Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram, and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!
This week I read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.
For those that follow me on Quora, you know that I write frequently about self development. I read a lot about it, I study it, I practice it—I believe it is the foundation of success in any field or craft.
Funny story about how I decided to pick this book up. It was actually covertly suggested to me by my ex-girlfriend, who sent a screenshot of page from the book out of the blue, no message. I actually have it somewhere. Let me find it...
I believe books appear at exactly the moments we need them most.
Ever since I graduated from college, it has been a constant struggle as an artist to balance the conflicting desires of making art for the sake of art and making money. And I don't believe it's just artists that struggle with this—it's everyone. It's the reason why people wake up at 35 and feel like they're having a mid-life crisis. It's the reason why people work tirelessly for promotion after promotion. Or it's the reason why some decide to travel halfway across the world to live a simpler life.
It's an inner conflict I'm very aware of, and in a sense I suppose this book "appearing" as it did was a subtle reminder of that challenge. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is about a world class lawyer that one day suffers a heart attack, quits his job, goes on a journey of enlightenment by following monks, and then comes back and shares his teachings. Sort of a forced plot line but it gets the point across: Money can only buy so much happiness.
From a message standpoint, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is great. It does a good job at reinforcing the central idea that the more you can seek "success" internally instead of externally the more rich your life will be. However—I am a writer after all—the execution of the prose was somewhat atrocious. I had trouble stomaching the forced dialogue between the two main characters whose conversation we as readers are "listening in on." I cringed at the overt messages and the intentionally lazy thoughts of the main character whom we watch begin to realize all these great things about himself. The only time the prose actually read well was in the voice of the teacher, who spoke with maturity and simplicity. If the entire book had carried that same level of awareness from a narrative perspective, it would have been up there with Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. Maybe.
There are some books that become popular because of their message, not their style. There are books that become popular because of their style more than their message. And then there are books that last ages because they have achieved both. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari definitely falls into the first category.
Still, it was a quick and worthwhile read for those looking for a good introduction to the path of self development—specifically with a focus on spirituality.
Have you read The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari? Post a comment below and let me know what you thought!
Want to join the #ABookAWeek club? Submit below! Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.