13 Keys To Success You Can Learn From The Monk Who Sold...

13 Keys To Success You Can Learn From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Lessons

Rarely are there books that can truly transform your life. Just like Think And Grow Rich and The Alchemist, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Book is phenomenal. It has some of the best keys to success you will ever read, and it’s very hard to put down once you start reading it.

Robin Sharma is the author, and so it’s no wonder why he uses fictional characters to shift your current way of thinking. I could really relate to being that person a few years ago who has got the job everyone would dream of, but who has still not found true fulfilment and happiness.

It’s books like this that have put me on my current path, and that will help you to reconsider what is important to you. This book has very simple concepts, but the power is in its simplicity.

Below are 13 keys to success that you will learn from the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari:


1. Trade money in for meaning

The online world is highlighting right now the shift that is happening. People are starting to look at their time more closely and making changes to their income based on doing something that has more meaning.

Companies that have a meaning or a social cause to them are beating the traditional corporations. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is all about two lawyers who some would say have it all, and how one of the lawyers traded in all he had to become fulfilled, happy and healthy again.

To create his own meaning, Julian Mantle from the book travels to the Himalayas to become enlightened through a group of monks. He then comes back to the western world and shares all of his wisdom with his former colleague John.

This act is the true definition of giving meaning to your life and shows the power of meaning versus money. Are you going to start to add more meaning to your own life?


2. 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).

The book 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 from now on.

Failure to empty your cup will cause you to stand still and not grow. When the mind doesn’t grow it starts to take on more and more negative thoughts and create predictable outcomes.


3. You must open your own heart before you can touch other people’s hearts

Julian Mantle in the book teaches us that we can only help others, love others and inspire others if we work on ourselves first. When we reach a place where we feel centred and alive, we are able to find inspiration within.

As we work on ourselves our natural progression is to help others, and we do so often without consciously knowing – it’s what we were designed as humans to do.


4. Understand how powerful simplicity can be

As the book goes a bit deeper, a simple fable is revealed to the character of John. Initially, he thinks that the fable is too incomplex and dismisses it entirely. As he becomes more enlightened, he realises that the power is in simplicity.

Look at our world; the best marketing is simple, the best advice is simple, the best phone is simple – simple is the best form of anything. It’s easy for us to want to over complicate things to make ourselves feel smart, but what this book teaches us is that complexity is the enemy we should be trying to avoid.

Complexity is what puts us in an education system that gives us zero emotional intelligence and doesn’t help us to understand the operating manuals of our minds. Complexity is what makes us forget that vitality and energy come from what we put in our mouths and that simplistic eating from natural sources is the best kind.


5. Worry will drain your mind of its power

Modern day life contains so much worry. Our minds are exhausted by all the things we are told we must have to be happy and all the things we are told we must do by a certain deadline. What if we decided that happiness was more important than worry? What if we trained our brains to be happy with where we are right now and not to worry about what anyone else thinks?

The book clearly shows us that worry causes havoc for our inner world and that all our success is buried deep within our inner world. The only way we can remove the gravel stones of worry and unveil our success is to cultivate a tidy garden of thoughts.

Poor information is what pivots our mind from everything that is good, into worry. Worry benefits others but never really helps you. Deep down we know that worry is not good for us, but we often lack the discipline in our daily habits to stand tall and not let worry take over!


6. Tragedy can spark something great inside of you

One of the most powerful lessons in the book is the realisation that the real world doesn’t exist. Everything within our world is created in our mind. External circumstances like the weather can’t be controlled. What we can control is what our mind’s attitude is towards these events.

The major theme in this book is about how important our mind is in whether or not we become successful. Even the definition of success is subjective and completely created by our own mind.

When an event like tragedy occurs, which we have no control over, the book teaches us that we have an amazing opportunity. This opportunity is the realisation that while this event may seem like a tragedy to you; to an entirely different person it may seem like a celebration or a new beginning.

All great success stories almost always have some form of tragedy or pain, which becomes the seed for something much greater.

Tim Denning Success Quote

7. Translate negative thoughts into positive ones to banish worry forever

A skill that the book suggests is worth developing is where you learn over time to not judge events as either positive or negative but to just experience them and soak in the learning. The lessons that come from these learnings are what fuels your growth.

The book goes as far to say that you can’t afford even one negative thought. I personally have never thought of my thoughts that way, but with this new perspective, I feel like the book has made me see the world in a whole new way.

Your mind has two gears; imagination and memory. Focusing on memory will ensure you live in the past while spending time imagining will see you have a more positive outlook on what your world could be like in the future.

