Robin Sharma Curated
Motivational Speaker and Author
CURATED BY :
Why do you say speaking out our opinion is important?
What is the first thing that you wish you’d learned at 20?
What is the second thing you wish you’d learned when you were 20?
Do you believe in the power of letting go?
What is the third thing you wish you’d learn when you were 20?
What is the fourth thing you wish you’d learn when you were 20?
What is the fifth thing you wish you’d learn when you were 20?
What is the final thing you wish you’d learn when you were 20?
How did you become one of the world’s leading leadership advisers?
I come from very humble beginnings. I grew up in a small town of about 2,500 people, no silver spoon in my mouth, didn’t really fit in. My grade five history teacher was one of the first people to see a spark of potential in me. Her name was Cora Greenaway, and she passed away a number of months ago. Fast-forward, I got a biology degree, and then I decided to go to law school, and not because I had a great passion for the law, but because I sort of got seduced by the hypnosis of society, which is if you become a doctor or lawyer, you’ll be successful and your life will work out. You know the program. So I did that. The only thing is… I became a successful litigation lawyer and I had a lot of nice material things, but I would wake up every morning and look at the person in the mirror, and I didn’t like the person looking back at me. I was successful in the world, but very empty inside. So I started my quest, and I started reading what makes great men great men, and what are their mindsets. I really transformed myself and I decided to write a book about my process and my journey.
Could you share the story behind the making of your book- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari?
I decided to write a book about my process and my journey. The book was called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.I self-published it in a 24-hour photo and copy shop. My mom was my editor. My father helped me sell it at public service clubs while I was still a lawyer. The first seminar 23 people attended. Twenty-one of them were my own family members, so I started from ground zero. The book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari just exploded through word of mouth around the world. That brings us to today. The book has sold many millions of copies, I’ve sold 15 million books.
In what ways are you the same today?
Well, in big ways I’m fundamentally different from who I was in my teens and 20’s because I really worked relentlessly on my interior life. I believe exterior empires, whether those are empires of entrepreneurship, empires of creativity, empires of productivity, or empires of impact, all come from your interior empires. So I believe working on your mindset, your heartset, your healthset, and your soul set — working on your character — is fundamentally the game-changer.
What is the purpose of your teachings to humanity?
My driving cause is being in eternal service to as many people as possible. I’ve been at this field of leadership and personal mastery for 22 years, and I have more fire in my belly to serve humanity than ever before. I just really, really, really want to teach people the mechanics and tactics of elite performance and genius, so I deconstruct these things.
Could you tell us about the moment when you realized The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is going to change your life?
You’ve heard this a million times, but I don’t think there was a moment. When I look back, it clearly has changed my life, but every extraordinary performer falls in love with the process versus the reward. I believe your days are a life in miniature. I call them micro-wins. If you focus on 1% improvements every day, over time that leads to revolutionary results. So I monomaniacally focused on making progress every single day, around the book, around my message, around my impact, around the craft, and over time the days slipped into weeks, the weeks slipped into months, the months slipped into years, and I built a movement of millions and millions of people around the message. But it didn’t happen in a moment.
Could you describe the fundamental principle that drives you every day?
The first is OAD, obsessive attention to detail. The majority doesn’t sweat the details because they don’t think they’re important. But if you look at every great athlete, how they set up their days and their performances, if you look at Cirque Du Soleil, if you look at Ferrari, if you look at Apple under Steve Jobs, what made greatness was a monomaniacal focus on getting the tiny details right. Second driving part, NSI, never stop improving. Relentless iteration and optimization on everything you touch. Number three, ridiculous levels of focus. I’ve pretty much automated most of my lifestyle so I protect my bandwidth for just a few priorities I build my life around. Then another core value is, fitness is the game-changer. People say, “When I’m successful I’ll spend more time on my health.” Well, if you’re dead you can’t change the world. Dead leaders don’t have high impact, right? To make the point dramatically. So energy is more valuable than intelligence. You can have a great strategy and a great project, great opportunities, but if you can’t execute because you don’t have any energy, you can’t get anything done.
