Messages from a Monk

I read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma.  This book is a fable about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny and was recommended to me by a friend.  The title alone intrigued me. 

As I began to read, I was entertained by the story of a hot-shot lawyer turned Monk, his faithful mentee and the lessons of leading a happy life.  But as the story unfolded I sensed a strong connection to concepts from another book that has been a major influence on my life: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  As I went through each chapter I honestly began to think the Monk’s story was a total rip-off of Covey’s work…I mean it even used some of the exact same language and stories!   

But I’ve lost my critical view.  Why I am I reading, if not to learn and be challenged? 

Today’s leadership lesson:  stories with the same end in mind can be told in millions of different ways and one approach is never “better” or more “right” than another.  Imagination and creativity are two of the most powerful virtues we have and the freedom to tell a story “your” way is our birth-right.  Your story might share the same virtues as others, but the unique way YOU tell it might connect with one audience better than mine (and visa-versa).  Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality Sarah! It’s all about the learning!

All conversations about the intense value of spending time each and every day taking care of “you,” mind, body and soul, are needed in today’s busy and technology filled world.  Drained workers across the nation need to hear many different stories sending the same message:  Slow down.  Take time to think, take time to take care of you and be of service to others.  Stop living the quarter life and move on to the whole life experience.  This book sends a TREMENDOUS message. 


One of the most brilliant pieces of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is its structure.  It uses the power of conversation and story-telling throughout, and at the end of each lesson, provides “Wisdom in a Nutshell,” which ties in a visual symbol for the lesson, 2-3 key pieces of wisdom & techniques, and a “quotable quote.”  

Here is a quick summary of symbols and virtues learned from the Monk Who Sold his Ferrari:

1)      Magnificent Garden = Master (cultivate) Your Mind

2)      The Towering Lighthouse = Follow Your Purpose

3)      Sumo Wrestler = Practice Kaizen (continuous self-improvement and doing things you fear)

4)      Pink Wire Cable = Live With Discipline 

5)      Gold Stop Watch = Respect Your Time (courage to say no and simplify)

6)      Fragrant Roses = Selflessly Serve Others (relationships and giving)

7)      Path of Diamonds = Embrace the Present

All of these symbols are included in the fable presented by Sharma.  It’s creative and a quick read.  I’ve been thinking about the story a LOT…a sign of a GREAT read. 

Some of my favorite quips from the book include;

 -Your can is more important than your IQ.

-I’ve had dreams and I’ve had nightmares.  I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.

-The very fact that you have a desire or a dream means that you have the corresponding capacity to realize it. 

-Whenever a negative slide comes up on the screen (of your mind), take swift action to replace it with a positive one.

-Imagination is more important than knowledge (I love this one from Einstein)

-Only those who seek, shall find.

-We have 60,000+ thoughts per day and most are repeats.

-The secret of happiness is simple:  find out what you truly love to do and then direct all of your energy towards doing it.  Once you do this, abundance flows in your life and all your desires are filled with ease and grace. 

-Wage War against the weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind.  They will see that they are unwanted and leave like unwelcome visitors. 

I’m going to go and cultivate my garden now…thanks for stopping by!