Summary & Lessons from 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari'

May 05, 2019

Paperback: 198 pages   First published in : 1999  I  ISBN-10: 9780062515674

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian BloggersWith more than 20 million copies sold in 51 different languages, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin S. Sharma is a fable about fulfilling our dreams and reaching destiny. This bestseller is one of the self-help classics, but unlike other self-help / motivational books, it is not preachy 😊, but written in a fiction - novel format. It tells the story of a most distinguished lawyer - Julian Mantle – through which explains the exact relationship between “success” and “happiness”.

Julian Mantle is very successful in his career, wins every trail he takes on and seen as immortal by his co-workers and competitors. He has everything that everyone would ever dream of – he wears most expensive Italian suits every day, exotic mansions, a private jet and a shiny red Ferrari, which was his most favorite possession. 

However, he’s getting obsessed with his job and with his successes, and starts to work more and more while loosing his sleep. His looks getting aged considerably faster than his actual age. Yet, even when his marriage futile, he buries himself deeper on his work. 

Eventually, on a fine day he collapses in the middle of the court hearing with a massive heart attack!. Doctors advises his either to quit his work or his life!! Julian takes a few days to digest this fact and slowly he starts to realize all his mistakes. So one fine morning he took a very bold step of selling all his possessions including his favorite Ferrari and sets out a journey in search of the true meaning of life!. 

A few years afterward, Julian revisits former office to meet his junior colleague - John, . Surprisingly, John couldn’t recognize Julian, as he looks much younger, with a wrinkle-less face, bright eyes and full of charisma. John requests Julian to share the secret that completely changed him. 

Julian tells John about his journey which transformed everything. He tells John that after weeks of travel in the mystic Sivana mountains in the Himalayas of India, Julian got to meet a sacred monk, who upon listening to Julian's story agreed to take him to their secret village. These monks were not usual, each of them were more than 100 years old, with the highest level of wisdom!. 

Julian started living in the village with those monks. Watching Julian's dedication, the monk leader decided to teach Julian the secret of life - on a condition that Julian will not keep that knowledge to himself, rather he would spread it to the outside world. The monk leader started narrating a story as below: 

"Imagine you are sitting in magnificent garden filled with the most spectacular flowers. You notice that there is a lighthouse in the middle of the garden and suddenly the door of that lighthouse creaks open as you see a sumo wrestler coming out it. The sumo was just wearing an underwear made of thin wire, he wanders around and finds a golden watch was lying in the garden. 

As soon as he tries to pick it up, he slips and falls on the ground lying motionless. After some time you could see that he gets back to his senses from the nice fragrance of the roses in the garden. On his left, he finds a path that was spread out of small diamonds which led to a place where the sumo can find all the happiness in his life. He starts walking on that path and soon gets out of sight."

When you read the above sumo story in full for the first time, you’ll surely wonder how stupid the story was and laugh at the 20 million readers who made this books a bestseller. Just when you attempt to throw away the book😉, Julian starts decoding the above story – that makes us engaged and teaches us also the secret. 
  1. The symbol “magnificent garden” represents the act of cultivating the mind and improving the quality of life by improving the quality of thoughts. It’s impossible to completely remove negative thoughts from our mind , however, can be substituted by positive thoughts.
  2. Lighthouse symbolizes the goals in our life. Lighthouse holds the right direction to the ships sailing in an ocean ; similarly our life too needs goals to reach a proper destination – be it personal, professional or spiritual , we can reach a destination only if we set a target and consistently moving in towards the same direction.
  3. The Sumo wrestler teaches us “kaizen”, the act of continuous improvement; just like the sumo wrestler has to be continuously feed himself with good diet and discipline to achieve his huge physique.
  4. The Sumo’s underwear that is made up of thin wires depicts self-control and discipline. The individual strands in the cable are very weak, but when they are woven into the cable, they become very strong. Similarly, every disciplined thing that we do in our life (however small they are), will make us stronger and bring big changes in our life.
  5. The gold stopwatch represents the importance of time. Everyone in the world has only 24 hours day, not even a second more or less than anyone else; but the way we utilize these 24 hours is what makes us happy or sad rich or poor.
  6. The fragrant roses signifies unselfish service to others, which is based on a famous Chinese saying, “there's always little fragrance remaining in the hand of those who give flowers to others”. Whatever heights you achieve in your life, at one point of time, you’ll feel the noble satisfaction only when you give away some thing to others. That’s the reason most of the billionaires who ran behind money for most of their life, turn towards “charity work” at later stage.
  7. The Path of diamonds represents living in the present. Thinking about past and worrying about future, we never really enjoy the small happy moments that we are gifted today, be it small things such as playing with your kid, a happy vacation with your partner,… these simple moments of small diamonds can never be get back once they’re missed.
Well, these are the 7 lessons the monk taught Julian - which completely changed his life. There is a huge difference between “well-being” and “being well-off”, and this books explains this theory in the simplest form. 

Hope you enjoyed the summary and find it useful; so please share this post & your wisdom with your friends (as the monk & Julian Mantle did 😊!) 

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  1. This sounds like an interesting read. Great review.

  2. That title certainly snagged my attention

  3. Very interesting title. I don't think this book would be for me though.

  4. This is an interesting read. Weird that I have not seen this in the local bookstores.

  5. That sounds like an interesting book! I normally don't like self-help books - but I think I would read this one!

  6. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review.

  7. fabulous review! This seems like such an interesting read - I haven't tried many self-help books in the past i'm not too sure if they're really my thing if i'm honest, but this has definitely caught my eye. I may have to give this a try! Thanks for the share!

  8. Thanks for sharing, I`m not a big reader but I realize i should get started, failing to read is like closing oneself in a dark closet not seeing what`s going on outside.

  9. I love reading self-help book! It helps me to change my mindsets into more positive way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this, seems like an interesting book.

  10. Sounds like an interesting book. Haven't read that much as I did before since I got Netflix on the phone but sitting in the garden with a good book never beats that.

  11. The title is so interesting. Haven't been reading for a while,but this looks like worth reading.

  12. Great review, it sounds like a really interesting book.

  13. Although i read the book and personally i did not like it, i like how you manage to pull out the main messages in the book.

  14. This seems like an interesting book. Not my typical read but worth checking out.

  15. This sounds like a very inspiring read, would love to check it out! Thanks for the review and recommendation!

  16. I’m always on the lookout for book recommendations. This book sounds like an interesting premise. I’ll have to add it to my list!

  17. Thanks for sharing! I have not had time to read and wish I could read more. Thanks for the book recommendation

  18. I have been looking for some new books to check out! I love reading, but haven't done as much as I like lately due to being busy. I also rarely read a book more than once!

  19. I haven't read for a while, looks like an interesting read. I would love to try this.

  20. the title is very catchy... I had stop reading for a couple of months now because im so busy at work. I guess I need a time out and read some good books,

  21. Great review for this book, it sounds like a great read.