Books That Alter Destinies

How many words do you speak per day? How many of them do you speak to yourself? And if you were to sort these words would they be mostly negative or positive ones? Words of guilt, blame and criticism or words of affirmations?
 In the 7th ritual of ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ Robin Sharma introduced the ritual of ‘The spoken word” as:

– Define a series of mantras and recite them every day

– Constantly affirm all that’s good in your world through mantras 
Do you have your own mantras? Well, let’s first define the meaning of a mantra:

“ A mantra is a numinous sound, a word or phonemes, or group of words believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers.”

For me I have different mantras which I use in different settings. I’m alive, I’m blessed, I’m grateful are some of the mantras I use during the first hour of my day to fill my heart with gratitude. On my challenging days I repeat “Winners never quit and quitters never win” for Lisa Nichols. When something bad or negative happens I tell myself “La’alo kheir”, which is a mantra in Arabic which means that maybe this bad things turns to be good. 

If you use mantras, share them with us in the comments, if not consider using them, they do have a magical effect.

  

Books That Alter Destinies

Ten rituals were shared by the “Monk who sold his Ferrari” for Robin Sharma. A novel he narrated as “a fable about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny”.

Dreams and destiny are two big words. Many people believe that it’s hard to dream in our fast materialistic world. And many others believe that they have no choice regarding their fate. In all his teachings, Robin Sharma propagate to the fact that the person is the creator of his own destiny.

In his heart-touching and mind-provoking fable, one of the rituals he tackled was the ritual of ‘Personal Reflection”.
This daily ritual consisted of:
1- Taking time to think.
2- Considering own actions (positives and negatives).
3- Knowing what was done wrongly during the day and taking immediate steps to repair it.
4- Writing the thoughts that went through the mind.

Watching a video lately for Bob Proctor I was shocked with the fact he shared. “Most people don’t know how to think”. At school, pupils neither learn how to think nor get equipped with thinking tools.The results is a generation of people who, asked to think, don’t know how to process this common sense order.

Trying to think as invited by Sharma, I started to search the internet and the bookstores for resources. Mind maps, thinking hats, brainstorming activities, proactivity cafes, fishbone techniques are few examples of what I have found.

From this rich book I was alerted to the importance of teaching my children and my students how to think and equipping them with tools to help them pursue a fulfilling life, the life of their dreams.

To watch Bob Proctor’s video on thinking click the link below (from min 19)

Books That Alter Destinies

Is knowledge truly useful? One of the great lessons I learned from Robin Sharma was the importance of continuous learning. Not only he advocated for the great benefit of nurturing the mind on daily basis, yet he insisted that one should put what he learns into practice. 
Before following him I used to read on and off. Though my favourite hobby is reading yet with my super busy life I found it hard to commit to reading daily. Right after reading the ‘Monk who sold his Ferrari’, I challenged myself to read a book per month and I nearly finished ninety books in six years. However, this still wasn’t what Sharma invited people to do. He talked about daily habits that would nurture the mind. Trying to improve, I joined his five am club in which he emphasised on the importance of learning for twenty minutes every morning before engaging with the real world. I shifted from learning from books to listening to podcasts, watching TED talks, following mastery sessions and subscribing to blogs. With his inspiring insights I was able to select what to read and what to watch and to try to put them into practice. 
Reflecting on this valuable book I feel happy, though I still didn’t adopt all its profound teachings, I can tell that I changed and developed by putting its knowledge and rituals into practice.

  

Books That Alter Destinies

Do you know who you are? Are you aware of your values, your desires, your interests, your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, your fears, your comfort zones and your peak experiences? In his best selling book ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ Robin Sharma shared the first practice for a better and more fulfilling life; the ritual of solitude. In this ritual he suggested that we spend 15-50 minutes of silence and in solitude on daily basis and to commune with nature for few minutes each day. 

At first I found this practice so frustrating. Every time I sat on my own I started to hear voices of guilt and blame. Little by little, and with the help of my life coach, these voices were replaced by positive thoughts and I started to notice positive ideas about myself; whether an anger I channeled or an act of kindness I did. After months of practice I became addicted to this time that I can’t start my day without it. Spending time on my own in the early morning helps me set the tone of my day and become proactive instead of reactive. 

As for communing with nature, I still struggle to make it a daily ritual. I do it only in summer vacations where the environment is more suitable to this practice. Yet I try daily to observe the sky, the clouds and the birds. I contemplate the trees, the palms and the river and remind myself while doing so that I’m blessed to have my senses and mostly my sight. These practices don’t require long durations and their impact is priceless. 

  

Books That Alter Destinies

What inspires you? For me many things do and on top of them all are books. When it comes to families I never encountered any book which was more inspiring than the 7 habits of highly effective families for Stephen R. Covey. And when it comes to self-help or self-development there were several ones. One of these books was ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’.Reading the book I found its principles very insightful and most of them were practical. 

