The Monk who sold his ferrari. -Robin Sharma

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The Fable
The book takes the form of a fable about Julian Mantle, a high-profile attorney with a crazy schedule and a set of priorities that center around money, power and prestige. As such, Mantle represents the values of our society. The story is told from the perspective of one of his associates, who admires Mantle’s great success and aspires to be like him.

But when Mantle has a heart attack, he drops out of the game and disappears. He sells all his possessions and goes to India to seek a more meaningful existence. When he comes back, he’s a changed man. Really, it’s as if he’s a completely different person. He’s learned from some mythical Himalayan gurus who give him mystical and yet practical advice, which he shares with his former associate (and the reader).

The Concepts
The core of the book is the Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning, which Mantle reveals one by one. Now, although the book presents them as actual Virtues learned from Himalayan gurus, it’s important to remember as you read that these are made up by the author — actually, he pulled them from other sources and put them together:

  1. master your mind
  2. follow your purpose
  3. practice kaizen
  4. live with discipline
  5. respect your time
  6. selflessly serve others
  7. embrace the present

Each of these Virtues is discussed in some detail in separate chapters, each of them with a number of concepts and habits to develop. Most of them are very inspiring and potentially very useful. After reading the book, I incorporated several of them into my life, including the ones that involve positive thinking, visualizing goals and more. Again, these are not new concepts, and have been discussed in many other books, but the book presents a great collection of useful concepts that you might want to try out.

The Problem
After reading the book, I began to outline each of the Seven Virtues, because I was confused about all the action steps the book recommends taking. The truth is, each of the Seven Virtues encompasses a bunch of daily habits, and incorporating all of them into your life would be cumbersome. And some of them seem to me to be conflicting.

As an example of the large number of habits in every virtue, here are the ones I have listed for the first virtue, Master your mind:

  • Habit: Find positive in every circumstance; don’t judge events as “good” or “bad”, but experience them, celebrate them and learn from them.
  • Habit: The heart of the rose: find a silent place and a fresh rose. Stare at the heart of the rose, the inner petals, concentrating on the folds of the flower, the texture, etc … push away other thoughts that come to you. Start with 5 minutes a day, stretch it to 20. It will be your oasis of peace.
  • Habit: 10 minutes of reflection on your day, and how to improve your next day.
  • Habit: Opposition thinking – take every negative thought that comes into your mind and turn it into a positive one. First, be aware of your thoughts. Second, appreciate that as easily as negative thoughts enter, they can be replaced with positive ones. So think of the opposite of the negative ones. Instead of being gloomy, concentrate on being happy and energetic.
  • Habit: Secret of the lake. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Then envision your dreams becoming a reality. Picture vivid images of what you want to become. Then they will become reality.

And that’s just with the first virtue. Each one has a number of habits to develop, and they’re not listed out like I’ve done here. If you tried to incorporate all of the habits in the book, your day would be very busy indeed. Also, I would recommend only trying to adopt one at a time — more than that, and your habit change will be hard to sustain.

This book can be read by a 23 year old college student who is having pressure of his exams as well as a 43 year old manager who is really burned out from his work and both will be able to connect to you.

You can buy the book from the link below:

Happy Reading.

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How to win friends and influence people. – Dale Carnegie

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“If there is any one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”—Henry Ford

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.

Criticism is futile because it puts us on the defensive and usually makes us strive to justify ourselves. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds our pride, hurts our sense of importance, and arouses resentment.

Don’t criticize others; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.

Now, let me tell you about the principles discussed in the book.

Part 1: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
  2. Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation
  3. Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want

Part 2: Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Principle 1: Become genuinely interested in other people
  2. Principle 2: Smile
  3. Principle 3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
  4. Principle 4: Be a good listener
  5. Principle 5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  6. Principle 6: Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely

Part 3: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. Principle 1: The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it
  2. Principle 2: Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. Principle 3: If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically
  4. Principle 4: Begin in a friendly way
  5. Principle 5: Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately
  6. Principle 6: Let the other person do a great deal of the talking
  7. Principle 7: Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers
  8. Principle 8: Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  9. Principle 9: Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires
  10. Principle 10: Appeal to the nobler motives
  11. Principle 11: Dramatize your ideas
  12. Principle 12: Throw down a challenge

Part 4: Be a Leader—How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Rousing Resentment

  1. Principle 1: Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  2. Principle 2: Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly
  3. Principle 3: Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
  4. Principle 4: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
  5. Principle 5: Let the other person save face
  6. Principle 6: Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Principle 7: Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to
  8. Principle 8: Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
  9. Principle 9: Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

How to keep a disagreement from becoming an argument:

  1. Welcome the disagreement
  2. Distrust your first instinctive impression
  3. Control your temper
  4. Listen first
  5. Look for areas of agreement
  6. Be honest
  7. Promise to think over your opponents’ ideas and study them carefully
  8. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest
  9. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem

The effective leader should keep the following guidelines in mind when it is necessary to change attitudes or behavior:   

  1. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. Forget about the benefits to yourself and concentrate on the benefits to the other person
  2. Know exactly what it is you want the other person to do
  3. Ask yourself what is it the other person really wants
  4. Consider the benefits that person will receive from doing what you suggest
  5. Match those benefits to the other person’s wants
  6. When you make your request, put it in a form that will convey to the other person the idea that he personally will benefit

You can buy the book How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie from the following link:

If you like How to Win Friends and Influence People, you may also enjoy the following books:

•  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

•  Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

•  To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others by Daniel H Pink.

Happy Reading.