I love the way you think. What are the thoughts that keep you up at night?
I do sleep well, but the thing that keeps the fire in my belly is I see so many victims out there. The victim is so stuck in their story they can’t see their story, but you see so many people making excuses. “Here’s why I can’t afford an online course. Here’s why I can’t read a book. Here’s why I can’t go to a seminar.” You have people, “Well, I can’t build a business or I can’t be world-class in my career,” spending seven hours a day surfing online.
When was your last memorable learning curve?
Yesterday. I’m always learning.I’ve gone through a lot of difficult seasons in my life, and those are the seasons that the ego wants to say are bad. One of the best lines I’ve ever heard is, “A bad day for the ego is a great day for the soul.” It’s in those difficult times that I’ve grown the most because those are the times I’ve learned… So my biggest growth curves have happened during the storms. Haruki Murakami is a Japanese novelist. He said, “The person you are when you come out of the storm is not the person you were when you went into the storm. That’s the purpose of the storm.”
How do you deal with the lingering, creeping thoughts of doubts and fears?
I try my best to become more and more aware of them, because when you bring your shadows into the sunlight, they start to dissolve and they lose their power over you. I do that through prayer, meditation, journaling, and reflection. I also realized that growth happens when you’re intimate with you fears.You grow by pushing yourself to the jagged edges of your potential so that you actually face fear in the face, and then you keep on going.I teach a concept called Strengthening Scenarios. I consciously ask myself where are places where I’m scared? And then I set up experiments to do those fears.So the more you do your fears, the more you take your power back from your fears. All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end. If you look at warriors, They go into battle, they’re afraid, and they keep on going, and that’s how they become heroes.No one’s born a hero, we earn heroism.
You said that you were living your life from the outside-in rather than the inside-out, prior to writing The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Can you explain what you meant by this?
like Julian Mantle in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, I had many of the trappings of success. I was a lawyer. I drove a nice car and I had nice things. But “things” don’t make a rich life. Making money isn’t a bad thing at all – it allows for a lot more freedom. But as a lawyer, money way my driving force. As the years passed, I accumulated more but was less happy. It wasn’t until I began to work on my inner life and know myself that my life changed. Success really does begin within. The size and quality of your outer life is only limited by the size and quality of your inner life. And life is a mirror – giving us not what we want but who we are. It took me years to get that.
Tell us how you spend your “Holy Hour” each morning and the importance of this ritual in your life?
he Holy Hour, as you know, is simply 60 minutes at the beginning of your day that you devote to self-mastery and personal development. If your outer life is really a reflection of the quality of your inner life, then it’s a brilliant move to spend at least an hour a day working on yourself. This simple idea alone has helped so many of our clients from around the world get to world-class in business and in life. During my Holy Hour, I journal, I read inspirational books, I review my goals and plans and I simply make the time to think. Because clarity precedes mastery and the more clear you can get on what you want to create in life, the more focused you will be in your daily behaviors. Every day can be a platform to get you closer to your mountaintop. And yet, too many people live life by accident.
Having two kids, how do you maintain an optimal work-life balance?
My two kids are my heroes. As I wrote in The Greatness Guide, “the things that get scheduled are the things that get done”. So I spend a lot of time in planning (saves me time during the day because I’m locked in to what’s most important rather than reactive). I plan my time with my kids. As well, I see myself as a developer of them. So I travel with them and expose them to great art and great minds. And I encourage them to be their best.With my kids, I know I only have a small window of opportunity before they get older – so I carve out time for them now. I’ve worked with too many CEOs who arrived at the mountaintop of success but got there alone. Family matters.
Do you have any specific advice for people who struggle with discipline?
To be more disciplined: Get up early for 30 daysSurround yourself with excellent peopleFinish what your startKeep your promisesBe punctualSet and realize small goalsGet brilliant at visualization
What was the last good book you read and why would you recommend it?
I re-read The Message of a Master – great book. I also read Outsmart by Jim Champy – a good new business book.
