If you are new to idea of personal development, reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari may be one of the best places to start. If you have travelled this journey for some time but have not yet read it, you might find the book a handy distillation of what you have read and learned so far.
Personal development is important for property investors: investing, even at the safest level, involves working with large sums of money and to do that, the more aware you are of yourself and your habits, the better equipped you will be to step out of your comfort zone and keep going until you achieve your goals.
I only came across this for the first time when Vanessa Warwick suggested it as a book of the month for Property Tribes. To be perfectly honest, I was a bit sceptical at first – some fables can be a bit ‘cheesy’, I find. Nevertheless, I started reading with “my cup empty” and although it took a while to get into it, it grew on me. Why so reticent at the beginning? Only because it seemed at first that, for me, there was little that was new. Goodness, have I become a hardened, sceptic old journey-woman on the path of personal development? Perish the thought!
In fact, having read so many books on self-development, coaching, leadership and so on, I have come across almost all the principles that lawyer-turned-monk Julian Mantle passes on to his former pupil. If you have read Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield and others of this ilk, you will recognise many of the messages. Feeling rather smug, I also realised that I had implemented a couple of them – though there is huge scope for improvement, and always will be. What is valuable here though, is that author Robin Sharma presents the information in a way that is accessible, easy to understand and perhaps above all acceptable to 21st century life. In reading, I raised many of the same questions as the narrator: how can we apply these principles to busy, everyday life? How practical is it to make changes when you have responsibilities? Will I have to sell all my shoes? (OK, that last question is purely my own!)
Even if you are familiar with (and/or cynical about) books that promise change, this is a good reminder of the principles for living a rich life in the broadest sense of the word. It also suggests a format for applying them to your life.
In short: this book is about making changes in your life, starting with yourself. It is about – as the title suggests – looking beyond the material and aspirational trappings that as a society we arguably accept as the norm.