The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma


In this book, Robin Sharma writes a beautiful fable of one man’s search for meaning and enlightenment in life. Julian Mantle was a lawyer superstar who had achieved everything he had dreamed of. Following a cardiac arrest in the middle of court, he came to the realisation that despite his achievements and material wealth, his life was devoid of meaning. The incident catalysed his decision to sell all his possessions and travel to India. There he found a mystical group of sages on top of the Himalayas who accepted him and taught him their ways of enlightened living. He then travels back to America to spread the timeless knowledge and wisdom. Robin uses this tale to teach the readers lessons in wisdom drawn from various cultures and his own research and experiences.

Here are my favourite quotes I’ve highlighted while reading the book.

“It is only when you have mastered the art of loving yourself that you can touch the hearts of others. When you feel centred and alive, you are in a much better position to be a better person.” – Julian Mantle

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams;who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

“The garden is a symbol for the mind…If you care for your mind, if you nurture it and if you cultivate it just like a fertile, rich garden, it will blossom far beyond your expectations. But if you let the weeds take root, lasting peace of mind and inner harmony will always elude you.”- Yogi Krishnan

“Your I can  is more important than your I.Q” – Malik’s Chand

“When all is said and done, there is only one thing that we have absolute dominion over… Our minds. We all have the power to determine what we think about in any given moment…. There is no such thing as ‘objective reality’ or ‘the real world.’ … An event that appears to be a tragedy to one might reveal the seeds of unlimited opportunity to another. What really separates people who are habitually upbeat and optimistic from those who are consistently miserable is how the circumstances of life are interpreted and processed.” – Julian Mantle

“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.” There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.” –Yogi Krishnan

“…begin to live out of the glory of your imagination, not your memory.” – Julian Mantle

“…things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call the process ‘blueprinting’…” – Julian Mantle

“From tonight onwards, forget about the past. Dare to dream that you are more than the sum of your current circumstances. Expect the best. You will be astonished at the results.” – Julian Mantle

“Stop spending so much time making a living … “I have had dreams and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.” – Jonas Salk

Spend more time creating a life.” – John

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” – Pantanjali, Indian philosopher

“With one eye fixed on the destination, there is only one left to guide you along the journey.” – Julian Mantle

“What is luck my friend? .. It is nothing more than the marriage of preparation with opportunity.” – Julian Mantle

“Concentration is the root of mental mastery” – Julian Mantle

“The secret to happiness is simple: find out what you truly love to do and then direct all of your energy towards doing it. … Your passion must in some way, improve or serve the lives of others. … Victor Frankl – ‘Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” – Julian Mantle

The Heart of the Rose meditation exercise for mastering the mind.
Stare at the center of the rose in a quite place. Natural surroundings are best. “A rose is much like life: you will meet thorns along the way but if you have faith and believe in your dreams, you will eventually move beyond the thorns into the glory of the flower.”
– Julian Mantle

“The sages of Savana all took time to silently contemplate not only where they were, but where they were going. They took the time to reflect on their purpose and how they were living their lives, every day. Most importantly, they thought deeply and genuinely about how they would improve the next day. Daily incremental improvements produce lasting results, which, in turn, lead to positive change.”  – Julian Mantle

“One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle – and a mastery.” – old British novelist

“Self knowledge is the stepping stone to self-mastery.” – Julian Mantle

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.” – Julian Mantle

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Einstein

“There is nothing noble to being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”– sages of Savana

Run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself.” – Julian Mantle

“Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.”- Yogi Raman

“Fatigue is a creation of the mind. Fatigue dominates the lives of those who are living without direction and dreams.” – Julian Mantle

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of life you will be happy to live all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into the flames of achievement.” – Foster C. McCellan

“He who serves the most, reaps the most, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.” – Julian Mantle

“People who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened.” – Julian Mantle

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. Those who are truly enlightened know what they want out of life, emotionally, materially, physically and spiritually. Clearly defined priorities and goals for every aspect of your life will serve a role similar to that played by a lighthouse, offering you guidance and refuge when the seas become rough.” – Julian Mantle

You will never be able to hit a target that you cannot see.” – Yogi Raman

“Know your outcome.”

