Modern life is steeped in chaos. There is often the mad pursuit for wealth and physical possessions so that people often get lost. This is because most people have bought into the many lies peddled by sleazy snake-oil salesmen in the guise of motivational speakers. We’ve been taught that the more success we attain, the more happiness we would acquire. But that is hardly the truth. Isn’t it surprising, and even contradictory, that the more possessions we acquire, the more unsatisfied it seems we become? Haven’t you heard of celebrities, movie stars, and the likes who, disillusioned with their lives, commit suicide? If these people who are supposed to be the beacons of success still find something lacking, it then means that perhaps we’ve been collectively robbed.
The search for fulfilment is a lifelong goal. Hence, if one path is closed, we turn to the next. One group who has consistently taught the opposite of the “get rich soon” mantra is monks. Shaolin monks, for instance, live austere lives, devoting much of their time to charity. They, in turn, are some of the most mindful persons you would ever find.
In this article, we will be learning from a book written about one of such monks. The title is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma. Sounds catchy, yes? Let’s quickly dive in to glean the secrets of effective living from the pages of this book.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny – an Overview
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is one of those books that stay with you months after reading. It might not be a stretch to dub it a classic because it invariably is. It teaches pertinent life lessons, guiding you on a path of fulfilment, regardless of your chosen career path.
As you find in the title, the book is a fable, a work of fiction. However, it is based loosely on the life of the author, Robin Sharma. The book follows a high-shot lawyer (Julian Mantle) who leaves everything behind, searching for peace and contentment. Despite earning fat sums and being at the top of his game, Mantle left all behind to journey to the Himalayan Mountains. While on this journey, he meets a sage who teaches him the seven principles that he shares in the book.
Lessons from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
How can you maximize the lessons in the book to attain the level of peace and satisfaction monks have?
Master your mind
Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality
The world is cluttered with distractions. Our TVs are always turned on; our mobile phones continuously spew information at us; the world keeps moving without affording us a moment to take a breather. That can be damaging.
As Sharma teaches in the book, the quality of life you’ll have will depend on the quality of your thoughts. Hence, you ought to make sure that you watch what you consume. This is because whatever goes into your mind controls your subconscious and, by extension, your actions. Take deliberate steps to filter in the noise. Focus on things that inspire hope, peace, and comfort. The world may be rioting, but within the garden of your mind, there should be peace.
Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life
Follow your purpose
Your life will be filled with aimless wanderings if you do not have a purpose. Your life’s purpose is like a beacon. It will nudge you on when you are faint. It will spur you on when you get disillusioned. Finally, when you start achieving success, you will feel fulfilled.
In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, the lawyer did not start to feel the stirrings of fulfilment till he left everything behind to focus on his life’s mission.
It could be hard just starting from scratch. Hence, Sharma advocates that you begin by writing down practical steps you could follow daily. Make firm your resolve by daily walking towards your goals, taking baby steps. Pat yourself on the back when you reach your milestones. Laugh when you make mistakes or encounter challenges. Keep your chin up, always.
Stay focused on your purpose. The Universe will take care of the rest
Live with discipline
A lot of folks balk at the idea of discomfort, unaware that it is the one sure road to self-actualization. When you constantly do just the things you want, you will be neglecting aspects of your life that need improvement.
Build the courage to do what you ought, even (especially) when you do not feel up to it.Sharma teaches the reader to practice what he calls kaizen. This is a Japanese term that calls you to a life of mastery: the mastery of self. According to the author, success, just like everything, begins from the inside. When you have attained mastery over your thoughts, ambitions, and urges, you can take control of the broader questions of life.
Do not forget: you do not attract what you want; you attract who you are.
Respect your time
Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return again. Those who use time wisely from an early age are rewarded with rich, productive, and satisfying lives
Time is perhaps the most abused commodity in the world. This is because many people fail to realize that indeed time is a commodity – a non-renewable resource at that. When time slips through your fingers, it stays away forever.
Be unyielding and uncompromising when it comes to your time. Treat it with the reverence that it deserves. To do this, you must not waste your time. Schedule whatever you have to do in advance. Resist the temptation of thinking that there is such a thing as “free” time because there isn’t. Also, make sure that others respect your time as you respect theirs. Learn to say no to people. This is a fundamental way to create healthy boundaries.
If you find it difficult sticking to time, follow the advice from Robin Sharma. This advice is, “treat every day like it is your last”. Sadly, this is true in every sense of the word because every new day may well be your last.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is the tale of a man who went from being self-serving to embracing altruism. This change brought him unprecedented peace and satisfaction. This is a model worthy of emulation.
In a world where it appears that people hit new heights of selfishness each day, be the exception. Deliberately engage in acts of kindness to everyone around you; strangers inclusive.
We are born to seek self-actualization constantly. This is the reason wealth does not necessarily equate to happiness. This article shows you key steps to effective living, drawing from the inspiring story in the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny. What we have here are excerpts. To read the entire book, head over to the Headway library!