There are 10 rituals to practice Kaizen everyday. Ritual of Solitude: This is a mandatory period of silence by yourself for self-renewal.
It can span from 15 minutes to an hour and preferably in a place that’s close to nature.
Ritual of Physicality: This means exercising and breathing effectively.
Ritual of Live Nourishment: Eating live foods that are created by the interaction of sun, water and soil.
Partaking of vegetables, grains and fruits. Ritual of Abundant Knowledge: Reading (studying) regularly for 30 minutes a day.
The reading material should develop you as a person. Examples of good reading include books like The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Think and Grow Rich!, Gandhi An Autobiography, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Letters from a Stoic – Seneca and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse Ritual of Personal Reflection: Contemplate every night before bed to identify which experiences of your day has been positive or negative.
Everyday strive to improve on the positive and eliminate the negative experiences.
Ritual of Early Morning Awakening: Rise with the morning sun everyday as we sleep too much in any case. 6 hours of restful sleep is better than 10 hours of disturbed sleep. Ritual of Music: Never underestimate the power of music to uplift and motivate yourself everyday.
Ritual of the Spoken Word: The spoken word is powerful. For example, sages use mantras to create a positive frame of mind. Mantras can be used in any area like health, relationships, spiritual, wealth, etc… Ritual of Congruent Character: This can be a daily actions to develop the character by developing the virtues of industry, compassion, humility, patience, honesty and courage.
Ritual of Simplicity: Live a simple uncluttered life by eliminating the unimportant and focusing on the IMPORTANT.
A wire cable consists of many tiny strings woven together. The strings by itself is weak but together when they form the cable it is strong.
Will-power and discipline are like the strings that need to be woven together to make it strong.
Discipline and self-control is the act of controlling the mind and this can be done by replacing weak and negative thoughts with strong and positive ones. Control your thoughts, control your mind, control your life and become the master of your destiny. A formula to develop discipline and self-control is to chant the mantra with visualization – “I am more than I appear to be. All the world’s strength and power rest inside me.”
The Stopwatch Represents TIME
Time is the most important commodity of our lives and we have to learn how to make the most of our time on earth.Time is finite and live must be lived to its fullest potential. Time mastery is the basis of life mastery. Plan daily/weekly to manage time creatively and focus on the most important aspects. Remember the 80/20 Principle – 80% of the results are generated by 20% of effort. Do not let others steal time. Develop the ability to say no to little things so that you get the power to say YES to important things. Simplify life to be able to focus on the important things of life. Develop a death-bed mentality. What would you do today if it was the last day of your life? Even leaders like Steve Jobs practice the death-bed mentality. Always do things as if failure is not an option and success will be assured. Never be a prisoner of the past but be the architect of the future.
Fragrance of Fresh Yellow Roses Signifies Service
Serve people daily and show random acts of kindness because the hand that serves roses to others retains some of the fragrance.
Abundance of mental ability, boundless energy, unlimited creativity, a storehouse of discipline and a well-spring of peacefulness are gifts that you need to develop in yourself in order to share it with others.
Cultivate friends and nurture family. Develop an optimistic outlook of life.
Diamond Studded Pathway Represents Enlightened Living
Live an enlightened, joyous and rewarding life. Live in the NOW and live fully. Live fully. Happiness is a journey not a destination. Always remember that the path you are walking on right now is beautiful and studded with diamonds. Always live in the appreciation of the NOW. Savor the NOW with family and friends. Enjoy every moment of the NOW. Living everyday in the NOW is the path to Nirvana Practice the act of GRATITUDE everyday. Follow the path of your dream and celebrate everyday as your dreams come true. Be content in the NOW and do not hurry through life. Everyone is unique and a wonder. A gift to the world. Build yourself little by little everyday.