Imagination allows you to design the life you want, instead of being given the life you don’t want that is shaped by external forces.


8. Start to dream that you are more than the sum of your current circumstances

Where you are right now is not where you will be in the future if you follow the keys to success outlined in this book. The only way to change your current circumstances is to begin by dreaming that you can be more than you currently are.

Dreaming is not enough, though. Your dreams need to be followed by consistent action, but even action alone is also not enough. The book teaches you that the action you take must be done in a way where you act as if failure is impossible.

You must act as if you have unlimited power and only your mind is stopping you from getting where you want to go. You already know what you need to do; you just need to break through the fears that are blocking the path in front of you. Expect greatness from yourself and that’s what you’ll get in return.


9. Those who rise early have a purpose and those that don’t do not

We all know people who sleep in or her struggle to wake up. We may even be these people. 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.

Between what I learnt from this book, and a video from Eric Thomas that I watched, I have now decided to wake up at 3 am each morning to fulfil my purpose to inspire the world through personal development and entrepreneurship. The drive was always there it’s just been ignited further through books such as this.


10. 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. This book highlights that it’s not about beating your competitors or measuring yourself against others; it’s about beating yourself.

“The aim is to be superior only to your former self. Spend time each day trying to outwork and outgrow yourself not those around you”

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.

The only thing that tells you you’re on the right course is you. The only person that decides if you are successful is you. The book outlines that the more time you spend worrying about someone else’s goal, the less time you have to focus on your own.


11. Writing goals down subconsciously triggers your mind to focus on goal orientated thoughts

The art of goal setting doesn’t make sense to everyone and for good reason. In the book, Julian shows John that we constantly have thousands of thoughts floating around our brain. He explains that when we write our goals down and then constantly look at them, we subconsciously tell our brain to red flag any thought that comes into our mind, which relates to one of our goals.

Goals allow your mind to place an importance indicator on every thought you have, from important to least important. This message is so very simple yet amazingly powerful when you reflect on it. Goals are really just focusing your thoughts on the things you want and discarding everything else – groundbreaking!


12. The more courage you have, the greater your fulfilment will be

In the book, Julian shows John that to have self-control and overcome failure you need to have courage. Courage is a sense of certainty about every action you take and the belief that everything you do is ultimately going to work for the best, one way or another.

Courage allows you to take action when other people trying to achieve a similar goal would give up. The act of courage gives you hope even when hope may not seem obvious in certain situations.


13. Your thinking is what makes something painful

We can all identify with experiences that we have gone through that have felt painful. What Julian teaches in the book though is that your thinking about something is what makes it feel a certain way.

The loss of a loved one may seem in the moment like the ultimate pain. This same loss could be perceived as a celebration if that loved one was in agony from their illness. Both scenarios are right, and it’s your thinking that decides which one you choose to experience.

“You will become luckier every day if your mind is prepared and conditioned to think of the world as filled with opportunities, and to think of pain as part of all journeys of success” – Tim Denning

Others around you will start to see you as lucky, whereas you and I (and those who have read this book) will know that it’s the way you have conditioned your mind that has made you appear by magic to be lucky. Fill your world with an abundance of positive emotions and that’s how you will feel daily.

What lesson did The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari teach you? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook. 
Tim Denning is a former entrepreneur turned intrapreneur, working daily with fast-moving tech companies. He is passionate about what makes startups successful and is a thought leader/ game changer via the use of social media. Tim uses personal development and success as a platform for greatness. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Dear Tim
    The Review of Robin Sharma book by you is highly applaudable. I am trying to pour simplicity in my life when I realised its actual benefits.
    From that day when I finished “The Monk who sold his Ferrari “book, I am continuously in practice to get bliss by the simple rule of life .
    thanks once again .

  2. Tim, you listed three books I have read during my time, and all of them had some particular impact on my life. But there’s something special about Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And you were spot on about it’s very hard to put that book down once you started reading it. Exactly. I’ve finished it for a few days I think and only because I was reading during my early mornings and had to attend my job. Without it I would have done it in a day. It was so addictive!

    Taking down the lessons I can certainly relate to every single one of them. Are people I work with opened to new ideas? Most likely not indeed. I had been talking about that book with so many of them, and not a single one had listened. I even offered one girl my copy of book and we were about to meet after my swiming pool session but she never came. And you know, it’s just funny how easily you can turn a great opportunity to learn and educate yourself. For free and with pleasure. I offered her a free one-on-one talk so to just help and understand things better, to help her bring positivity and change the attitude. And again, she never came.

