I am an artist at living-my work of art is my life (Suzuki).
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens (Carl Jung).
I recently read “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin. S. Sharma. What a great read! It is a tale about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny. It is about an approach to living a simple life with greater balance, courage, strength and abundance of joy.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma
Robin S. Sharma
It is the story of Julian Mantle, a high-flying lawyer who collapsed one day in the courtroom from a heart attack. Julian had toiled day and night for years without heeding his mental and physical health. That catapulted him into a very rich and successful lawyer. He was in fact the epitome of success. The heart attack was his wake-up call. He came face to face with a spiritual crisis and decided to sell all his property ( of course his Ferrari too) and embarked on a life-changing odyssey to India. His journey totally transformed him into a healthy man with physical vitality and spiritual strength.
The tale contains the seven virtues for enlightened living and a wealth of spiritual gifts. You will learn mind mastery techniques such as “the heart of the rose” , “opposition thinking” and “the secret of the lake”. You will also learn self-leadership techniques like “do the things you fear” and “the 5 step method for attaining goals”. The value of self-discipline, willpower, time management and setting priorities are extolled in techniques like “the ancient rule of 20″ and “the vow of silence”.
There are so many nuggets of wisdom throughout the book and some of these nuggets that strike a chord with me are:
Mental mastery comes through conditioning.
Dedicating yourself to transforming your inner world will quickly shift your life from the ordinary into the realm of the extraordinary.
By controlling the thoughts that you think and the way you respond to the events of your life, you begin to control your destiny. If you want to make improvements in your outer world, you must first start within and change the caliber of your thoughts.
If you want to change your life for the better, you must run your own race. Don’t worry about what other people say about you.
The only limits on your life are those that you set yourself. Self-mastery is the DNA of life mastery.
Set clearly defined personal, professional and spiritual goals and then have the courage to act on them.
When you venture out of your comfort zone and explore the unknown, you start to liberate your true human potential.
Fear is our own creation. When fear rears its ugly head, quickly beat it down. And the best way to achieve this is to do the thing you fear.
Don’t race against others. Race against yourself.
Do the things you know you should be doing instead of walking the path of least resistance.
Develop a deathbed mentality. What would you do if today is your last day?
When you do things to improve the lives of others, you indirectly elevate your own life in the process. Always remember the Chinese proverb “A little fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses“.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Never put off happiness for the sake of achievement. A truly joyful and rewarding life comes only through a process called “living in the now”.
There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. From struggle comes strength. Pain can be a wonderful teacher and is often the precursor to personal growth. To transcend pain, you must first experience it.
Go read the book in its entirety. Then re-read it over and over so that the principles will stick in your mind. Retaining the gist of the book in your mind is made so much easier because of the the way the tale is narrated. You will not forget the seven virtues of enlightened living if you just visualise the mystical fable mentioned in the book and remember the significance of the seven symbols: the magnificient garden ( your mind), the towering lighthouse (your life purpose), the sumo wrestler (kaizen), the pink wire cable (discipline), the gold stopwatch (time),the fragrant roses (serving others) and the diamond path (embracing the present).
May you discover the new you and may you live a life that soars!
We don’t laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh (William James).
The following story is from an email sent to me by my eldest brother. Please read it till the end….it gives you food for thought. Are you also making the mistake? Are you missing out the joy of living? Are you so caught in your busyness that you never bother to stop and smell the proverbial roses? Maybe you should stop spending so much time making a living and spend far more time creating a life. A truly joyful and rewarding life comes only through “living in the now”…….happiness is a journey, not a destination. Never put off happiness for the sake of achievement. Never put off living! Today is the day to enjoy the fruits of your efforts. Today is the day to seize the moment and live a life that soars. Just do it!
It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
and none is so poor, but that he can be made rich by it.
A Smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business,
and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,
and it is nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen,
for it is something that is of no value to anyone, until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile;
Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
If at times you feel you want to cry
And life seems such a trial
Above the clouds there’s a bright blue sky
So make your tears a smile.
As you travel on life’s way
With its many ups and downs
Remember its quite true to say
One smile is worth a dozen frowns.
Among the worlds expensive things
A smile is very cheap
And when you give a smile away,
You get one back to keep.
