Did I say The Monk was in Istanbul? Well, ok, not The Monk himself, because Julian Mantle, The Monk in the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a fiction character. However, the author of the book Robin Sharma was in indeed in town.
On September 7th I had the chance to attend his one day seminar in Istanbul. He also was in Turkey to promote his book Who Will Cry When You Die. It is one of my new favourite self-help books where he gives 101 advices in 101 short chapters. It is easy to read and is now available in Turkish.
I would like to share with you some of the ideas that Robin Sharma shared with us in the seminar which was named “Waking Yourself Up.”
Although there were many topics covered in this seminar, I would like to focus on some of his recommendations to improve our daily lives.
First of all, Sharma points out the importance of setting goals. Although life has a way of unfolding as it finds fit as times, setting goals may help us to identify what we really want out of life. Maybe we should not be attached to our goals or the result of our goals, but having goals may make us move forward and create an excitement to learn, improve and simply do.
As a daily routine, he recommends that we “do the difficult things first thing in the morning”. Not to start with the easy stuff and postpone the dreaded to “later”. This is difficult. None of us want problems or inconveniences in his or her life and we do almost anything to escape from them. Yet, the question is “Is it as painful or difficult as we imagine it to be?” My experience shows to me that it is usually a lot easier to do the “difficult” than we imagine. The effect of the expectation of the difficulty, the inconvenience, the disappointment or the pain is stronger than the effect of the emotion or situation itself. As Byron Katie says: “The reality is a lot kinder that the stories we tell about it.”
Robin Sharma has another motto: “Continuously improve 1% every day.”
Even if we leave percentages aside, can we improve something in our lives every day? And with one step at a time, at the end of a year – and that would make 365 or every four years 366 steps – could we really see a difference?
I believe that our thoughts, words, actions plant seeds. Some of them give flowers quickly. Some need time to grow into a tree. If we do not plant the seeds, we cannot expect to see the fruit.
What kind of steps can we take you may ask? Or how can we make a 1% percent improvement?
This week, I will share 6 of Robin Sharma’s suggestions:
Many health specialists agree that even just walking for at least 30 minutes every day improves most of our bodily functions. Many spiritual teachers also recommend walking as an aid to hear our inner voice, to hear our inner guidance.
Choose your favourite sport and do it for at least 30 minutes a day. Both your body and soul will be thankful.
Write a Journal:
Sharma suggests that we keep a journal where we jot down ideas, thoughts and problems. He suggests that in our journal we analyze and evaluate those issues. However, even if you just write down what is bothering you in the head or in the heart; you will find a good channel to clear this negative energy.
Julia Cameron, the author of the famous book The Artist’s Way, makes you write 3 pages in the morning, every day, for 12 weeks as a part of her creativity program. Writing helps emotions to clear and heal. For those of you busy with work and family chores, I would like to quote Cameron. She says: “Don’t wait to find time. Get aggressive. Steal time (to write).”
As you put things in writing, you will feel less need to put negative emotions on friends and relatives and people around you. Writing is an excellent tool. Being an artist, I find painting as a great tool to release emotions also. As thoughts clear, you will get to know yourself better.
I try to share the books that I like with you every week. We have so many choices. It is hard to imagine what life was like before the invention of the printing machine. Sharma recommends that we need systematically for 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Have a massage once a week:
Massage is a great relaxation method. It relieves tension, stress, aches and pain. It helps open our energy channels as well.
Even if you cannot go to a therapist, you can exchange short massages with a partner or you can massage your own feet with body cream or massage oil - you can do a self-reflexology treatment so to say. Also, for instance, you may add a few drops of lavender oil to a few tablespoons of olive oil and rub your legs, feet and ankles, arms and shoulders, and your back as much as you can reach.
This will help your body to relax as well as improving blood circulation.
However, be careful not to use lavender or any essential oil directly on your skin. Always mix them with a base oil. And if you have any circulatory problems or any other health problems, make you that you contacts your doctor first and get his or her opinion on the use of essential oils in your specific health condition.
Have time for silence:
Silence is a state where we are able to listen to the voice in our head, where we are able to connect with the universal intelligence. This does not have to be a state of meditation. Just sitting quietly or being quiet while walking will also do.
Sharma says and quotes: “To reconnect with whom you really are as a person and to come to know the glory that rests within you, you must find the time to be silent on a regular basis. Sure you are busy. But as Thoreau said: ‘It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about?’…Experiencing solitude, for even a few minutes a day, will keep you centred on you highest life priorities and help you avoid the neglect that pervades the lives of so many of us.”
Meet with different people for a cup of coffee (or tea, I will add):
Meeting new people, hearing their ideas and experiences help us see the different perspectives on life. In a conversation we learn to exchange thoughts and emotions; we learn to share and most importantly learn to listen; we learn the power of listening.
Robin Sharma believes that, with these 6 steps and many others that he shares in his books, we can make each day better than the previous one.
And finally Sharma says: “Be Authentic. Be Real. Be Yourself.”
Each of us is unique. I believe that there is a lock that we are the sole key of. Let’s be that special key and let’s open our doors and let life out.
With love and best wishes,
Affirmation of the Week:
“I am constantly discovering new ways to improve my health.
I look forward to a healthy old age because I take loving care of my body now.”
By Louise L. Hay, The Author of You Can Heal Your Life.
Quote of the Week:
“The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.” Norman Cousins
“The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO” By Robin Sharma.
The Turkish translation of this book is sold under the name “Ermiş, Sörfçü ve Patron”.