Julian reached into the depths of his robe and pulled out a little card, about the size of a business card, which had tears along its sides, apparently the result of many months of constant use.
“One day, while Yogi Raman and I were walking along a quiet mountain path, I asked him who his favourite philosopher was. He told me that he had many influences in his life, and it was difficult for him to single out any one source for his inspiration. There was one quotation, however, that he carried deep within his heart; one that encapsulated all the values he had come to cherish over a life spent in quiet contemplation. At that glorious place, deep within the middle of nowhere, this learned sage of the East shared it with me. I too etched its words into my heart. They serve as a daily reminder of all that we are — and all that we can be. The words came from the great Indian philosopher Patanjali. Repeating them aloud every morning before I sit down to meditate has had a very profound influence on the course of my day. Remember, John, words are the verbal embodiment of power.”
Julian then showed me the card. The quotation read: When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents then become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be. At that very moment, I witnessed the connection between physical vitality and mental agility.
Julian was in perfect health and looked many years younger than he had when we had first met. I could see that he had made many changes to his former lifestyle, but it was obvious that the starting point of his magnificent transformation was mental fitness. Success on the outside begins with success on the inside, and by changing his thoughts, Julian Mantle had changed his life.
“Exactly how can I develop this positive, serene and inspired attitude, Julian? After all these years in my routine, I think my mental muscles have grown a little flabby. Come to think of it, I have very little control over the thoughts that are floating around the garden of my mind,” I said with sincerity.
“The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. If you have become a negative thinker, this is because you have not cared for your mind and taken the time to train it to focus on the good. Winston Churchill said that ‘the price of greatness is responsibility over each of your thoughts.’ Then you will install the vibrant mindset you are looking for. Remember, the mind truly is like any other muscle in your body. Use it or lose it.”
“Are you saying that if I don’t exercise my mind it will grow weak?”
“Yes. Look at it this way. If you want to strengthen the muscles of your arm to achieve more, you must train them. If you want to toughen up your leg muscles, you must first exert them. Similarly, your mind will do wonderful things for you if only you will let it. It will attract all that you desire into your life, once you learn how to operate it effectively. It will create ideal health if you care for it properly. And it will return to its natural state of peacefulness and tranquility — if you have the vision to ask for it. The sages of Sivana have a very special saying: The boundaries of your life are merely creations of the self.”
Excerpt from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma www.robinsharma.com