The Great Exhibition of 1851

One of the landmark events of 19th century Victorian England was the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was one of the most successful cultural events of the century and was an attempt to showcase Britain’s progress and superiority to the rest of the world. Following two decades of political and social upheaval in Europe, Great Britain sought to provide the world with the hope for a better future through the aid of technology.

The Great Exhibition, also known as the ‘The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, was held from 1st May to 15th October 1851 at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London. It was a celebration of modern technology and design of the Industrial Revolution and was a platform where countries could flaunt their achievements. It was the first-ever exhibition held for manufactured products.

Although its conception is famously associated with Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, the idea was initially proposed by Henry Cole, a civil servant. When Albert became the president of the ‘Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce’ in 1943, he backed Cole’s idea for an international fair. They were impressed in particular by the scale of the Paris Exposition of 1849, but they proposed an even larger event, which would be international in scope, where Britain’s engineering and manufactured goods could be compared with those of its international competitors.

Initially there was little interest in the concept of an exhibition by the government of the day, but Henry and Albert continued to develop their idea. They wanted it to be for All Nations, the greatest collection of art in industry, ‘for the purpose of exhibition of competition and encouragement’, and most significantly it was to be self-financing. The government was finally persuaded to form the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to establish the viability of hosting such an exhibition.

Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851

Designing and constructing a large enough building in 12 months was one of the biggest challenges. A design competition was staged, which received a total of 245 entries, but none of the proposed structures were suitable – partly because they would be difficult to remove once the event had ended. However, a landscape gardener, Joseph Paxton, who had previously designed greenhouses for the Duke of Devonshire, came up with the idea of the Crystal Palace. 

The Crystal Palace, made entirely of glass and iron, was created exclusively at Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition by Joseph Paxton. It was a temporary structure that was built in 8 months and could be easily assembled and dismantled. The Crystal Palace was created with 294,000 glass panes and was 1,851 feet long, with an interior height of 128 feet, about three times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral. The name resulted from a piece that playwright Douglas Jerrold wrote for Punch magazine, where he referred to it as a “palace of very crystal.” 

William Makepeace Thackeray, one of the leading novelists of the Victorian era, was moved to write a poem about the opening of the Crystal Palace:

“As though ’twere by a wizard’s rod

 Leaps like a fountain from the grass

As blazing arch of lucid glass

 To meet the sun.”

Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851

Queen Victoria officially opened The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations with an elaborate ceremony at noon on May 1, 1851. Famous people of the time attended the Great Exhibition, including Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Michael Faraday (who assisted with the planning and judging of exhibits), Samuel Colt, members of the Orléanist Royal Family and the writers Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson and William Makepeace Thackeray. 

The exhibition featured objects from the host country, Britain and its colonies, and foreign states. More than 100,000 objects were displayed by over 14,000 exhibitors from around the world. The exhibits displayed were divided into four themes: Machinery, Manufactures, Fine Arts, and Raw Materials. The objects displayed included almost every marvel of the Victorian age, including pottery, porcelain, ironwork, furniture, perfumes, pianos, firearms, fabrics, steam hammers, hydraulic presses, and even the odd house or two. Many more ordinary items were displayed by manufacturers and merchants. Inventors and manufacturers from Britain displayed tools, household items, farm implements, and food products.

Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851

India contributed an elaborate throne of carved ivory, a coat embroidered with pearls, emeralds and rubies, and a magnificent howdah and trappings for a rajah’s elephant. The most anticipated artifact from the Indian subcontinent was “The Great Diamond of Runjeet Singh called the Koh-i-Noor or the Mountain of Light”, the world’s largest known diamond. It was of priceless value, but visitors found it underwhelming, owing to its lack of sparkle. Another diamond was the Daria-i-Noor, a pale pink diamond, one of the rarest in the world.

The Russian exhibits arrived late, having been delayed by ice in the Baltic. When they did arrive, they were breathtaking: huge vases and urns made of porcelain and malachite more than 10ft tall; furs; sledges and Cossack armour. Canada sent a fire engine with painted panels showing Canadian scenes, and a trophy of furs. Chile sent a single lump of gold weighing 50kg, Switzerland sent gold watches. C C Hornung of Copenhagen, Denmark, showed his single-cast iron frame for a pianoforte, the first made in Europe. The American display was headed by a massive eagle, wings outstretched, holding a drapery of the Stars and Stripes, all poised over one of the organs scattered throughout the building. The largest foreign contributor was France, with its sumptuous tapestries, Sevres porcelain and silks from Lyons, enamels from Limoges and furniture. 

Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851

The opening of the Great Exhibition coincided with one of the greatest innovations of the Industrial Revolution, the railways. Visiting London had become feasible and accessible for the masses, thanks to the new railway lines spread across the country. About 6 million people flocked to witness the exhibition between May and October. The ticket was initially priced at £1 each and reduced to one shilling each, which proved much more popular. However, the tickets were still expensive on peak days – Friday and Saturday. The fair brought in an enormous profit of £186,000, which funded the construction of well-known cultural centers in South Kensington like the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Shortly after the exhibition, the whole structure of the Crystal Palace was removed from the Hyde Park site and re-erected at Sydenham, in the Kent countryside, now a part of South East London. The structure was transformed into a permanent attraction, and was in use for 85 years until it was destroyed in a fire in 1936.

The Great Exhibition of 1851 has become one of the most defining cultural events of Victorian England and is an enduring symbol of the 19th century. The exhibition set a precedent for the many international exhibitions which followed, inspiring a long succession of international fairs in other cities, including Paris, Dublin, New York, Vienna, and Chicago – almost one a year for the rest of the 19th century. The Great Exhibition was enormously influential in developing many aspects of society, like art and design education, international trade and relations, and tourism.

Animal Husbandry

Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onward, predating farming of the first crops. By the time of early civilizations such as ancient Egypt, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were being raised on farms. Most livestock are herbivores, except for pigs and chickens which are omnivores. Ruminants like cattle and sheep are adapted to feed on grass; they can forage outdoors, or may be fed entirely or in part on rations richer in energy and protein, such as pelleted cereals. Pigs and poultry cannot digest the cellulose in forage, and require other high-protein foods.

The domestication of livestock was driven by the need to have food on hand when hunting was unproductive. The desirable characteristics of a domestic animal are that it should be useful to the domestication, should be able to thrive in his or her company, should breed freely, and be easy to tend. In ancient Egypt, cattle were the most important livestock, and sheep, goats, and pigs were also kept; poultry including ducks, geese, and pigeons were captured in nets and bred on farms, where they were force-fed with dough to fatten them. In northern Europe, agriculture including animal husbandry went into decline when the Roman empire collapsed. Some aspects such as the herding of animals continued throughout the period. By the 11th century, the economy had recovered and the countryside was again productive. The improvements of animal husbandry in the medieval period in Europe went hand in hand with other developments. Improvements to the plough allowed the soil to be tilled to a greater depth. Horses took over from oxen as the main providers of traction, new ideas on crop rotation were developed and the growing of crops for winter fodder gained ground. Peas, beans and vetches became common; they increased soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, allowing more livestock to be kept.

Branches

Dairy Farming – Dairy farming is a class of agriculture for long-term production of milk, which is processed (either on the farm or at a dairy plant, either of which may be called a dairy) for eventual sale of a dairy product. Although any mammal can produce milk, commercial dairy farms are typically one-species enterprises. In developed countries, dairy farms typically consist of high producing dairy cows. Other species used in commercial dairy farming include goats, sheep, water buffaloes, and camels. In Italy, donkey dairies are growing in popularity to produce an alternative milk source for human infants.

Meat industry – The meat industry are the people and companies engaged in modern industrialized livestock agriculture for the production, packing, preservation and marketing of meat (in contrast to dairy products, wool, etc.). In economics, the meat industry is a fusion of primary (agriculture) and secondary (industry) activity and hard to characterize strictly in terms of either one alone. The greater part of the meat industry is the meat packing industry – the segment that handles the slaughtering, processing, packaging, and distribution of animals such as poultry, cattle, pigs, sheep and other livestock. A great portion of the ever-growing meat branch in the food industry involves intensive animal farming in which livestock are kept almost entirely indoors or in restricted outdoor settings like pens. Many aspects of the raising of animals for meat have become industrialized, even many practices more associated with smaller family farms. The production of livestock is a heavily vertically integrated industry where the majority of supply chain stages are integrated and owned by one company.

Cattle – Cattle, taurine cattle, or European cattle (Bos taurus or Bos primigenius taurus) are large domesticated cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos. Depending on sex, they are referred to as cows (female) or bulls (male). Cattle are commonly raised as livestock for meat (beef or veal, see beef cattle), for milk (see dairy cattle), and for hides, which are used to make leather. They are used as riding animals and draft animals (oxen or bullocks, which pull carts, plows and other implements). Another product of cattle is their dung, which can be used to create manure or fuel.

Sheep farming – Sheep farming or sheep husbandry is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. It is a branch of animal husbandry. Sheep are raised principally for their meat (lamb and mutton), milk (sheep’s milk), and fiber (wool). They also yield sheepskin and parchment. Sheep can be raised in a range of temperate climates, including arid zones near the equator and other torrid zones. Farmers build fences, housing, shearing sheds, and other facilities on their property, such as for water, feed, transport, and pest control. Most farms are managed so sheep can graze pastures, sometimes under the control of a shepherd or sheep dog.