The 5 Step Method for Attaining Goals

  1. Form a clear mental picture of your outcome (Dream book)
  2. Create positive pressure to keep you inspired.
  3. Never set a goal without attaching a timeline to it
  4. Magic rule of 21 – perform the new activity for 21 days in a row
  5. Enjoy the process.

“A goal that is not committed to paper is no goal at all.” – Julian Mantle

“Never do anything because you have to. The only reason to do something is because you want to and because you know it is the right thing for you to do.” – Julian Mantle

“A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams. Here in our society, we have lost our passion. We do not do things because we love to do them. We do things because we feel we have to do them. This is a formula for misery. … What I’m talking about is the passion for life. Reclaim the joy of waking up every morning full of energy and exhilaration. Breathe the fire of passion into all that you do.” – Julian Mantle

“Always remember that what lies behind you and what lies in front of you is nothing compared to what lies within you.” – Julian Mantle

“Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration. Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things. Today and this very moment is a gift. Stay focused on your purpose. The universe will take care of everything else.” – Julian Mantle

“Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly.” – Confucius

Kaizen – constant and never-ending improvement”

“Courage allows you to run your own race. Courage allows you to do whatever you want to do because you know that it is right. Courage gives you the self-control to persist where others have failed. Ultimately, the degree of courage you live with determines the amount of fulfillment you receive. It allows you to fully realize all the exquisite wonders of the epic that is your life. And those who master themselves have an abundance of courage.”  – Julian Mantle

“People grow the most when they enter the Zone of the Unknown … The only limits on your life are those that you set yourself.” – Yogi Raman

“Fear is a conditioned response: a life sucking habit that can easily consume your energy, creativity and spirit if you are not careful. When fear rears its ugly head, beat it down quickly. The best way to do that is to do the thing you fear. Understand the anatomy of fear. It is your own creation. Like any other creation, it is just as easy to tear it down as it is to erect it. Methodically search for and and then destroy every fear that has secretly slid into the fortress of your mind. This alone will give you enormous confidence, happiness and peace of mind.” – Julian Mantle

“Happiness comes through the progressive realization of a worthy objective. When you are doing what you truly love to do you are bound to find deep contentment.” – Julian Mantle

“… Saying you do not have time to improve yourself, whether this means improving your mind or nourishing your spirit, is much like saying you do not have time to stop for gas because you are too busy driving. Eventually it will catch up with you.” – Julian Mantle

“As you care for your body so you care for your mind. As you prepare your body, so you prepare your mind. As you train your body, so you train your mind.As you nourish your body, so you nourish your mind.” – Julian Mantle

“To breath properly is to live properly.” – Yogu Raman

“…try not to spend your life bound by the shackles of your schedule. Instead, focus on those things that your conscience and your heart tell you to do.” – Julian Mantle

“A book is the best friend of the wise.” – Julian Mantle

“It’s not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching – it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life. You see, John, books do not actually teach you anything new… books simply help you to see what is already giving your self.  That’s what enlightenment is all about.”- Julian Mantle

“You do you have the power to control your day. You do have the code to think good thoughts. You do have the power to live your dreams!”- Julian Mantle

The ritual of personal reflection

4 columns:

  1. List all of your activities
  2. Your thoughts while doing those activities
  3. Do an assessment of the activities and thoughts. If positive, resolve to continue giving precious energy to them
  4. If negative, come up with a clear cause of action to get rid of them.

“ The only way to improve tomorrow is to know what your did today… And come up with a clear plan so that it doesn’t happen again.” – Julian Mantle

“You always feel a little discomfort when you are installing a new habit. It’s sort of like breaking in a new pair of shoes – at first it’s a little hard but soon they fit like a glove.. pain is often the precursor to personal growth.”- Julian Mantle

The Ritual of Early Awakening

  • Rise with the sun
    • Never Forget that it is the quality not the quantity of sleep that is important. it is better to have six hours of uninterrupted sleep then even 10 hours of disturbed sleep. The whole idea is to provide your body rest so that it’s natural processes can repair and restore your physical dimension to its natural state of health
    • The 10 minute period before you sleep and after you wake up are profoundly influential on your subconscious mind. Only the most inspiring and serene thoughts should be programmed into your mind those times.
    • Listen to harp/classical music before you sleep
    • Never eat after 8pm
    • Start your day off well – Think positive thoughts make yourself laugh.
    • “We don’t laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.” – William James
  • What would I do today if today was my last?”