Is there anything for the people who wish to change to do today that can help put them on a new course?
The smallest of actions is always better than the noblest of intentions. High performers have a bias towards action. There’s great power in just starting. Taking a single step towards a goal/dream/result sets forces in play that create consequences. In my leadership programs I share an idea that has helped our clients like Microsoft, FedEx and Nike: “small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.” Also remember that most of the things we fear never happen. So why let these hallucinations called fears keep us small in our lives.
You teach often about having a 1 page plan. Can you talk a little about what this is and what it comprises?
Clarity is the mother of mastery. The one page plan shows what your top 5 priorities are for the year, 5 years, 10 years and lifetime. These are your Big 5s. They give your brain something to focus on in order to see opportunities that you would otherwise miss. It allows you to focus on what is most important to create your life.
How often do you review your one page plan? Is it better to re-read your goals every morning or rewrite them?
I review it every morning. Rewriting goals is very powerful. Research has found that the part of brain connected to writing is also connected to motor activity. So by writing your goals, you are setting up the motor part of your brain to execute what is important to your life.
Is it more effective to exercise in the morning or at night for maximum energy?
5-6 a.m. is all about practicing so that you perform at world class all day long. I use a 20-20-20 system. The first 20 minutes of my morning I exercise, the next 20 minutes I am working on my one page plan and the next 20 minutes I am reading and listening to great audio programs. When you exercise you are releasing dopamine and serotonin, so by doing it in morning, you are kickstarting your brain to give yourself more focus, more stamina and to help you stay relaxed and motivated throughout the day.
How do you stay focused on a mindset of gratitude and abundance even when the pressure is on and you are under duress?
That’s a good question. It’s all practice. The calmest and highest performers are not naturally blessed. It takes endless practice and discipline daily when no one is watching. This is what your holy hour is for 5-6 a.m. everyday. It builds a quiet, strong, grateful center during stress.
What is a day in the life of Robin Sharma like?
There is no typical day. In July I was on a speaking tour through Africa so I was on the platform a lot of the time. Today I got up, did my routine, my kids and wife were busy, I spent the whole morning writing and working on my upcoming Titan Summit. To generalize, Mondays and Wednesdays are my administrative days, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my creative days for writing and creating content, and Fridays are my learning days. I spend a lot of time with my family.
What do you want your legacy to be?
When I wrote Who Will Cry When You Die, I wrote a lot about making your mark on the world. I don’t care so much about legacy anymore because in a way, legacy smacks of ego. Who really cares how people remember you. Focus on using your time while you’re alive to make things happen and to be of service. I want my kids to remember me as a big dreamer, someone who was devoted and encouraging.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to entrepreneurs with big dreams?
Have faith in your dream and yourself when no one else in the world does. The #1 defining factor in success is grit. Protect your belief in that idea when everyone laughs at it.
What made you launch an audio book to The Leader Who Had No Title?
Firstly, the reader sounds very cool. He is authentic and passionate and brings the characters to life. Also multimedia is a great way to bring a story to life and the audio book does just that.
How do you come up with such unique titles for your books?
I try to avoid being boring. (Laughs) There is no formula to it. I look for interesting titles that are curious and make people think. A lot of people are always so caught up in their lives. But if I make them smile through my titles or provoke them a little bit then maybe they will think about things and read the book and take something away from it.
You talk a lot about forward thinking, being positive and making the most of each day. But what picks you up on days when you’re feeling blue?
There is no one instant pick-me-up, there are a bunch of pick-me-ups. I love reading – inspirational books, leadership books, biographies. I exercise a lot and put on my audio book. Even If you would offer me a million dollars for my iPod I wouldn’t give it to you, because I have some great things on it.
How do I stay positive in a bad day?
In order to achieve our goals, why do we fail at times?
How do we understand the purpose of our lives?
How did you make the shift from a lawyer to a motivational speaker?
How do you stay inspired?
What are the reasons for not achieving success? Could you share some tips that shall help us to achieve success?