Book Summary: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Quick Summary: In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, we are offered a remedy for the problems of modern life. It tells the story of Julian Mantle’s enlightenment and offers suggestions for living a happier, more rewarding, and enlightened life.

You don’t have to read the whole book if you don’t have time. This summary will provide you with an overview of everything you can learn from this book.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Our thoughts shape our lives. If you fill your head with valuable thoughts, you will have a better standard of living.
  • When you have a clear sense of purpose, you’ll never waste time.
  • You can realize your full potential when you are under positive stress because stress can often make you realize your full potential.
  • Keep learning throughout your life.
  • No amount of money is more important than your peace.
  • In order to improve our outer lives, we have to improve and work on our inner selves first.
  • Listen more and speak less.
  • Live in the present and serve others selflessly for a fulfilling life.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Book Summary

Introduction

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare, certain that he will win, challenges the tortoise to a race. 

The hare races off fast, but gets so far ahead that he decides to take a nap; the tortoise, though much slower, wins the race. Those stories, or fables, are used to deliver thoughts and morals in a fun and memorable way.

Imagine you were told a tale so compelling that you were forced to sell all of your most valuable possessions and give up the life you’ve grown accustomed to. Which fable could be so persuasive?

Well, if you read this book, you’ll discover a fable that will change your outlook on life. It is about a fictional lawyer who decides to sell his Ferrari and become a monk.

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Lesson 1: Julian Mantle had a spiritual awakening while he was working as a wealthy lawyer

It is the story of Julian Mantle, a man whose life seemed to have everything. Mantle graduated from the Harvard Law School and became one of the most famous trial lawyers in the United States. He made seven-figures, lived in a mansion and drove a red Ferrari outside. That was the life he had always wanted.

Despite everything, he was struggling. His workload was overwhelming. Mantle took on a new, important case every day and approached each proceeding with diligence. Mantle eventually collapsed in court with a severe heart attack because of the stress he was under.

He never returned to law practice after that incident.

After he had a heart attack, no one at his firm heard anything from him. As rumor had it, he had gone to India in search of answers and a simpler life – and that is exactly what he had done. Mantle sold his mansion and Ferrari before moving; his quest for meaning was far more important to him.

He then returned three years later, showing up without warning at the office of his former colleague. As his Buddha-like smile stretched across his face, he was the picture of health.

Mantle had been traveling by foot from village to village in India. In his journey, he came across yogis who seemed to defy aging. He had heard about the Great Sages of Sivana in Kashmir. He then ventured to the Himalayan Mountains and encountered monks who lived there.

Mantle rediscovered his soul there after a reawakening.

Lesson 2: A mystical fable reveals the Sivana System’s seven principles

The Sages of Sivana are the group of monks Mantle found in the mountains. Yogi Raman, a monk, shared his wisdom with Mantle.

Mantle learned how to boost his vitality, become more creative, and feel more fulfilled while discussing the meaning of life.

This was all taught to him with one condition – that he would spread the word back home. The reason he returned to his law practice was to teach the life-changing Sivana System.

Underlying the Sivana System are seven basic virtues, each of which is represented in a fantastic fable.

The fable begins in a beautiful green garden that’s serene and full of flowers.

An enormous red lighthouse stands in the middle of the garden. As a sumo wrestler strides out of the lighthouse door, the tranquility is suddenly disturbed. The 900 lb wrestler is dressed in nothing but a pink wire cable to hide his modesty as he stands nine feet tall and weighs 900 pounds.

He stumbles upon a golden stopwatch while walking through the garden. As a curiosity, he tries it on – and immediately falls to the ground unconscious.

As soon as he awakens, the fragrance of the yellow roses surrounds him and fills him with energy. In an instant, he leaps up and looks to his left, where he discovers a diamond-covered path. He walks along it, fascinated. He finds joy and bliss in this path.

Some may find this story absurd. All elements, however, represent aspects of the Sivana System. The following lessons will help you gain a deeper understanding of these principles.

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Lesson 3: Mastering your mind is the key to finding fulfillment

In Yogi Raman’s fable, the garden represents the mind. Many people litter their mental gardens with negative thoughts and fears.

To control your mind is therefore the first virtue of the Sivana System. Taking care of your mental garden means standing guard at its gates. You should only let positive, pleasant thoughts in, while keeping negative thoughts out.

Ultimately, our thoughts shape our lives. By filling your head with worthwhile thoughts, you will have a better standard of living. Are you looking for a meaningful, peaceful life? Allow your thoughts to be peaceful and meaningful.

What can we do to get our minds to focus purely on fulfilling thoughts? All we have to do is choose what we think about, so we can exercise our minds as if they were muscles.

The first step is to improve your concentration. The Sages of Sivana call it ‘The Heart of the Rose’, a technique for improving focus.

You will need a rose and a quiet space to use this technique. Begin by staring at the center of the rose. Fill your mind with thoughts about the rose’s beauty, and pay attention to its color and texture.

Your mind may at first be flooded with random thoughts. But after some practice, your mind will become more disciplined.

Consider doing this on a daily basis, enjoying the rose for a longer period of time each day.

You’ll eventually be able to command your thoughts more easily. Worry will cease and instead you will feel a sense of calm and joy.

Lesson 4: You need a purpose in life if you want to lead a fulfilling life

Sivana’s second virtue has to do with purpose. The lighthouse symbolizes this in the fable.

The Sages of Sivana never waste time because they have a clear sense of purpose. The Sages know that they are tasked with fulfilling this purpose.

Monks refer to their purpose in Sanskrit as “dharma,” which means “life’s purpose.” Dharma derives from the ancient belief that we each have a mission on earth. When you honor dharma, you will achieve lasting satisfaction and inner harmony.

