Title: The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Publisher: JAICO Publishing House
Price: Rs 250/-
Published in more than 46 different languages, Robin Sharma has come up with this wonderfully crafted and brilliantly depicted tome which has made its way into the hearts of more than five million people across the world.
An author of international fame and much deserved accolade, Robin Sharma continues to make a mark in the history of non fiction literature and life's philosophy.
The story revolves around Jonathan Landry, a marketing sales executive who wants to make it big in life and in the pursuit of success and wealth, has forgotten to stop and smell the flowers.
With his marriage and family life at stake, Jonathan refuses to acknowledge the root cause of the problems (though they are forever gnawing at him in some corner of his busy mind) until his mother urges him to meet his cousin Julian Mantle--a former high powered courtroom litigator, whose only memory Jonathan has is that of a weathy successful man who owned a ferrari, the last time he met him years back.
Surprised and bemused by his decision to give up all the worldly pleasures and live the life of a monk, Jonathan decides to go meet him just for the sake of his mother.
What follows is a series of trips which Jonathan feels compelled to make across various countries with the mission of obtaining the talismans from different sources as directed by Julian---which Jonathan agrees to make only because he fears somebody close to him has his/her life at stake.
Spending time in Istanbul, Paris, Japan, Mexico, Sydney, Halifax, China, Phoenix and finally Delhi, and meeting up with the talisman bearers (who each have their experiences to narrate to him) slowly but surely affects his course of thought and help him make some much needed life altering decisions.
Each talisman has something new to tell Jonathan and it is these wise words that focus the readers attention to wisdom that the heart is aware of, yet doesn't always see.
"The secret letters of the monk who sold his ferrari" is a tome of simple phisophy and life's learnings wrapped in the beautiful tapestry of interesting travel involving the gleaming towers of Shanghai, the grand spice markets of Turkey, the haunting catacombs of Paris, hte sensual tango halls of Buenos Aires and not to forget, the beautiful Taj Mahal in India.
With each place, is described its accompanying culture and custom---which gives us a futher insight into not just its history but also (in subtle ways) into the phiosophy the talisman will speak about.
Also the style of writing takes you back and forth into what the talismans speak and you are reminded of the wise words on the pieces of parchment paper, lest you forget them.
What stood out besides the wonderful secret letters, were some carelessly strwen about quotes which got etched in my heart along the way---
"Courage is the only way to live and remember, bravery is not something you feel.Its something you show"
"What holds us back in life is the invisible architecture of fear.It keeps us in our comfort zones which are the least safe places in which we live.Indeed the greatest risk in life is taking no risks.But everytime we do that which we fear, we take back the power that fear has stolen from us---for on the other side of our fear, lives our strength."
"It doesn't matter where you are going, just who you are becomming."
"Why is it that we allow ourselves to treat family in ways we wouldn't treat friends or even those we dont know? Probably because we assume they will forgive us.But that's no excuse"
"If we are mistrustful of others, we are distrudstful of ourselves."
These besides so many others, which add to the magic simply because they are something we all can relate so well to.
Ofcourse the story features majorly around the message each of the talismans had attached to them---simple yet important...general yet life changing.
The journey leads to whole lot of improvement in the life of Jonathan Landry as he discovers his flaws at every step and proceeds to correct them.
Understanding the importance of accepting his fears and embracing them, he moves on to overcome some of his greatest apprehensions.
The realisation of what true happiness actually means, the fact that he needs to forgive others as much as he needs to forgive himself, the secret to living an authentic life, the small deeds of kindness and self improvemnet, the basis of life being love, the choice of positive influence, the simple pleasures of life and last but not the least, the mission of making a difference---succeed in making Jonathan Landry a wiser man and more importantly a happier one.
After realising what he has been missing all this while and after reflecting and retrospecting (in the journal Julian has asked him to pen his thoughts into), he is now able to step out of personal dilemmas, decide on priorities, work towards tasks he has put off and stop avoiding the one major guilt that has constantly been haunting him.
As his life falls in place, one cannot ignore the small nudge coaxing the reader to do the same.
The tome ends on a very interesting note, opening up a surprise that leaves a smile on the reader's face.
On closing the book, I realised what Robin actually wanted to say.
Perhaps each one of us has a secret to share---an experience we need to live, a story we need to tell, a talisman we need to recover.What is often missing is the time to search, reflect and pass these on.
Albeit, one can easily say that Robin Sharma is one man who has clearly proved to make a remarkable difference.
About the author:
Robin Sharma, LL.B., LL.M., is one of the world's top experts on leadership and personal development.He is the author of 11 major international bestsellers, including The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Greatness Guide.
He is CEO of Sharma Leadership International, Inc, a success coaching and training firm with clients such as Microsoft, Nike, IBM, GM and Panasonic.
A highly influential blogger and social media celebrity, Robin is also a much sought after speaker who has helped millions live a better life.
His personal website- www.ROBINSHARMA.com
Rating: 4 out of 5 (in the genre of non-fiction)