Books that change lives – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S Sharma
“The monk who sold his Ferrari” is a story, which provides an approach to living a simple life with greater balance, strength, courage and abundance of joy. The way it is written is as a type of fable. It certainly makes you think about life and gives you total aha moments!
I have read other books which might tell you to do things, ie, self help books, however, this is written in a way that it is not telling you in a direct way.
The Story begins
The basis of the story is about Julian Mantle, who is a hardnosed, frantically busy lawyer brought face to face with a spiritual crisis when he has a heart attack. Julian’s spark of life begins to flicker. He embarks on a life-changing mission and discovers the ancient culture of India.
The story takes you on his journey. From being an extremely successful lawyer where he had achieved everything most of us could ever want including his shiny red Ferrari. Suddenly he has to come terms with the unexpected effects of his unbalanced lifestyle.
John, who is a friend as well as co-worker of Julian, tells the story and sets the picture. He tells you of Julian’s wild lifestyle, his ways in the court rooms, which regularly made the front pages of newspapers and his late night visits to the city’s finest restaurants with sexy young models. His obsession with work which had eventually caused his heart attack. At fifty-three he looked seventy and had lost his sense of humour and his way in life. After the heart attack Julian didn’t want to associate with any of his friends or colleagues and then out of the blue handed in his notice and just disappeared off the face of the earth.
Julian had been John’s mentor as he was coming up from being a junior therefore John found this really hard to handle. Not only did he miss him, but also he felt hurt at losing his best friend and mentor without any warning or goodbyes.
After a couple of years Julian appeared from nowhere and went to see John, who was now a cynical older lawyer and pretty much exhausted as Julian had been previously. But Julian, in the past three years, had been miraculously transformed into a healthy man with physical vitality and spiritual strength with years taken off his appearance.
The story goes on to tell us about Julian’s Indian adventure and journey, how he met the special people the ‘sages’ of Sivana who had a life changing effect on him. Julian shares his story of transformation, his secrets of a happy and fulfilling life with his friend John. He tells John about the sages of Sivana who knew all secrets of how to live life happily and how to fulfill one’s dreams and reach one’s destiny. He goes into vivid detail as if he is still there.
Julian relates his experiences with yogi Raman the leader of the sages of Sivana and the person who taught Julian his secrets of a happy and fulfilling life. He then explains to John the fable that contained the ‘seven virtues’ for a life abundant with inner peace, joy and a wealth of spiritual gifts. He tells John the techniques that he learned on how to master our minds with simple techniques and how to cultivate the mind and use setbacks for expanding knowledge of the self.
He explains about setting and following our own purpose and teaches John the ancient art of self-leadership with techniques such as “do the things you fear” and “the 5 step method for attaining goals” and the value of self-discipline and respect for time. He teaches how to focus on the priorities and thereby maintain a balance and simplify life. He gives examples that prove that willpower is the essential virtue of a life which is fully realised.
All this time he acts as a teacher to John and shows him the importance of the virtue of selflessness in serving others. He asks him to embrace the present and live in the present – “Now”, never to sacrifice happiness for achievements and to savour the journey of life and live each day as his last one.
At the end he explains to John that he was taught this way in order that he could then spread these secrets for the benefit of other people in the West and that now John has heard them he should practice them and also do the same. Then he leaves again!
A coaching angle
I found this book amazing, I just couldn’t put it down, and totally the way of the seven virtues makes complete sense for living a good and whole life. From a coaching angle, it went through the stages of each to show how to achieve the ultimate by setting goals along the way, being focused and having willpower to achieve. It enlarges on the need to live in the here and now and be present in the moment. Incredible way of writing and so absorbing!
Review by Rachel Boydell
Student of Executive and Life Coaching Diploma with PSG
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