This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Who Will Cry When You Die?" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Are you looking for the best Who Will Cry When You Die? quotes by Robin Sharma? What lessons does he teach about gaining control over your life and living without regrets?
The aim of this book is simple, Sharma wants to help readers live a fuller life so they do not regret their decisions at the end of their lives. Sharma wants you to stop focusing on the things that don’t make you happy and to regain control of your life that may be on autopilot.
Here are some of the best quotes from the book with explanations.
Life Lessons From the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Robin Sharma is a world-renowned leadership expert, author, and speaker. Sharma started a career as a litigation lawyer, but he quit that high-stress, high-pay lifestyle at age 25 because he felt unfulfilled. He went on to publish several books, one of which was Who Will Cry When You Die?.
Here are some of the best Who Will Cry When You Die? quotes:
“Kindness, quite simply, is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet.”
Sharma feels that practicing kindness towards others and oneself is a tactic integral to seizing control of your life. This is because when you show kindness, you more effectively pursue your altruistic purpose in life. Let’s say your purpose is to add value to your community. When you perform community service with a kind disposition, you add more value than if you had a sullen or even neutral disposition.
“the tougher you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you.”
Sharma argues that being disciplined is a form of self-care. When you exert discipline over yourself, you make choices that are unpleasant in the short term but better for you in the long term. These hard choices also often guide you toward your purpose. Additionally, by putting in the work to improve yourself, you don’t wait around for the world to force you to improve—an experience that’s usually more painful, claims Sharma.
“The real secret to a life of abundance is to stop spending your days searching for security and to start spending your time pursuing opportunity.”
In Who Will Cry When You Die?, Sharma argues that most people prioritize the wrong things in life—money, success, and status, for instance—and then end up filled with regret at its end, having not made a positive impact on the world or those around them. His goal is to convey the importance of seizing control of your life so you can lead it in a way you won’t regret.
“Anyone can become angry — that’s easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not easy,” taught Aristotle.”
Sharma strongly advises you to learn how to control angry outbursts. Reacting with anger is a habit that can ruin relationships and cause others to label you as a hothead.
Sharma proposes two specific ways to prevent angry reactions:
Count to 100
When tempted to respond angrily, count to 100, advises Sharma. Your anger may dissipate in that time.
(Shortform note: Sharma’s advice to count to 100 when angry is similar to the advice to take a break from a tense situation or conversation—which may be more actionable if you can’t find a way to pause the conversation to count to 100. When you feel anger building, get a glass of water or use the restroom.)
Ask Yourself Three Questions
Sharma also recommends the “Three Gates Technique” created by ancient thinkers to approach tense or anger-filled situations. Ask yourself the following three questions before responding angrily to someone:
1) Are my words true? For instance, is my accusation that my co-worker takes two-hour lunches true? Or is there another explanation for their midday absence?
2) Are my words needed? Do I need to address this issue? Perhaps my co-worker’s going through a difficult time and will return to their normal hours soon.
3) Are my words gentle? If I address my co-worker, will I do so kindly?
If you can respond ‘yes’ to all three questions, then speak. If not, consider modifying or withholding your speech.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Who Will Cry When You Die? summary:
- Why most people end up leading lives they’ll regret
- How to seize control of your life and turn it into one you’ll look back on fondly
- How and why you should set intentional breaks in your daily life