The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Excerpt (5)

Posted on Monday, 30 January 2012 by haan | 1 comments
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Chapter Nine - The Ancient Art of Self-Leadership

Change is the most powerful force in our society today. Most people fear it, the wise embrace it. Zen tradition speaks of a beginner's mind: those who keep their minds open to new concepts - those whose cups are always empty - will always move to higher levels of achievement and fulfilment.

Build strength of character, develop mental toughness, live with courage - these three attributes would lead one not only to a virtuous life but to a life filled with achievement, satisfaction and inner peace. Courage was a quality everyone could cultivate and one that would pay huge dividends over the long run.

Courage allows you to run your own race. Courage allows you to do whatever you want to do because you know that it is right. Courage gives you the self-control to persist where others have failed. Ultimately, the degree of courage you live with determines the amount of fulfilment you receive. It allows you to truly realize all the exquisite wonders of the epic that is your life. And those who master themselves have an abundance of courage.

Close-mindedness holds my life back all those years.

Kaizen - constant and never-ending enrichment of the mind, body and soul, into my new life.

In the East they say that luck favors the prepared mind. I believe that life favors the prepared mind.

Study a baby. She has no limits. Her mind is a lush landscape of potential and possibility. Properly cultivated, it will lead her to greatness. Filled with negativity, it will lead her to mediocrity, at best.

Fear is a conditioned response: a life-sucking habit that can easily consume your energy, creativity and spirit if you are not careful. When fear rears its ugly head, beat it down quickly. The best way to do that is to do the thing you fear: Understand the anatomy of fear: It is your own creation. Like any other creation, it is just as easy to tear it down as it is to erect it. Methodically search for and then destroy every fear that has secretly slid into the fortress of your mind. This alone will give you enormous confidence, happiness and peace of mind.

Taking the time to renew yourself is the most important thing you can do. Ironically, taking time out from your hectic schedule for self-improvement and personal enrichment will dramatically improve your effectiveness once you get back into it.

Solitude and quiet connects you to your creative source and releases the limitless intelligence of the Universe. The mind is like a lake. In our chaotic world, most people's minds are not still. We are full of inner turbulence. However, by simply taking the time to be still and quiet every day, the lake of the mind becomes as smooth as a plate of glass. This inner quietness brings with it a wealth of benefits including a deep sense of well-being, inner peace and boundless energy. You will even sleep better and enjoy a renewed feeling of balance in your day-to-day activities.

Knowledge is only potential power. For the power to be manifested, it must be applied. Most people know what they should do in any given situation, or in their lives for that matter. The problem is that they don't take daily, consistent action to apply the knowledge and realize their dreams. The Ritual of Abundant Knowledge is all about becoming a student of life. Even more importantly, it requires that you use what you have learned in the classroom of your existence.

Try not to live your life bound by the shackles of your schedule. Instead, focus on those things that your conscience and your heart tell you to do. When you invest in yourself and start to devote yourself to raising your mind, body and character to their highest levels, you will almost feel as if you have a personal navigator inside you, telling you which things you must do to see the greatest and most rewarding results. You will stop worrying about your clock and start living your life.

Read regularly. Reading for thirty minutes a day will do wonders for you. But I must caution you. Do not read just anything. You must be very selective about what you put into the lush garden of your mind. It must be immensely nourishing. Make it something that will improve both you and the quality of your life.

Some books are meant to be tasted, some books are meant to be chewed and, finally, some books are meant to be swallowed whole. To truly get the best out of a great book, you must study it, not just read it.

All the problems anyone has ever, and will ever face over the course of their lifetime have already been made. More importantly, the answers and solutions are all recorded on the pages of books. Read the right books. Learn how those who have preceded you have handled the challenges you are currently facing. Apply their strategies for success and you will be astonished by the improvements you will note in your life.

It's not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching - it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life. Books do not actually teach you anything new. Books simply help you to see what is already within your self. That's what enlightenment is all about.

The only way to improve tomorrow is to know what you did wrong today.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. Mistakes are part of life and essential for growth. It's like that saying, 'Happiness comes through good judgment, good judgment comes through experiences, and experience comes through bad judgment.' But there is something very wrong with making the same mistakes over and over again, day in and day out. This shows a complete lack of self-awareness, the very quality that separates humans from animals.

Figure out what is right and what is wrong in your days and in your life. Then set about making immediate improvements.

Pain is often the precursor to personal growth. Don't dread it. Instead, embrace it.

Nothing to extremes, everything in moderation.

Never forget that it is the quality and not the quantity of sleep that is important. It is better to have six hours of uninterrupted deep sleep than even ten hours of disturbed sleep. The whole idea is to provide your body with rest so that its natural processes can repair and restore your physical dimension to its natural state of health, a state that is diminished through the stresses and struggles of daily use.

Yogi Raman would never eat after 8pm. He said that the digestive activity was the sages' habit of meditating to the soft sounds of their harp immediately before heading off to sleep.

Laughing is medicine for the soul. Even if you don't feel like it, look in the mirror and laugh for a couple of minutes. You can't help but feel fantastic. William James said, 'We don't laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.' So start your day on a delightful footing. Laugh, play and give thanks for all you have. Every day will be an exquisitely rewarding one.

Shortly after you have awakened, go into your sanctuary of silence. Get still and focused. Then ask yourself this question: 'What would I do today if today was my last?' The key is to really get into the meaning of this question. Mentally list all the things you would do, the people you would call and the moments you would savor. Envision yourself doing these things with great energy. Visualize how you would treat your family and your friends. Even picture how you would treat total strangers if today was your last day on the planet. As I told you earlier, when you live everyday as if it was your last, your life will take on a magical quality.

The words you say to yourself affect your self-image and your self-image determines what actions you take. For example, if your self-image is one of a person who lacks the confidence to do anything of value, you will only be able to take actions which are aligned with this trait. On the other hand, if your self-image is one of a radiant individual who is fearless, again, all your actions will correspond to this quality. Your self-image is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Ritual of Simplicity. This ritual requires you to live a simple life. As Yogi Raman said 'one must never live in the thick of thin things. Focus only on your priorities, those activities which are truly meaningful. Your life will be uncluttered, rewarding and exceptionally peaceful. -> I stopped wearing expensive clothes, I kicked my addiction to six newspapers a day, I stopped needing to be available to everyone all the time, I became a vegetarian and I ate less. Basically, I reduced my needs.

Every being on this Earth, every object on this Earth has a soul. All souls flow into one, this is the Soul of the Universe. When you nourish your own mind and your own spirit, you are really feeding the Soul of the Universe. When you improve yourself, you are improving the lives of all those around you. And when you have the courage to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, you begin to draw upon the power of the Universe. As I told you earlier, life gives you what you ask of it. It is always listening.

Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less. The only thing standing between most people and their dreams is the fear of failure. Yet failure is essential to success in any endeavor. Failure tests us and allows us to grow. It offers us lessons and guides us along the path of enlightenment. The teachers of the East say that every arrow that hits the bull's eye is the result of one hundred misses. It is a fundamental Law of Nature to profit through loss. Never fear failure. Failure is your friend.

Always be brave. Stand your ground and follow your dreams. They will lead you to your destiny. Follow your destiny, it will lead you into the wonders of the universe. And always follow the wonders of universe, for they will lead you to a special garden filled with roses.

1 comments:

Thiam Teck (1983 - ?) said...

If over selective in reading, perhaps might result in constraint on knowledge and viewpoint too?

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