The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary

One Paragraph Summary The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari tells the story of the fictitious lawyer Julian Mantle, who, after having a heart attack, sells all his possessions, goes to India to find answers on life's most pressing questions. On his quest, he learns about a fantastic fable that will change his life.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari—A guide to using ancient practices to improve your quality of life and achieve your goals.
A book by Robin S. Sharma

  By writing this book summary, I learned the following three things:

  • Grooming the mind with Opposition Thinking is a useful exercise
  • The Ancient Rule of Twenty-one
  • Ten Rituals of Radiant Living

Key Ideas

The fable

The fable tells a story that will teach the listener about the seven virtues of the Sivana System.

There is a red lighthouse in the middle of a beautiful garden with thousands of blooming flowers. This garden is a place of serene silence.

This stillness is suddenly interrupted by a massive sumo wrestler storming out of the lighthouse. He only wears a pink mawashi (belt).

The sumo stumbles upon a golden watch while walking around the green garden. The wrestler picks up the clock, and while he looks at it, he loses his consciousness.

As soon as the giant awakens, he is filled with energy by the fragrance of the yellow roses surrounding him. As he gets up from the ground, he discovers a path to his right covered with diamonds.

He follows the sparkling path and finds everlasting delight and happiness.

The garden

The garden in the fable represents the human mind. We litter our minds with too many negative thoughts like jealousy, envy, and fear.

We have to take care of our minds like we would take care of a garden. We pick up the litter and tear out the weed. We sow flowers and plant trees.

You have to become aware of what thoughts you like to nourish, and which thought you should not let into your mind.

To improve your concentration, you can try an exercise the Sages of Sivana call The Heart of the Rose. Just go to a quiet place and take a rose with you. Now stare at the rose and explore all its beauty. When random thoughts pop up in your mind, discard them and focus on the beauty of the rose's color, texture, and fragrance again.

Exercise daily, and you will see the positive effects like calmness and happiness emerging.


The red lighthouse, which stands in the middle of the garden, represents purpose.

By trying to complete your life's purpose, you will find satisfaction and inner harmony.

While there is no easy way to find your mission, it is straightforward to get there if you have found it, in only five steps:

  • Create a clear mental picture of the outcome
  • Pressure yourself to get there, for example by telling others about your mission or your goals
  • Have a timeline with deadlines
  • Build habits that support the outcome
  • And lastly, enjoy the process


The sumo in the fable represents yet another virtue of the Sivana System. He stands for kaizen, the Japanese word for never-ending improvement.

To unlock your full potential, you can follow the ten steps outlined in the Ten Rituals of Radiant Living:

  • Ritual of Solitude In your daily routine make space for some time of solitude which will calm your mind and foster your creativity
  • Ritual of Physicality Take care of your body by exercising or walking
  • Ritual of Live Nourishment Follow a healthy (vegetarian) diet
  • Ritual of Abundant Knowledge Read and study every day to follow the Ritual of Abundant Knowledge
  • Ritual of Personal Reflection Ask yourself before going to bed: Is there anything I could have done better today?
  • Ritual of Early Awakening Sleep for six hours and rise with the sun
  • Ritual of Music Lift your mood by listening to music often
  • Ritual of the Spoken Word Come up with a personal, inspirational mantra
  • Ritual of a Congruent Character Ensure always to follow your principles
  • Ritual of Simplicity Conduct a simple life by focusing on your priorities


Do you remember the pink mawashi the sumo wears in the fable? This belt is a symbol of strict self-discipline.

There might be many ways to foster one's willpower. But one method which has been recommended to Mantle in the story is to not speak for one day.

Trying to be silent for a whole day sounds like a fun exercise.


You might have guessed that the golden watch the sumo stumbles upon stands for the time.

The watch is a reminder of mortality. Your time on the planet is limited. Therefore learning to use your time wisely is to master your life.

To make better use of your time the next day plan your next day. And every Sunday you can use an hour to plan your next week.

Learn to say no to protect the time you have ruthlessly.

Selflessly serving others

After being unconscious, the sumo awakens between the yellow roses. The fragrance of the flowers energizes him.

The roses in the fable are a symbol for the sixth virtue in the Sivana System: selflessly serving others.

You can improve our own life by always being compassionate toward others. Ask yourself: How can you better the lives of others?

Living in the now

The last virtue in the Sivana System is living in the now. In the fable, the path of diamonds represents this virtue.

As we travel on our path through life, we need to make sure we see the diamonds and little wonders along the way. Appreciating health, friends, and the current moment by being grateful is an excellent way to live a rewarding, joyful life.

First Insight: Grooming the mind with Opposition Thinking is a useful exercise

Worry drains the mind of its power and, sooner or later, it injures the soul.―Robin S. Sharma

I don't know about your mind, but I am aware there is too much negativity in my mind.

The garden in the fable stands for your mind and the responsibility you have to groom that garden.

Opposition Thinking is precisely that, a method to keep your mind well-groomed.

Try this exercise: Replace any negative thoughts you might have immediately with a positive one. For example, the next time you sit in a plane and silently complain that there is too little space, replace that thought with how wonderful it is to fly above the clouds.

Second Insight: The Ancient Rule of Twenty-one

Ancient Rule of Twenty-one: if you do anything for twenty-one days in a row, it will be installed as a habit.―Robin S. Sharma

Grooming your habits is as essential as grooming your mind. Probably there is no better way to reach your life's mission than to build supportive habits that do align well with your short term and long term goals alike.

Read Atomic Habits if you want to learn how to create habits.

Third Insight: Ten Rituals of Radiant Living

Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, but it will also improve the lives of all those around you.―Robin S. Sharma

I love the Ten Rituals of Radiant Living. You can use it as a checklist for your daily routine. If your daily routine covers every point in the list, it shows that you are already investing in yourself.

There is only one ritual I disagree with: sleeping six hours is way to little sleep. Make it eight hours of sleep and do not sacrifice your sleep for anything and you will have improved the ten rituals :)


The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a great book. The advice is inspirational and applicable at the same time.

If you follow the virtues outlined by Robin S. Sharma and add the ten rituals to your daily routine, you should have an excellent chance to live a rewarding and happy life.


  • Exercise your concentration and awareness
  • Protect the time you have
  • Learn to say no to protect your most precious resource, time
  • Make space for solitude to calm your mind and foster creativity
  • Take care of your body
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Learn something new every day
  • Study yourself
  • Improve yourself by asking yourself every day before going to sleep if you could have done something better
  • Get enough sleep
  • Listen to music to lift your mood
  • Create an inspirational mantra
  • Stick to your principals
  • Conduct a simple life

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary—related resources

  Read more about Robin S. Sharma on his website. Robin S. Sharma has written many other books, amongst them Who Will Cry When You Die and The 5 AM Club.

Get FREE access to all of my book summary PDFs.

If you liked reading the The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary, you should also read the 12 Rules For Life Summary.

Posted on CuteMachine in happiness, inspiration and self-improvement.

Jo's Profile ImageWritten by Jo who lives and works in Frankfurt building digital doodah. Stalk him on Twitter.

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