by Robin S. Sharma
This is the story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer whose life drastically changes after a major heart attack. He is forced to face the spiritual crisis in his out-of-balance life. He travels to India where he hears of the Sages of Sivana and tries to trace them. He finds them in the Himalayas. During his stay with them, they teach him a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance and joy through a story.
He comes back rejuvenated and shares the story with his friend John.
The story starts in a beautiful garden with a lighthouse in the middle. Out of the lighthouse walks a 9 foot tall, 900-pound Sumo wrestler who wears only a pink wire cable covering his privates. He slips and falls on a stopwatch on the floor and loses consciousness. However, he wakes up to the fresh fragrance of yellow roses. He looks over and discovers a path studded with diamonds, through which he goes away.
So the story progresses through the elements garden, lighthouse, Sumo wrestler, pink wire cable, stopwatch, roses, and path of diamonds. Each of these elements symbolizes virtues, which are also explained in detail with techniques on how to practice them etc.
Symbol: Garden (Your mind); Virtue: Master your mind
Symbol: Lighthouse (Purpose of your life); Virtue: Follow your purpose
Symbol: Sumo Wrestler (Kaizen, meaning constant improvement of oneself. It signifies pushing the boundaries to develop mind, body and spirit in spite of fear, adversity and discomfort.); Virtue: Practice Kaizen
Symbol: Pink wire (Discipline); Virtue: Live with discipline
Symbol: Golden stopwatch (Mastery over time); Virtue: Value your time
Symbol: Sweet yellow roses (Service); Virtue: Serve others selflessly
Symbol: Path of Diamonds; Virtue: Embrace the Present
The funny thing is that until I started reading it, I did not realize that I had read it before. It is not that forgettable. Maybe, it was just not the right time then!
Initially, I had read an e-book version and maybe that is why I did not enjoy it as much. I like to hold and feel the books I read. This time, it was a paperback version.
1.The book’s back cover says that “this inspiring tale provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance, and joy.”
Step-by-step? No. Slightly disorganized.
2.It also says: “On a life-changing odyssey to an ancient culture, he discovers powerful, wise, and practical lessons that teach us to:
- Develop joyful thoughts,
- Follow our life’s mission and calling,
- Cultivate self-discipline and act courageously,
- Value time as our most important commodity,
- Nourish our relationships, and
- Live fully, one day at a time.”
All the above? Yes.
Unique lessons? I don’t think so. They are from old Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and practices.