The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari By Robin Sharma

Key Takeaways

Every successful person has a purpose in life, a set of goals that you aim to achieve through a journey that involves self-control, discipline and being persistent with the things that makes you who you are. Time and happiness are priceless, therefor you should cherish even the smallest of happy moments in the present. Try to fill your mind with positive driving elements as you are a reflection of the compounded little things that you do, see, hear, and read.

Favourite quotes

“Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.”
“The boundaries of your life are merely a creation of the self.”
“You can be a fool for five minutes if you ask a question. However, you are a fool for a lifetime if you hesitate to ask a question.”
“The saddest part of life lies not in the act of dying, but in the failure to truly live while we are alive.”
“Learn to say no. When you are saying yes to an unimportant thing, you are saying no to an important one.”
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look and so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.”


The story revolves around the life of Julien, who is a successful, well-established, wealthy lawyer, whose clients are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. He was soo wealthy that he owned a mansion, a private jet and a Ferrari as the title of the book hinted. He was living the dreams of many when glanced at from the outside, however, on the inside, he was never satisfied with his wealth or success. He was greedy for money and he pushed himself to spend more hours at work, focusing on his career, distancing himself away from his family and personal life. This eventually led to his divorce from marriage, further distancing from his children, and more than that he started looking too old for his age due to the sleepless nights he spent working.

The eye-opening event

One day while in the courtroom, he felt a sudden pain around his chest and quickly collapsed onto the floor. Upon rushing him to the hospital and with a thorough analysis by the doctors, they concluded that he just had a mild heart attack. The doctors advised him to stop putting soo much pressure on himself and start living a healthy lifestyle. Working 18 hours a day as a lawyer in ones 50s was not at all practical for any human being. He realised that he would soon need to quit the job from which he had made all his fortune and fame or it will eventually end up costing his life.

The deciding day

Following the nerve-wracking incident, he took the bold decision to sell his luxurious fortunes and start looking for the true purpose of life. He started selling his fortunes one by one, from his mansion to his private jet, to his ever-so-obvious Ferrari. Soon from one of his friends, he heard about the extraordinary monks who lived very long happy lives in the Himalayan mountains of India. However, reaching them takes a miracle as there are only a very few who knows the path to where the monks lived, and even if someone knows the way,  the chances of making it alive through the harsh conditions to the mountain were slim. Julian's determination to liberate his mind, body and soul overcame the fear of losing and ultimately set off on the journey. As expected, he had to struggle a lot to find the monks and with a tiny bit of luck holding onto him, he eventually reached his destination.

Way of the monks

The monks welcomed the wandering traveller searching for his true purpose in life with a warm heart. Julien soon became dedicated to his life as a monk, disciplining himself to be better and determined at finding his purpose. Impressed by his dedication, the leader of the monk decided to share with him a story that would change his life. But, the monk asked him in return to spread this profound knowledge to the outside world and not to keep it to himself. Julian agreed to this, and the story began...

The story told by the monk

Imagine yourself sitting in an amazing garden filled with beautiful flowers and birds. The flowers smell so nice and the birds are singing melodious sounds. You are having the most peaceful time of your life. Sitting there, you noticed a lighthouse situated in the middle of the garden and all of a sudden, a sumo wrestler barged out knocking down the door from the lighthouse. As a sumo wrestler, he was wearing that weird underwear which was made of cable wires.  He then started wandering around in the garden and after a while, he stopped at one point to pick up a golden watch which was lying on the ground. As soon as he picked it up, he fell to the ground as if something had happened to him. He lied soo still without any motion for a while. A few minutes later, he woke up from the stillness and started looking around. He then found a road to his left that was filled with small diamonds all along the way. This road somehow gave him an impression of something that is leading towards happiness. He then started walking on that road and soon faded into the distance. The monk narrating the story ends it there.

As you are thinking right now, yup, that was a weird story without any relevance or context. Julian asked the monk if this was all a joke as nothing in the story made any sense. The monk then revealed to him, that hidden in the story are the seven biggest principles of life. The monk started explaining to him each principle one by one.