For me Covey was talking about the roots and the values which form the foundation of one’s character. While Sharma, in his Ferrari book, was focusing on the habits and practices one needs to adopt to become healthier, happier, calmer and more fulfilled.

Ending his book I summarised it and made it a ritual to revise the summary regularly to ensure that I remember to adopt his strategies and hence elevate the quality of my life. 

I read the book many years ago and I can’t help but feeling grateful to Sharma for inspiring people to live better lives whether through his books, his podcasts, his mastery sessions or his YouTube videos. 

  

Books That Alter Destinies

I once read that the community that plays together stays together. This was one more thing we, as family, learned to highly value after reading the 7 habits book for highly effective families. 
Sharpening the saw wasn’t only about renewing one’s four dimensions of heart, mind, body and soul. Sharpening the saw is also vital for families. In his book Covey emphasised on the importance of family members spending time together on regular basis in what he called ‘Family time’. During this time family members are expected to spend quality time together to play, to have fun, to discuss the family values, to plan for future vacations, to brainstorm solutions for the challenges they are facing and a lot more.
Trying to adopt the culture of the seven habits in our family, we try our best to share weekly meals, weekly family time and yearly vacations in which we spend time apart from family and friends to sharpen the saw of our own family. 
These family times suggested by Covey helped us become more united and bonded and most of all it made us enjoy each other company cause we knew by practice that family time would fill our hearts with joy and happiness.

  

Books That Alter Destinies

How many people are aware of their four dimensions? Honestly I wasn’t aware of them till I read the great book of the 7 habits of highly effective families. From this book I learned that I have a heart, a mind, a body and a soul which I must care for to ensure I remain effective as a human being, as a wife and as a mother. 

Reaching the chapter of habit number 7 “Sharpen the saw” deepened my understanding about this insightful concept of dimensions. I comprehended how it is vital to renew my four dimensions, not only to be aware of them. I figured out how regular breaks and rests help us become better human beings and hence this ensures we deliver better results in both our professional and personal lives. This chapter helped me make a paradigm shift, understanding how meditation, personal reflection, exercise, play and breaks are essential if we wish to be productive, effective and mostly happy.
And as Oprah Winfrey once said in one of her ultra inspiring speeches: “One cannot give from an empty cup.”

  

Books That Alter Destinies

One to one times are moments I cherish. Spending time with each member of the family alone, apart from the other members, was one of the things that positively affected our family. 
In his 7 habits of highly effective families, Covey explained how it’s important that parents spend special time with their children; where each child would have his own time. During this time the parent and the child would have time to bond, to connect and to truly get to know each other. Surely the book was talking about quality rather than quantity. It also affirmed how important it was for the parents to spend special time too to enjoy each other company, not to quarrel, complaint or pinpoint at one another.
Spending one to one time with each of my family members is one of life blessings. With my children’s studies and busy schedules sometimes we find it hard to watch a movie or visit our favourite restaurant. Keen on quality not quantity we would agree on playing a game at home or preparing a quick meal together, just the two of us, enjoying and bonding. We took our oath that no matter how life gets busy, our family would remain our first priority. 

  

Books That Alter Destinies

Deposits, Withdrawals and Bank were three very profound concepts I learned from the book of the 7 habits of highly effective families. In this life changing book Covey explained how important it is to put deposits in the personal bank accounts of the people we deal with and on top of all our family members.
Reading his book I was moved with one of the stories he shared for a wife who used to spread clean bedsheets and tidy the house to please her husband and who, on his turn, never showed appreciation for her love. From this story I learned how it was vital to know what truly matters to our beloved ones so that we put meaningful deposits in their bank accounts. 
Moreover, I learned how it’s very important to regularly put deposits, especially after any withdrawal. I understood how it wasn’t enough to say sorry when upsetting someone and that I had to put a deposit of love to nurture the relation and keep the account safe and vivid. 
Though love deposits may vary from a person to another yet there are many simple inexpensive ones. A smile, a flower, a call, a tap on the shoulder, an action of service, a simple gift, a chat over a cup of coffee are all ways to tell our beloved ones that we value the relationship and that we’re keen to have a solid and rich account.

  

Books That Alter Destinies

How often do you use the remote control? And for which purpose? Before reading the 7 habits of highly effective families my relation with the pause button was limited to watching movies. However, in his book Stephen R. Covey emphasised the importance of pressing this button in our daily lives.Acting according to principles and not moods, as he advises, is truly challenging, especially in our current crazy super busy world. I try and I screw up but the good news is that after I screw up I pause, I reflect, I apologise and I make needed amends. 
From this great book I learned to press the pause button not only while dealing with other people yet with myself too. I pause to reflect daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I know this might sound time consuming however I had learned that slow is fast. When we slow down and pause to reflect we find clarity which enable us to move faster towards our goals and to act better in alignment with our principles.
Covey advocated for the use of this button for the best of our relationships, our happiness and our own fulfilment.