Julian Mantle, a very successful and famous lawyer, is struck by a sudden heart attack, wreaking havoc in his life. His work comes to a standstill, and he is forced to start thinking about the worthwhileness of material success. The seven-figure-making lawyer had everything. But it didn’t make him happy. So, in search of wisdom and happiness, he sold his holiday mansion and his expensive red Ferrari and headed to the Himalayan mountains where he studied the wisdom of the sages. From being an overworked and highly paid ‘legal eagle’, Mantle transformed into a monk. Schooled in the Himalayas by the “Sages of Sivana”, the lawyer turned ascetic talked about various life lessons to his new apprentice John.
With this terrific premise, Robin Sharma, world-famous leadership guru and best selling author, tells us a semi-autobiographical business fable that has inspired millions across the globe. Here are 5 keys to success that we can learn from the monk –
- Empty your cup so you can fill it with new ideas
Think about all the people you work with. Are they open to new ideas and do they want to try something new? The answer is probably no, and the reason for this is that their hypothetical cup is constantly full. The only way to be able to open your mind, take on new thoughts, and change your current position in life is to empty your cup (your mind).
Sharma teaches us that we can only change when we make space for change in our lives. This means that you have to be prepared to potentially re-learn everything you have been told and question everything that someone tells you.
2. Respect Your Time
It is important to have a “deathbed” mentality. How do you savour life to the fullest and not waste a single moment of your time? By reminding yourself that today could very well be your last day. So it’s high time you stop accepting a life of mediocrity. The only way to experience more is to push yourself to do more. Being efficient with your time also means being ruthless about it. You have to have the courage to say “no”.
3. To be noble is to be superior to your former self
In the world of personal development, so much of the advice out there traditionally says beat your competition at all costs. Sharma highlights that it’s not about beating your competitors or measuring yourself against others; it’s about beating yourself.
Forget about what other people think of your life’s purpose or what others think about where you’re currently at, and focus on improving yourself daily.
4. Those who rise early have a purpose and those who don’t do not
We all know people who sleep in or struggle to wake up. We may even be those people ourselves. Sleeping too much is caused by not having anything purposeful or fulfilling in your life to do.
“When you have a purpose that occupies every moment of your thoughts and causes you not to want to sleep, then you know you’re on the cusp of something big.”
If you’re not there yet then that’s okay, just don’t stop until you start living that way of life. When you finally arrive, you will be glad you had the discipline to keep searching for your purpose.
5. Practice Kaizen
Borrowing from the Japanese concept of continuous improvement, kaizen comes from doing the very things that we fear. One of Mantle’s main lessons is that “Self-mastery is the DNA of life mastery.” If you master yourself and use the philosophy of kaizen to help guide you, then you’re well on your way to mastering external circumstances like building a business or having a successful relationship.When you identify the things that are holding you back, you should face them.