Leadership Wisdom: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is some leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari? How does The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari guide leaders?

In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma provides some important lessons and wisdom. Leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari focuses on goals, passion, planning, and success.

Keep reading for the leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

Leadership Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari on Reaching Goals

If you’re a leader, you need to be able to set and reach goals. Leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari uses the Sages’ five-step process for realizing goals:

  1. Clearly visualize the goal. In John’s case this means taking a moment every day, right after waking up, to picture himself lean and fit, full of strength and energy.
  2. Create positive pressure for yourself. This does not mean to badger or berate yourself—that would be negative pressure—but to somehow add some stakes to your goal that encourage you to pursue it. One method is to publicly announce your goal. 

That instantly puts pressure on you to fulfill it, since now people will be watching you.

  1. Create a timeline for your goal. Having a deadline will help keep you on track. Commit the goal and the deadline to paper. A goal that is only in your mind is no goal at all.
  2. Choose a specific action or behavior that will help reach your goal, and do it every day for 21 days. This is how long it takes for new habits to be formed, and bad habits to be replaced. It’s recommended that you do the action or behavior at the same time each day. There is great power in ritual.
  3. Enjoy the process. Have fun while pursuing your goals; if your new ritual feels like a terrible chore you won’t stick to it. This applies to all aspects of life, not just goal-setting. Remember: A day without laughter or love is a day wasted.

Purpose or Dharma

Leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari focuses on purpose, or Dharma. One useful tool to help find your Dharma is a Dream Book. Buy a cheap notebook, and fill it with goals and dreams from all areas of your life. Divide your Dream Book into sections based on what type of goal you’re adding: fitness, financial, relationship, spiritual, and so on. 

Also fill the Book with pictures of what you want and people who have achieved those things. If your goal is to get in better shape, perhaps include a picture of a superstar athlete. This Dream Book will help you to learn more about yourself and discover where your passions lie.

Dharma is rooted in passion, so always keep the word “passion” at the front of your mind. It is the most powerful fuel in the world. Do things because you want to, because you are passionate about them; never do something just because you think you have to. You are the master of your own fate. Starting right now, take control of your own life and put passion into everything that you do.

People who feel exhausted at work will spring to life if asked to do something they enjoy or are passionate about.

Leadership Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari on Planning

Rather than spend a stressful day scrambling to catch up on all the things you have to do, take 15 minutes the night before to plan your next day—or, better yet, an hour on your day off to plan your week. Figure out what you have to do professionally, personally, socially, and spiritually, and allot time for all of your daily tasks. Make a written schedule and stick to it. Procrastination is human nature. You’ll naturally want to avoid or put off unpleasant tasks. However, remember that the happiest people are the ones who will accept short-term discomfort for long-term benefits. 

Start your day earlier if you find you’ll need the extra time. Focus on your priorities—not just work priorities, but life priorities. Your work and non-work lives aren’t separate things; they’re two parts of a whole and will affect each other, positively or negatively. Therefore, enriching your personal time is never a waste.

Also be wary of people who will try to steal your time. Protect your time ruthlessly. Don’t be afraid to tell people no when they try to intrude on time you’ve allotted for something else, even resting. 

Assume Failure Doesn’t Exist

We’ve previously discussed how failure is an excellent teacher. Leadership wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari offers advice on how to think of failure. However, to make the most of your time and not waste any on doubts, you should act as if failure doesn’t even exist. Don’t set limits on yourself; let your imagination go where it will. Have no doubt in your mind that you’ll achieve all of your goals: professional, personal, and spiritual. Most of all, don’t be ashamed of your past, or afraid of your future.

Leadership Wisdom: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

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  • Why your career success might actually be killing you
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  • The 10 rituals you should practice for health and healing

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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