Happiness comes at times to all
But sadness comes unbidden
And sometimes a few tears must fall
Among the laughter hidden.
So when friends have sadness on their face
And troubles round them piled
The world will seem a better place
And all because you smiled.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
I received an email today from my eldest brother with this amazing 16-minute short film that you all should watch. Please watch this movie till the end and be uplifted…..but more importantly, do smile for smiling is contagious. Watch what your smile can do to others around you. Have an awesome day!
If you want to be happy tomorrow you need to begin working at it today. Some people spend their lives waiting for happiness to arrive on its own and it never comes. Others work hard at creating wealth but still aren’t happy, discovering that money only brings a whole different set of problems. Happiness is a state of mind and not the size of your bank account. Happiness is emotional and not physical. Each individual needs to work at creating their own happiness.
I like how Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, put it when he said, “If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”
To find happiness you first have to understand where happiness comes from. Memories are to the mind what a mirror is to the eyes – a reflection. The mirror reflects the physical while our memories reflect the emotional. When you look in the mirror it reflects what you look like; when you look in your mind it reflects who you are. One big difference between the two is that you can change what you see in the mirror but you can’t change the memories reflected in your mind.
We tend to spend a lot of time trying to improve what we see in the mirror, but little or no effort trying to improve our thoughts. Every action creates a memory. Do you really think that the person who is bitter and angry today was happy and cheerful yesterday? If a person says or does something which angers or upsets us, we can either add to the painful memory with our own negative actions or we can replace them with positive actions and create positive memories.
If you want to be happy tomorrow you must choose carefully what you do today, because today’s actions will be reflected in tomorrow’s memories and you can not make them go away. Everything you do today will be in tomorrow’s reflection. The next time a person angers you, instead of lashing out, try imagining that you are holding up a mirror that bounces the reflection back at him, knowing that his actions or words are a reflection of him and not of you.
We all want to like what we see in the mirror. To be truly happy we also have to like what we see reflected in our minds. What the mirror reflects is not nearly as powerful as what the mind reflects, for it reflects our words and actions.
What will your reflections be filled with? Will your reflections/memories be filled with goodness and joy or with bitterness and anger? What have you done today that will bring you happiness tomorrow?
Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.
Though one could be infinitely happy by just enjoying the nature and family and all the human-made things, there are still millions of people who are unhappy. In the developed countries there is very fortunate circumstance of having both God-given and man-made things. Still majority of people there are unhappy. In the developing countries, where for millions there is a real scarcity of even basic needs, people seem to be happy. There are some people who are engaged in difficult tasks and in warfare, and even incarcerated in prisons, and are still happy!
You would realize that the mere availability and abundance of God-given and human-made things is not enough. There is something else which should be right to be happy. Of course, it is our mind that must have right attitude towards and capacity to be happy.
Milton in Paradise Lost says,
‘The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’
One can give various examples of how mind can influence our body::
• Pavlov’s dog starts salivating at the sound of the bell without any food in sight.
• If we are tense we often get headache, backache, and spondylitis, etc.
• Heart attacks are directly linked to worry and tension.
• Right mental attitude helps in curing many bodily maladies.
• By self-talk, motivation, and positive attitude we can become happy and successful.
• Through hypnosis one can have command over another person’s mind and body.
• Through meditation one can have a healthy body and extra sensory abilities.
Mind has extra-ordinary powers and as far as happiness is concerned it has the ultimate power. We should, therefore, have a positive attitude towards life. Instead of concentrating on bad things in life and people, we should concentrate on redeeming features in them. We should not keep on thinking about past failures and bad experiences but be encouraged by our past success and good experiences. Similarly, we should not be unduly anxious about future as our anxiety is not going to have a positive effect, but we should plan and work hard for the future.
In whatever circumstances you are, you can never have total lack of God-given and man-made happiness. You cannot completely take away nature from somebody; you cannot take away all man-made things from somebody. Even if everything is taken, one’s family and friends are there. One’s precious body is there. And, even if you chain somebody securely in a dungeon, one’s mind is free. One is free to be happy in one’s mind! Mind is difficult to be mastered by oneself, but it is impossible to be vanquished by anybody, any authority, or whatever conditions or situations.
Abraham Lincoln has beautifully expressed it: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”