Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Secret Letters Of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Title : The Secret Letters Of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Author : Robin Sharma
Publication : Jaico Publishing House

The Secret Letters Of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a self help book which uses Jonathan, a man, albeit doing well in his professional life is not satisfied with it and whose personal life is not so good, as a mouthpiece, to express how one can lead a better life and start enjoying it.

Jonathan is compelled to travel across the planet to collect "the life saving letters" that carry the extraordinary secrets that Julian Mantle, a relative of Jonathan's, had discovered when he had vanished into the Himalayas. The book takes you from one place to another in a fascinating way from sensual tango halls of Buenos Aires to the vibrant Turkey, to the bright lights of Paris and through the polite Japan to the archaeological excavations in Mexico and through the artistically rich Barcelona and to a few other beautiful places on the globe .

As Jonathan's travel progresses so does his self questioning. Somewhere along the way he starts opening himself to the lessons being taught by the "secret letters". The author talks about the power of authenticity and being true to oneself. He says life is a journey after all and what matters most is not what you are getting but who you are becoming. By embracing our fears we grow fearless. On the other side of fear lives strength and every time we step into discomfort of growth and progress, we become more free. We should focus on the opportunities that the life provides rather than the inconveniences it may pose. It is important to remember that just as our words are our thoughts verbalized, so our deeds are our beliefs actualized. What we need today is patience and we need to take things slowly, one brick at a time. We need to realise that genius is a process. Small daily improvements lead to great things. The tiniest of actions is always better than the best of intentions. He says to lead your best life, do your best work. There is no insignificant work in the world. Lead a life that most honors the real you, celebrates your deepest values and respects your highest dreams. He further goes on to say that we must choose our influences well and see the preciousness of human relationships. We should be of service to as many people as possible. What is important is that we contribute and we make a difference.

The self help part of the book is good. But the story around which the author has woven this part falls short of the standard of the rest of the book. Towards the end I felt as if the author was in a hurry to finish off the book. I was expecting a better ending.

The book is simply written and is easy to connect with. In spite of not being a travelogue it partly works as one. Robin Sharma talks about very basic things in life and makes sense. I liked the eloquence with which he has described the various places and the beautiful small details that he has captured about the surroundings and the traditions.

A lot of words that I have used here are either excerpts from the book or Robin Sharma's direct words from the book itself. Robin Sharma's words are so self descriptive and they so beautifully put across his sentiments that I felt that if I played with his words I would not be able to do justice to this book. I agree with the author when he says that we can make the world better, one person at a time. I'd wrap this up with another excerpt from the book, which I simply loved "With every person we engage, in everything we do, we must be kinder than expected, more generous than anticipated, more positive than we thought possible."

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