A Fantastic read – if your looking to live your best life this book will show you the path.
Where I found the book:
I found this book on my honeymoon in a free book section in a restaurant in Thailand. I was not looking for self improvement because I get too excited by these books and loved my life already and felt there was not much I wanted to work on.
I had also spotted his other book “the monk who sold his Ferrari” in the airport, but decided not to buy it. So if you “believe” in fate you could say it was meant to be ( but I don’t…. yet).
I also have read loads of books and done courses on this field so I approached the book casually and just enjoyed the easy reading style.
The book is a fictional tale which follows the life of a highly successful businessman who has hit rock bottom, the monk appears in his life and helps him to discover his destiny and to become his best self.
It is written in such a way with seven stages of self awakening, so that the reader can follow these steps.
For me I love the fictional character of the monk, I need that larger than life inspiring person to look upto as an example of how great you can be. I have really struggled to find someone like this because all the successful people I have come across, struggle to truly enjoy life & all the gurus who get life don’t inspire me. The monk was a great blend of this.
Description of the book
Stage 1 ” Living a lie” is one of the things Robin has done very well and was a big break through for me.
He makes you understand the lie we are living and the pain this causes us. He uses Plato’s Allegories of the Cave to teach you this, but I went away and did this in more detail.
I highly recommend going through this and journaling on it properly. For me it opened my eyes to the fact I spend my life watching the shadows and believing them to be what life is about. For me its because to stop believing in these and basing my life on them would be first hard work but most of all it would mean giving up on all the things I currently have based my ambitions and spare time on. Its simpler just to sit back down in the cave with everyone else, I wasn’t unhappy.
He also explains really well other lies we believe:
Scarcity – We are brought up thinking there isn’t enough and we must take and earn as much as we can as quick as we can. Its all out of fear why we are so obsessed with money, but we can never have enough.
Self improvement is a lie – Your already perfect, we just need to find our way back to integrity. As humans we are born perfect and just take on bad beliefs and habits in order to be liked, this is called Enculturation when we take on beliefs, values and behaviours from those around us to fit in and be loved.
External wealth should not be our highest goal, money is good and does make it easier to do nice things. But it should not be our biggest aim, and is a by product of helping others. We should seek spiritual wealth and peace.
To hurt another is to hurt yourself.
In stage 2 “The choice point”
What he does well here is he makes you make being your best self your biggest goal & he gives you steps on how to make time for this and make this part of your dailey routine.
He does this really well. Were I had been going wrong in the past was not making this my biggest goal & also not making extra time in my day for this.
He also goes into recycling – When you keep making the same mistake over and over until you learn and fix it. For me one of these lessons is utility bills!
Stage 3 -“Awareness of wonder and possibilities”
This again he does really well and introduces you to the “integrity gap”
I have heard integrity mentioned and its importance on courses before, but they have never explained or gone into it. Its incredibly simple and also powerful.
Deep down we all know what is right and wrong to us, and when we go through enculturisation we go against these rules in order to fit in and be liked. We also break them because we are tired or because we believe they make us feel better. This causes a big gap between who we are deep down and who we are being and this is the integrity gap.
Every time we do something we know isn’t right we cause ourselves pain, after a while we become numb to this pain because but we do keep on expericining it deep down. This causes us to not love ourselves and so seek love form others and so further increase the integrity gap.
But the great thing is as we close the integrity gap we like our selfs more and so seek love from others less and so can close the gap further.
This can ultimately lead us to become our authentic selfs, and not fear being disliked by others because we truly love ourselves.
Stage 4: “instruction from masters”
In this stage he explains the need to go out and learn from masters, but also the importance of being a leader and not a follower. Each of us will have our own best self and this can not entirely fit other peoples teaching, but by reading their philosophy we can better understand our own.
This ties in nicely to the power of journaling and how we must do it everyday. It really is the only way to know your inner self and develop your own philosophy.
Stage 5 “Transformation & rebirth”
He has a great point on learning any skill comes in 4 stages:
He applies this to our life & you realise most people are unconscious incompetent at running their life, they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing or how to do it. This is like getting on a bike and falling off with no idea what your supposed to do.
It also is great because you realise with enough practice you can become unconscious at living your best life with no need for effort. What a place to be!
He then points out well most people never make it along this path, how far do you want to go, before you give up?
Again he mentions focusing on self worth not external self worth. Being significant, not successful.
Stage 6: “The trial”
In this section he highlights how you will likely have to go through tough times to achieve this, there will be low points but you’ve got to keep going.
Maturity as a human being is about loving what you have not worrying about having what you love.
Stage 7 “The great awakening of self”
In this section he makes you face your death and realise that you are mortal. This is powerful as we live our lives thinking we will do things one day once we achieve this mile stone. But we forget we could die at any point, each day could be our last and once we are dead we are gone! Thats it.
For me the book has been fantastic, it has made me realise I how much I want to become my best self and what I need to do in order to achieve that it has also helped me realise I want to teach and help others find their goals in life and help inspire and guide them to be their best selfs. There can be no better job in this world, helping others gives us much more than it does them.