Friday, October 17, 2008

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari







A fitting “self-help-book” or maybe I need to rephrase the line as: The PERFECT Fable for those who want MORE from LIFE; both personally and professionally.

Robin Sharma the acclaimed author (a former lawyer too!) of this bestseller shows us the path that helps one move towards living a SIMPLE LIFE with joy, balance, strength and a positive attitude. The book in itself does not boast of giving us something new in terms of concept/ideas/thoughts etc. (you would have heard many of the concept shared by Sharma at some time or other).

What makes this book stand out is the refreshing fable format that the author has adopted for conveying the message (though we maybe familiar with most of the anecdote) with an impact that cannot be ignored and lingers for good.

The book introduces these concepts through the life of Julian Mantle—a lawyer by profession who is facing a spiritual crisis in his life and his will/spirits are at the lowest ebb. Julian embarks on an odyssey that Changes his life (and ours too) when he discovers the ancient culture of India.

The JOURNEY teaches him lessons that are priceless, he learns to value time as the most imperative product in ones life, nurturing relationship’s and the art of living one-day-at-a-time.

The fable is narrated through eleven meticulously laid out chapters which have the quality to stand alone (as individual stories) and yet the chapters meticulously come together as a fable that would change the life of the reader.

Julian is an extremely successful and famous lawyer. He earned a salary that provided him with all the comforts and commodities that one only dreams of. He owns a grand mansion; the neighborhood is inhabited by celebrities, a summer home on a tropical island, a private jet to take him to greater heights and above all—a Shiny Red Ferrari his most prized and loved possession. One fine day when he least accepts it…he is made to come to terms with the unforeseen impact of his disturbed existence.

John a friend colleague of Julian narrates the story of his flamboyant life and his courtroom theatrics make him a regular feature of newspapers and magazines.

One day Julian collapses in the courtroom; his obsession with work has caused a heart attack. His life changes that day forever. One day he sells all that he has…even his most loved Shiny Red Ferrari. After recovery he embarks on a journey of finding himself…he tells no one of his destination and leaves without a trace.

For three years he explores the mystical India meets the sages of Sivana a small place located in the Himalayas the land of roses, placid blue water with symbolic white lotuses floating. The discovery of this place changes him forever for better health, peace of mind and soul. When he returns to his homeland he goes to meet his old friend John who is now a cynical and frustrated man. He starts telling him his experiences that John later shares with the readers.

The crux of the book is its “Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning” that Mantle reveals one-at-a-time, these are:
1. Master your mind
2. Follow your purpose
3. Practice kaizen
4. Live with discipline
5. Respect your time
6. Selflessly serve others
7. Embrace the present


What those life changing experiences are? To give away the details would be colossal mistake because we all need to embark on our odyssey to seek a better way of life…so take out some time for you own self and read this book. What I can promise you is that it will definitely leave you enriched and wiser…

I remember this beautiful couplet by the philosopher/guide Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching that’s sums by this philosophy of the fable skillfully:
I take no action, and people’s contention dissolves by itself
I enjoy stillness, and people rectify themselves
I do not interfere, and people enrich themselves
I have no desire, and people return to simplicity

P.S. Robin's books have been published in over 50 countries and in 60 languages
For more information about the author/his books/general interests etc. visit the following link: http://www.robinsharma.com/index.htm