Principle 1 - The garden

The garden in the story symbolises our brain. The garden will only be beautiful and filled with nice-smelling flowers and chirping birds if it has been taken care of in such a good manner. You need to plant good seeds, take out the unwanted weeds, and water the plants daily. Our mind is just like a garden. If you fill your brain with positive, motivating, driving ideologies, you will act accordingly. If all you consume is negative thoughts and ideas, then it's only natural that your mind will be filled with toxicity. Therefore it is vital that you exercise your brain daily, take care of the unwanted thoughts, and watch, read and listen to content that makes you a better person.

Principle 2 - The Lighthouse

The lighthouse act as a guide for the sailors in the sea to navigate in the right direction. Just like the lighthouse, we need a certain set of goals in our life to which we can navigate towards. Without a goal, we will just be wandering in the ever-so-vast ocean called life, without any purpose. As long as you know your goal, no matter the struggles you face in your path,  eventually, you will reach the destination you thrived so much for.

Principle 3 - The sumo wrestler

The monk used the sumo wrestler as a depiction of "kaizen". Kaizen is a Japanese word, which means continuous and endless self-learning. A sumo wrestler goes through immense training and distinct diets in a very disciplined manner to achieve the size and strength he needs to attain. You need to be continuously learning and practising in a very disciplined manner to attain the goals you seek to achieve. Be it reading books, writing journals, running, weight lifting, dancing, singing, or something else that makes you a better person, do it persistently.

Principle 4 - The underwear of the sumo wrestler

Yes, you read it correctly. The underwear worn by the sumo wrestler is of a very specific kind which is made up of cable wires. The sumo wrestler's underwear might be small and thin, but without it, it wouldn't be a pleasant sight, would it? If you have ever seen the inside of a cable wire, you would notice that it is made up of many thin wires.  These thin wires are fragile and weak individually, but together these thin wires are stronger than an iron rod. As mentioned earlier, in order to attain a goal, you need to have self-control and discipline. And what forms ur self-control and discipline is our continuous effort in the small things that we do in our daily life. It could be something such as waking up early in the morning, going for a jog, or eating healthy, all these little things add up to be a more prominent reflection of who you are. Doing it once or twice doesn't give you a result overnight, it takes continuous effort for years to attain your goals and that exactly is what makes up our self-control and discipline.  

Principle 5 - The golden watch

The golden watch is a symbol of the precious time we have. It doesn't matter if you are rich, poor, happy or sad, everybody gets the same 24 hours in a day. It's up to you to do what you want with the time. So if you procrastinate about something, remember that there is someone out there putting in actual effort to live the life you are dreaming about. There is always someone who finished a morning workout feeling fresh and fit while you are just waking up late in your bed. There is always someone who did that extra work to outstand you in a certain task. There is always someone who found that extra time to spend with their family. It's all about how you manage the 24 hours given to you just like everyone else, and that determines your success.

Principle 6 - The fragrant rose

There is a famous saying in Chinese that goes like this, "There's always a little fragrance remaining in the hands of those who give flowers to others". The satisfaction and happiness of helping others selflessly is a priceless feeling. No matter how rich or powerful you become, helping a social cause by donating to charity, or aiding in the development of a rural village and such forth will bring you priceless satisfaction and happiness in your life.

Principle 7 - The path of diamonds

The diamonds represent the small happy moments that happen in our day-to-day life. We, as humans, tend to wander in the past, worrying about what could have been or frustrated about what could happen in the future while never seeing what is right in front of us in the present. The small moments in the present, let it be playing with your children, spending time with your partner, or engaging in some delightful activity, are the real diamonds in our ever-so-finite time that we spend in this world. Recognising and cherishing the happiness in these moments is one of the most important keys to becoming a real happy, contented person.

Keeping the word

The seven principles taught by the monk completely changed Julien's life for the good. And as promised in return, he shared that wisdom with the entire world through this book. As a matter of fact, it is also what we all should do to help our loved ones and those in need to find happiness and purpose in life.

I wrote this article to do my part in sharing this profound knowledge with the readers of my blog, so you can achieve the same happiness and peace in life. In return, you could spread this knowledge by sharing it with your loved ones too.

I hope to have summarised the book in a good way and was able to influence some good in you. If you would like to read more of my articles, check the featured posts in my blog. See you in the next one.