This number 1 Bestseller gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me for the wealth of wisdom it offers to the reader.
It marries a measure of practicality as well as intriguing eastern philosophies to create a potent self-help text for the modern man and woman looking to create a more meaningful and happy existence for themselves.
Honestly, the style of narrative was not too appealing for me and I often found myself losing interest at the very beginning of the book. However, as I got deeper into it I was captured by the richness in which the “seven timeless virtues of enlightened living” were taught.
The virtues amplified many spiritual principles outlined in the Bible which when followed, make the Christian whole in their experience and existence.
This book is a wonderful illustration of the universality of knowledge. Though the book points to many ancient eastern philosophies that lead to happiness and fulfillment, in many ways it also points to God as the source and originator of all knowledge, healing and fulfillment.
The story follows the complete renewal and transformation of protagonist Julian Mantis following a brutal and severe wake-up call at the peak of his crazy-busy ‘successful’ career.
I found the first four chapters weak in the area of rich and imaginative story-telling. The narrative did not do justice in building up towards the climax of the story which is filled with treasures and so many aha-moments. I wasn’t aroused by the book initially but I kept reading to discover for myself what the hype was all about.
Aside from what I think was weak narrative in the beginning, the book was absolutely amazing to read as it advanced into the “seven virtues of enlightened living”. I too felt like I was instantly transported to the Middle-Eastern mountains to be a personal student of the sages.
Julian gives us the sense that we are highly privileged to be learning these ancient pearls of wisdom that lead to a more abundant and rich life as we reflect on the journey he courageously embarked on to become the vibrant and purpose driven leader he now is.
He describes in rich and motivating tones, the wisdom behind the virtues and their practicality in real life; master your mind, follow your purpose, practice Kaizen, live with discipline, respect your time, selflessly serve others, embrace the present.
Ultimately, what you will gain from the book is an opportunity for mental, physical and spiritual awakening as well as inner transformation.
A lot of us follow the tide because we have not mastered our internal world. The mastering of the internal world better prepares us to serve and labor in the world out of love. We begin from a place of abundance and overflow.
This is not your typical self-help book with instant solutions. Through the art of daily practice we become. This is exactly what 1 Corinthians 15:31 speaks of when it says we ought to die daily so we can be fully alive in Christ. Living meaningful and abundant lives of service to mankind (Romans 6:8,11).
These are just a few ‘quotable quotes’ from the book which caught my attention and capture the essence of the book as whole:
And lastly, my personal favourite:
And isn’t that the whole point of our existence? Like the salt Jesus likened us to in Matthew 5:13-16, salt is useless when it is without a substance wherein it can serve a function. We are living meaningless lives, no matter how salty and gifted we may be, if we do not live to improve the lives of others as we are improved in the journey of life.
I hope you will grab a copy for yourself and don’t forget to share your thoughts on what you thought about it.