Everyone loves a good fable, and this is certainly one. The protagonist is Julian Mantle, a high-profile attorney with a whacked-out schedule and a shameful set of spiritual priorities. Of course, it takes a crisis (heart attack) to give Mantle pause. And pause he does–suddenly selling all his beloved possessions to trek India in pursuit of a meaningful existence. The Himalayan gurus along the way give simple advice, such as, “What lies behind you and what lies before you is nothing compared to what lies within you.” Yet it is easy to forgive the story’s simplicity because each kernel of wisdom is framed to address the persistent angst of Western white-collar professionals.
Another excellent book. The more I read books designed to help us lead a better, more fulfilled and thus successful life, the more I see the same patterns emerging. The patterns (or tenets) are at the core of 99% of all the personal development courses and underly everything that the majority of high profile (et al) trainers deliver.
However, if you’re like me, you won’t get it all from a single book. You might not get it from 100 books. But, if you’re like me, reading different perspectives on the same fundamental principles helps cement the truth of those core building blocks. Each of the stories in this book (and the many others from such diverse titles as The Lakota Way to High-Performance Habits) all reinforce key ideas we should all follow to be better people, and by extension, more successful as a result.
I can’t really say these are spoilers, but here are the 7 principles from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.
- Master Your Mind (Find the Positive)
- Follow your Purpose (We’re talking goals here)
- Practice Continual Improvement (Never stop growing)
- Live With Discipline (Avoid being distracted)
- Respect Your Time (You can’t spend it twice)
- Selflessly Serve Others (Your real value comes from this)
- Embrace the Present (There is only the now, live in it)
Many of the other books I have read in the last few months explain similar concepts, while some delve deeper into one or more of them. Read this book and then read others in the same genre if you are serious about improving yourself and your position. It works and you will start to embody these practices as you retrain your brain to be better. For example, in the last couple of months, I have cancelled my Netflix subs and deleted Twitter and Facebook from my phone. They no longer served me and were an unnecessary distraction. I feel more focused.