Have just finished reading ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ … a truly inspiring book !!! Reading the book forced me to race my brains to match it with all the day to day crisis I face, personally and professionally – I came across instances in the book, to which I could relate and the following remedial measures offered by the enlightened teacher, sure seemed to show the way. But it also set me thinking on a different track – the book takes the example of Julian Mantle, a very successful lawyer who had everything one can ask for.
However an insight into his life and working pattern reflected a very different picture. It showed Julian as a man who went to the extremes in his life – he was passionate about his work and excelled in it … the point to be noted is that we can be successful only when we are passionate about that particular thing… as was Julian. Well being successful, he had his share of material possessions, a mansion, a Ferrari, a wealthy living style and of course fair weather friends… but who cares if you are having the best out of life. Taking Julian’s instance, he worked hard and partied harder … taking no care of his personal life, his spiritual needs, his health … until God sent him a reminder in the form of a health breakdown in the court room.
What happened after that is obvious … while recuperating, Julian thought about the type of life he had lived till date and so he decided to sell of all his material possessions – his car, mansion and all other things and set off in pursuit of inner peace and happiness, which he achieved and became enlightened spiritually, which is conveyed by a series of rituals and fables in the book. What stuck me the most here is the extreme approaches adopted by Julian – when he was on the materialistic side, he had everything and enjoyed it to the hilt; when he wanted inner peace, he gave up all his worldly possessions. The striking point for me is the extreme approach – either all or nothing. I am of the nature that extremes never work out … being a person who likes to tread a path which is short of extremes – I would like to specify that I do not call this as a middle path because I am inclined towards either of the extremes but yes I do tread short of the extremes.
I want to ask that why can’t I have inner peace in my usual life, with all my material possessions…why do I have to give up all my material possessions to achieve inner peace. “The monk who owns a Ferrari” – I found this as a more appropriate title because in today’s world, I would consider it more appropriate if I can strike a balance between my personal and professional lives. I also think that it is the extremes which are actually harmful … Julian, when on the materialistic side, took everything to the extreme – drinking binges, late night parties, expensive suits and all concomitants of the rich and famous ; and when he gave up all this, he gave up ALL of it and deprived society of a good lawyer.
Had Julian adopted a moderate lifestyle, would he have to really give up everything? I personally always avoid extremes and try to tread a path wherein I try to fulfill all my needs … yes I do need a car, good clothes and money in my bank account but I try to gather spiritual wealth also – I pray daily, as it gives me peace and strength – I cannot control everything, so I leave it to God to sort it out for me… I trust HIM.