The Ritual of the Spoken Word

Mantra is a phrase that is designed to free the mind: ‘Man’ = mind, ‘tra’ = freeing

  1. ‘I am inspired, disciplined and energized’
  2. “I am strong, able and calm.”
  3. “While what you say to others is important, even more important is what you say to yourself.”
  4. “You are what you think.. And what you say to yourself all day long.”

The Ritual of Congruent Character

  1. Take daily incremental action to build your character
  2. “You sow a thought, you reap an action. Reap an action, you sow a habit. Sow a habit, you reap a character. Sow a character, you reap a destiny.” – Yogi Raman
  3. A virtuous life is a meaningful life.
  4. Principles: industry, compassion, humility, patience, honesty and courage
  5. “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as to think.” – Emerson

Ritual of Simplicity

  1. “One must never live in the thick of thin things. Focus only on priorities, those activities that are truly meaningful. Your life will be uncluttered, rewarding and exceptionally peaceful. This I promise you.” – Yogi Raman
  2. Reduce your needs, stop needing to be available to everyone all the time. Unless you do so, you will always want more than you have.
  3. Pain is a powerful teacher. To transcend pain, you have to first experience it.

As I told you earlier, life gives you what you ask of it. It is always listening.” – Julian Mantle

“Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less. The only thing standing between most people and their dreams is the fear of failure. Yet failure is essential to success in any endeavor. Failure tests us and allows us to grow. It offers us lessons and guides us on the path of enlightenment. The teachers in the east say that every arrow that hits the bullseye is the result of 100 is a fundamental law of nature to profit through loss. Never fear failure. Failure is your friend.”  – Julian Mantle

“The universe favors the brave. When you resolve to lift your life to its highest level, the strength of your soul will guide you to a magical place with magnificent treasures.” – Julian Mantle

“Always be brave, John, like that little boy. Stand your ground and follow your dreams. They will lead you to your destiny. Follow your destiny, it will lead you into the wonders of the universe. And always follow the wonders of the universe, for they will lead you to a special garden filled with roses.”  – Julian Mantle

Willpower allows you to do what you said you will do, when you said you would do it… it offers you the inner power to keep your commitments to others, and, perhaps more importantly, to yourself.” – Julian Mantle

Through the steel of discipline, you will forge a character rich in courage and peace. Through the virtue of will, you are destined to rise to life’s highest ideal and live within a heavenly mansion filled with all that is good, joyful and vital. Without them, you are lost like a mariner without a compass, one who eventually sinks with his ship.”

“Truly enlightened people never seek to be like others. Rather they seek to be superior to their former selves. Don’t race against others, race against yourself.”- Julian Mantle

“Most people have liberty. They can go where they want and do the things they feel like doing. But too many people are also slaves to their impulses. They have grown reactive rather than proactive, meaning they are like seafoam pounding against a rocky shore, going in whatever direction the tide might take them. If they are spending time with their families and someone from work calls with a crisis, they hit the ground running, never stopping to think which activity is more vital to their overall well-being and to their life’s purpose. So, after all I have observed in my life … I say that such people have liberty but lack freedom. They lack a key ingredient in a meaningful, enlightened life: the freedom to see the forest beyond the trees, the freedom to choose what is right over what seems pressing.” – Julian Mantle

When you control your thoughts, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life. And once you reached a stage of being in total control of your life, you become the master of your destiny.” – Julian Mantle

“Satori – instant awakening.”

“I am more than i appear to be, all the world’s strength and power rests inside me.” – mantra to repeat to yourself at least 30 times a day.

