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What I Took From A Monk


Did I really take something away from a monk. You bet I did. I took some great self improvement advice from a book by Robin S. Sharma titled, Family Wisdom From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.  This book provides a ton of knowledge around being a happier person and having a happier family.  It stresses how we need to be active in our families and constantly trying to improve who we are.  The better we can become, the better example we can provide for our family.

In this post, I will not be doing a huge summary of every part of this book.  I will discuss a few of the key phrases that really resonated with me as it relates to relationships.  Though this book was a story about a monk who was teaching his sister how to be happier and have a happier family life, it some general relationship advice that can help you and your relationships.  There were lots of great points in this book, but I am going to limit the key takeaways to just three.  If you want to learn more from this great book, you can use the link at the bottom of the post and get the book.  It was a fun and entertaining read.

Blaming Others Is A Convenient Way Of Excusing Ourselves

I believe we all have a tendency to do this at one time or another.  We find it easier to put the blame on someone else when something does not go our way, rather than find fault in ourselves.  Here are some common ways we blame others:

  • “I didn’t get that raise because my boss doesn’t like me.”
  • “My marriage would be better if my husband wasn’t so argumentative.”
  • “I would have more money if life would just cut me a break.”

It is always easier to say something isn’t the way it is or something is the way it is when we can put the fault on someone, or something else.  There is an old saying, “Every time you point your finger to blame someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”  We need to take control of our lives and put the majority of the blame where it belongs…on ourselves!!!

Keep Your Promises And Commit To Your Commitments

This just seems obvious to say but difficult to deliver on.  Too many times we make loose lip promises that our asses can’t cash.  You may be thinking, “Well, I didn’t say I promise.  I just said I would.”  It’s the same thing so don’t fool yourself.  If you say you are going to do something, then do it.  Saying something is like giving your word.  Giving your word is making a promise.  So if you say it, you are promising.  Have you ever broken any of these promises:

  • Promising your child you will spend time with them later but don’t.
  • Promising to be at an important party, but don’t show up.
  • Promising you won’t be late, but always are.

People will remember when you don’t come through on your word.  When you tell someone you are going to do something, you have to follow through.  If you don’t follow through, you become unreliable, untrustworthy, and worse of all, you could hurt their feelings.  Maya Angelou said it best:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

You Must Be The Kind Of Person Who Does The Right Thing Every Time

This is so true.  The monk in the book says that you must do the right thing every time and live by a private code of honor.  You have to be the kind of person who will do the right thing even when no one else is watching.  It is all about integrity.  Are you a person of integrity?  What would you do in these situations:

  • You see a person drop money out of their pocket.  Do you tell them or just pick it up?
  • You noticed the cashier at the grocery store missed scanning an item you are trying to buy.  Do you tell them?
  • You just found someone’s diary when you were cleaning.  Do you open it?

Try to put yourself in these scenarios.  What does your gut tell you to do?  If it is telling you to do the wrong thing, that is a habit you have formed.  A private code of honor needs to be established here.  If not, I am afraid things will never get better for you.

The second bullet above, the cashier story, happened in my life not that long ago.  I had something on the bottom of my cart that I had forgotten about and the cashier didn’t see.  The person with me secretly pointed to the bottom item in the cart, kinda implying not to say anything.  I immediately pointed the item out to the cashier and paid my full bill.  Outside, the person asked me why I pointed it out saying, “Why did you tell her?  She would have never known.”  I simply responded, “I would have known.”  That is all I had to say.

Final Thoughts

My purpose here was not to give you a summary of this great book, but to pull a couple items from it that I think will help you in all your relationships.  These three points of wisdom will help you become a better, happier person, who people love to be around and spend time with.  If you can remember just these three things, and try to live your life by them, you will live a much happier life.  Though there are only three, this is tough.  Do your best, take an inventory each day how you did, and work harder the next to be even better.

If you would like to buy this great book, click on the book image below:

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