    I am recharging my mind now and constantly trying to empty my cup. Even though with so huge amount of knowledge I recieve every day it is very tricky. Sometimes I feel like give up everything and re-connect with nature, to go live somewhere in the wilderness. One of my wild dreams 😉

    I also believe that tragedy will guide to a better live like never before. I agree with your explanation here completely, Tim. Ain’t that just the way? And I feel like I am on the edge of some sort of tragedy myself. Like the inner one. My body gives messages every day yet I’m still like a blind person cannot see them properly. But I can feel something is about to change very soon.

    I also love and adore you spoke about Eric Thomas, as I am watching one guy on youtube regularly who also speals about ET very high. And he also wake up at 3-3:30 am every day because of him. I feel like it was all about synchronicity again, and that we have some things in common 🙂 I started to wake up at 5 am after Tony Robbins first book and then I saw Robin Sharma’s video where he talked about waking up early. I abandoned that habbit due my work schedule because otherwise I will have very limited sleep time which is not healthy so now I wake at 5.20 am three days a week when I go to the gym at the morning. But now, seeing you do the same thing (3 am wake up) I want to try it as well. You are my inspiration there, Tim.

    And this. This is simply awesome saying I gotta quote and remember: ‘Courage is a sense of certainty about every action you take and the belief that everything you do is ultimately going to work for the best, one way or another.’

    One of the main message of this book was simplicity, and one of the greatess minds of this worl, Albert Einstein has said: ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough’.

    It was amazing read, my friend, and I agree with Evan Teague, it was a knockout. You are on a different level, my man. For a few days I have been thinking about this article. Much love and appreciation for your knowledge.

    Now I actually want to re-read this book again.

    • Toño we have similar tastes my friend. I love your dedication to squeezing out every ounce of greatness from everything I write and talk about. If you believe you are on the cusp of tragedy then that can only be a good thing. It means your life is going to change for the better. Based on what you have told me, you are changing into someone that has the power to do great things.

      Remember that not everyone will share your vision or think that this book is powerful. Ignorance is bliss and everyone deserves whatever they want to believe. Simple books like this is where you learn to be successful and happy at the same time. Before I started waking up at 3am my previous bedtime was 5:20 – that’s freaky!!!!

      • I value time and effort wise people invest in their work, I am a big sucker for knowledge and things that can help me to grow and be a better person, so I try to absorb every bits and pieces that greatness 😉 Not every time though. But I loved to learn right from my childhood.

        I know that not everyone will share my ideas and view but sometimes it’s just too frustrating to see how reasonably smart people refuse to get better and educate themselves. I’m getting better at it however and it can actually be a good sign I am going up. I appreciate your support, Tim, very much. For the last couple of weeks you helped me a lot and been a massive boost for me to keep on going. Funny thing, recently I realized people I’ve never met in person, or just far far away, helps me more than those who around every time. Amazing, isn’t it?

        I would also like to know, what time you go to bed now as you wake up at 3am? And how much actual time healthy sleep requiers? Do you find it hard wake up so early every day and do you feel the change from waking at 5.20 am ?

  3. Good stuff Tim. You’ve done a great review of the book and pulled out the key lessons. I love the simplicity concept. The best things in life are simple. We make it much more complex than necessary. There is power, wisdom and greatness in simplicity. Over the years I’ve tried to simplify all areas of my life.

    • Vishnu thank you for your message. Simplicity is the key to life and business. Since I started reading Joshua Becker I discovered that the way to declutter your mind is simplify your life and most importantly, simplify your possessions.

  4. Tim,

    Another knockout.

    What spoke to me specifically would be #3, 5 and 12.

    3 – I used to have a lot of anger in my heart which I had to release in order to reach my full potential and open my heart up to help others. By focusing on other people and their needs, we’re more centered and purposeful anyways.

    5- Worrying will kill us too because we’re using potent visualization AND imagination in the wrong direction. No matter if we think & talk about something we DON’T want, we’re still creating it. Think the opposite from what you don’t want, and create only what you want.

    12 – I had to learn this by moving across the world by myself and networking with the right people. At the moment, it just looked like a huge tunnel with a question mark at the end. After all, it’s bloomed to a full-fledged E-commerce business of my own, a personal development and mindset website to share with others, and freedom to travel and live anywhere.

    Fantastic work.

    – Evan

    • Thank you Evan. Moving across to the other side of the world when you don’t know anyone is a gutsy move and I applaud you for having the courage to take action on your vision. Speak soon mate.

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