Life Lessons from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”

Authored by Robin Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is an inspirational story about a successful lawyer who, despite his fame and fortune, still feels empty inside. Everything changed the moment he had a heart attack. When he recovered, he packed up, gave up his profession and wealth and embarked on a journey of soul searching. This led him to a group of monks who taught him the techniques and disciplines to create inner peace, fulfillment and happiness in life.

Below are some of the lessons/guides taken from this book.

  1. Master your mind. When you form the habit of searching for the positive in every circumstance, your life will move to its highest dimensions.
  2. Practice Opposition Thinking. Your mind can hold one thought at any one time. When an undesirable thought occupies the focal point of your mind, immediately replace it with an uplifting one.
  3. Set your goals. Write them down in a journal. Divide your goals into different areas like financial goals, physical fitness goals, personal empowerment goals, relationship goals, social goals, spiritual goals. Have the courage to act on them.
  4. In attaining your goals, first, form a mental image of the outcome. The clearer the picture, the more effective the process would be. Second, get some positive pressure on yourself to keep you inspired. Third, attach a deadline to your goals. Fourth, stick with it and lastly, enjoy the process.
  5. Practice the art of Kaizen which means constant and never ending improvement. To improve your outer world, you must first improve your inner world. Push yourself daily, work hard to improve your mind and body, nourish your spirit. Remember, life, not luck, favors the prepared mind.
  6. Practice the Vow of Silence. To hold one’s tongue for an extended period of time would have the effect of enhancing one’s discipline.
  7. Repeat this mantra 30x a day. Words do have power. —Mantra: I AM MORE THAN I APPEAR TO BE. ALL THE WORLD’S STRENGTH AND POWER REST INSIDE ME.
  8. Change is always a little uncomfortable and a little risky but this is the surest way to design a more joyful life.
  9. Run your own race. There is nothing noble about being superior to some other people. Do what you think is right and not be concerned with the judgement of others. Never get into the petty habit of measuring your self worth against other people’s net worth.
  10. Stop spending so much time making a living, spend more time creating a life. Stop putting off your happiness for the sake of achievement.
  11. Develop a deathbed mentality. One that reminds you that today could be your last, so savor it to the fullest. What would you do if it was your last?
  12. Selflessly serve others. No matter what your achievement, no matter how fat your piggy bank is, your quality of life will come down to the quality of your contribution.
  13. Practice the art of gratitude. Daily thanks will develop the habit of living in the moment.

A lot of them really need a great deal of practice and patience. Personally, I need to master the so-called Opposition Thinking, as I always get haunted by negative thoughts.

I started on my dream book few months back. It is easy to write down my goals but I am failing on the execution part. I know I am not going to meet some of my deadlines but that does not mean I have to stop. I just got to give myself an extension. Some people (well including me) prioritize on the financial goals in life and there is nothing wrong about it. If that is what we value then go for it. Who does not want to get rich anyway. That is the reason we work our butt off every single day. But while we attain for this financial freedom, there are other certain areas in our life that we must not ignore. Let us not focus all our energy in a single goal that we miss out the “in-betweens”, the journey and the small things that equally matter.

It does not mean we have to give up our professions and our worldly possessions just so we can devote ourselves to a more noble cause, for example, or just so we can say we are living a simple and happy life free of material things.

Living a balanced life for me does not necessarily mean that these aspects of life (i.e. relationships, emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, etc) have to be of the same level. One maybe is of high priority but as long as I don’t forget to nourish the rest, then I can say, it’s balanced.