It’s important to clearly define your life’s purpose – after all, you can only hit a target if you can see it.

The Sages developed a five-step method to achieve personal purpose:

The first step is to visualize the outcome. If your goal is to lose weight, you’d picture yourself as leaner and fitter.

Putting yourself under pressure is the second step but in a positive way. People often realize their full potential when they are under pressure, as the pressure can often push them to realize their full potential. Sharing your plan with others is a great way to generate pressure.

The third step is to create a timeline. You need a deadline to get your goal off the ground.

The fourth step is what Yogi Raman called the Magic Rule of 21. This concept states that you become accustomed to a new behavior after 21 days.

What’s the last step? Enjoy the process!

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Lesson 5: A radiant life depends on constant self-improvement

Do you remember the sumo wrestler? Well, in the Sivana System he represents a virtue, too.

Japanese word kaizen describes this virtue as constant, never-ending improvement. Unlock your potential with kaizen.

In order to promote this virtue, the Sages created the Ten Rituals of Radiant Living.

First, there is the Ritual of Solitude, which requires you to pause every day for a moment of silence. By doing this, you can access your creativity.

Secondly, there is the Ritual of Physicality. This stage is about moving your body. When you take care of your body, you take care of your mind.

The next ritual is the Ritual of Live Nourishment. It is best to eat only live foods, so it is best to follow a vegetarian diet.

The Ritual of Abundant Knowledge is the fourth step. You should keep on learning throughout your life, so keep your mind stimulated by reading or studying.

The Ritual of Personal Reflection is the fifth. This involves examining the way you behave each day. Was there anything you could have done better today?

The sixth ritual is the Ritual of Early Awakening. For those who love sleeping in, this will be a challenge because you will need to sleep for around six hours and rise with the sun.

The next ritual is the Ritual of Music. Listening to as much music as you can lifts your mood.

The eighth ritual is the Ritual of the Spoken Word. You create a mantra to guide you in your daily life.

The ritual of a congruent character is the ninth. In this step, you must make sure you follow your principles at all times.

The last ritual is the Ritual of Simplicity. Live a simple life centered around your priorities.

The sumo wrestler serves as a reminder of kaizen!

Lesson 6: Manage your time wisely and live a disciplined life

The sumo wrestler in the fable has another characteristic to remember. His privates were covered in pink wire cable, but he was otherwise naked.

As a matter of fact, the cable is the fourth aspect of the Sivana System. It focuses on the discipline of living.

According to Mantle, the wire represents strict self-discipline during his discussions with the Sages.

You can build up your self-discipline just as you would your concentration. Mantle was told that Yogi Raman’s favorite exercise was not speaking for a day. Mantle was assured by the Sages that a vow of silence would strengthen his will if taken for a long time.

A golden stopwatch was discovered by the sumo as the fable progressed.

It represents the fifth virtue of the Sivana System, which is respect for time. Even though they are removed from society, the Sages respect and appreciate time.

Mantle learned that mastering time is mastering life. Hourglasses serve as stark reminders of mortality and encourage us to live fully and passionately.

Hence, it is important to use your time efficiently and plan how to spend it. It would be a good idea to set aside 15 minutes before going to bed to plan out the next day. Spend an hour planning the week ahead on Sundays.

It is also important to be ruthless with your time and to know when to say no. The only way to avoid wasting time on an activity you don’t want to do is to live each day as if it were your last. A helpful question is, “Would I want to spend my last day on earth doing this?”

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Lesson 7: Live in the present and serve others selflessly for a happy, satisfying life

The sumo in the fable fell unconscious under the weight of his responsibilities just as Mantle collapsed at work. Despite sleeping for nine hours, he awoke full of energy, thanks to the scent of yellow roses.

What do these flowers represent? According to an ancient Chinese proverb, you can always smell roses on the hands of someone who presents you with them.

Accordingly, roses represent the sixth virtue of the Sivana System – the concept of selfless service.

Monks say you should always be compassionate and kind to others, as this will improve your life.

Each day, take a moment to think about how you can spread goodness in the world and help others.

Your family and friends will appreciate you when you sincerely praise them, help them in need, and show affection toward them. A life lived in such a kind, earnest manner will bring happiness.

Having been rejuvenated by the roses, the wrestler found a diamond-encrusted pathway to everlasting bliss and joy.

“Living in the now” is the seventh virtue for the Sages. Happiness isn’t found in the destination, but in the journey.

In life, we will meet small wonders – diamonds – along the way. You must practice gratitude every day to appreciate diamonds.

You should never take your health for granted, nor should you take your family for granted. You should even appreciate birds singing in the trees. Now is the most important time.

In his return, Mantle regaled his former colleague with tales of his travels to meet the Sages of Sivana. It has been his pleasure to share their wisdom ever since, fulfilling his promise.

Final Summary

Everyone can lead a fulfilling, joyful life. 

As Yogi Raman tells in his fable, we can eliminate negativity by following the seven virtues of the Sages of Sivana.

About The Author

Former lawyer Robin S. Sharma is a professional speaker in the field of life improvement and leadership. 

He has also written Megaliving: 30 Days to a Perfect Life and The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO.

Quotes

“It is only when you have mastered the art of loving yourself that you can truly love others. It’s only when you have opened your own heart that you can touch the hearts of others. When you feel centered and alive, you are in a much better position to be a better person.”

 

“You will never be able to hit a target that you cannot see.”

 

“Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always give you what you need.”

 

“So take the time to think. Discover your real reason for being here and then have the courage to act on it.”

 

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

View our larger collection of the best The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari quotes.

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