“Small victories lead to large victories. You must build on the small to achieve the great.” – Julian Mantle

Chapter 11 – Your Most Precious Commodity (Time)

“Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.” – Sir Issac Pitman

“By the time most people figure out what they really want and how to go about attaining it, it’s usually too late. That saying, ‘If youth only knew, if age only could,’ is so true.” – Julian Mantle

Timeslips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return.” – Julian Mantle

“Time mastery is life mastery”- Julian Mantle

“Have the discipline to focus your time around your priorities. The most meaningful things in your life should never be sacrificed to those that are the least meaningful. And remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. By writing down not only your appointments with others, but also those all-important appointments with yourself, to read, relax or write a love letter to your wife, you will be far more productive with your time. Never forget that time spent enriching your non-work hours is never a waste. It makes you tremendously efficient during your working hours.” – Julian Mantle

“Being busy is no excuse. The real question is, what are you so busy about?… 80% of the results you achieve in your life come from only 20% of the activities that occupy your time.” – Julian Mantle

“Enlightened people are priority driven”

“Some people learn from the errors others have made. They are the wise. Others feel that true learning comes from personal experience. Such people endure needless pain and distress over the course of their lives.” – Julian Mantle

“Don’t let others steal your time. Be wary of time thieves.”

“Learn to say no. Having the courage to say no to the little things in life will give you the power to say yes to the big things.” – Julian Mantle

“The most productive people in this world have cultivated the habit of doing the things that less productive people don’t like doing, even though they too might not like doing them.” – Julian Mantle

“Those who are masters of their time live simple lives.” – Yogi Raman

“The best time to plant a tree was forty years ago. The second best time is today. Don’t waste even one minute of your day. Develop a deathbed mentality.” – Divea

“Act as if failure is impossible, and your success will be assured.”  Julian Mantle

“Never become a prisoner of your past. Become an architect of your future.” – Julian Mantle

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Ancient Indian Saying

“… the only thing you take with you at the end of your life is your conscience. Listen to your conscience. Let it guide you. It knows what is right. It will tell you that your calling in life is ultimately selfless service to others in some form or another.” – Julian Mantle

“Everything that lives, lives not alone, not for itself.” – William Blake

“When all is said and done, no matter what you have achieved, no matter how many summer homes you own, no matter how many cars sit in your driveway, the quality of your life will come down to the quality of your contribution.” – Julian Mantle

“A little bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.” – ancient Chinese Proverb

… the noble thing you can do is to give to others.” – Julian Mantle

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.” – Yogi Raman

“Compassion and daily acts of kindness make life far richer.” – Julian Mantle

“And speaking of friendships, make sure you keep them in constant repair. A person with three solid friends is very wealthy indeed.” – Julian Mantle

“‘Living in the now.’ – The past is water under the bridge and the future is a distant sun on the horizon of your imagination”

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Live for today – there will never be another quite like it.” – Julian Mantle

“Never put off happiness for the sake of achievement. Never put off the hints that are important to your well-being and satisfaction to a later time. Today is the day to live fully, not when you win the lottery or when you retire. Never put off living!” – Julian Mantle

“Live your children’s childhood. What’s the point of climbing the steps of success if you missed the first steps of your own kids? What good is owning the biggest house on the block if you have not taken the time to create a home? What is the use of being known across the country as a red-hot trial lawyer if your kids didn’t even know their father?” – Julian Mantle

“Don’t miss the forest for the trees. The best gift you could ever give your children is your love.” – Julian Mantle

“There is a huge difference between making a lot of money and making a lot of life… Remember, John, life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.” – Story of Peter and the Magic Thread

“Every one of us has the potential for extraordinary achievement, happiness and lasting fulfilment. All it takes is small steps in the direction of our dreams. Like the Taj Mahal, a life overflowing with wonders is built day by day, block by block. Small victories lead to large victories.” – Julian Mantle

“Begin to live each day as if it was your last. Starting today, learn more, laugh more and do what you truly love to do. Do not be denied your destiny. For what lies behind you and what lies in front of you matters little when compared to what lies within you.” – Julian Mantle

“We are all here for some special reason. Stop being the prisoner of your past and become the architect of your future.”

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3 thoughts on “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

  1. Lovely! I have read the book took. In fact, I finished it last week and I had some posts on it. It’s a must read by everyone and must have in all libraries.
    Nice work Jahn.

    Liked by 1 person

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