Pig farming – Pig farming or hog farming is the raising and breeding of domestic pigs as livestock, and is a branch of animal husbandry. Pigs are farmed principally for food (e.g. pork, bacon, gammon) and skins. Pigs are amenable to many different styles of farming: intensive commercial units, commercial free range enterprises, or extensive farming (being allowed to wander around a village, town or city, or tethered in a simple shelter or kept in a pen outside the owner’s house). Historically, farm pigs were kept in small numbers and were closely associated with the residence of the owner, or in the same village or town.They were valued as a source of meat and fat, and for their ability to convert inedible food into meat and manure, and were often fed household food waste when kept on a homestead. Pigs have been farmed to dispose of municipal garbage on a large scale. All these forms of pig farm are in use today, though intensive farms are by far the most popular, due to their potential to raise a large amount of pigs in a very cost-efficient manner. In developed nations, commercial farms house thousands of pigs in climate-controlled buildings. Pigs are a popular form of livestock, with more than one billion pigs butchered each year worldwide, 100 million of them in the USA. The majority of pigs are used for human food but also supply skin, fat and other materials for use as clothing, ingredients for processed foods, cosmetics, and medical use.

Cuniculture – Cuniculture is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising domestic rabbits as livestock for their meat, fur, or wool. Cuniculture is also employed by rabbit fanciers and hobbyists in the development and betterment of rabbit breeds and the exhibition of those efforts. Scientists practice cuniculture in the use and management of rabbits as model organisms in research. Cuniculture has been practiced all over the world since at least the 5th century.

Poultry farming – Poultry farming is the form of animal husbandry which raises domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese to produce meat or eggs for food. It has originated from the agricultural era. Poultry – mostly chickens – are farmed in great numbers. More than 60 billion chickens are killed for consumption annually. Chickens raised for eggs are known as layers, while chickens raised for meat are called broilers.

Aquaculture – Aquaculture (less commonly spelled aquiculture , also known as aquafarming, is the controlled cultivation (“farming”) of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae and other organisms of value such as aquatic plants (e.g. lotus). Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled or semi-natural conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture, commonly known as marine farming, refers specifically to aquaculture practiced in seawater habitats, opposed to in freshwater aquaculture.

Beekeeping – Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly in man-made hives, by humans. Most such bees are honey bees in the genus Apis, but other honey-producing bees such as Melipona stingless bees are also kept. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect their honey and other products that the hive produce (including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or “bee yard”.

Insect farming – Insect farming is the practice of raising and breeding insects as livestock, also referred to as minilivestock or micro stock. Insects may be farmed for the commodities they produce (like silk, honey, lac or insect tea), or for them themselves; to be used as food, as feed, as a dye, and otherwise.

Sericulture – Sericulture, or silk farming, is the cultivation of silkworms to produce silk. Although there are several commercial species of silkworms, Bombyx mori (the caterpillar of the domestic silkmoth) is the most widely used and intensively studied silkworm. Silk was believed to have first been produced in China as early as the Neolithic Period. Sericulture has become an important cottage industry in countries such as Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Today, China and India are the two main producers, with more than 60% of the world’s annual production.

Environmental Impact

Animal husbandry has a significant impact on the world environment. Being a part of the animal–industrial complex, animal agriculture is the primary driver of climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, and of the crossing of almost every other planetary boundary, in addition to killing more than 60 billion non-human land animals annually. It is responsible for somewhere between 20 and 33% of the fresh water usage in the world, and livestock, and the production of feed for them, occupy about a third of the earth’s ice-free land. Livestock production is a contributing factor in species extinction, desertification, and habitat destruction. Since the 18th century, people have become increasingly concerned about the welfare of farm animals. Possible measures of welfare include longevity, behavior, physiology, reproduction, freedom from disease, and freedom from immunosuppression. Standards and laws for animal welfare have been created worldwide, broadly in line with the most widely held position in the western world, a form of utilitarianism: that it is morally acceptable for humans to use non-human animals, provided that no unnecessary suffering is caused, and that the benefits to humans outweigh the costs to the livestock. An opposing view is that animals have rights, should not be regarded as property, are not necessary to use, and should never be used by humans.

Study of Tractors – Mostly Used Farm Machine

DESCRIPTION OF A TRACTOR

Tractor, an engineering vehicle, was specially designed to provide a high torque or tractive effort within the low speed, to haul machinery or trailer used in construction or agriculture. The tractor is a special farm machine that helps a wide array of agricultural equipment to complete many roles assign on the farm. Tractors are important tools for farmers in another world we can say that modern farm is incomplete without a tractor. Tractor helps the farmers to cut down extra costs for resources, which is the main purpose to use tractors by farmers. Farm tractor technology helped push up yields and producers get the rewards of higher fuel efficiency.

HISTORY OF TRACTOR ENGINES

The word “TRACTOR” is derived from Latin word “TRAHERE” or “TRACT” which means something that pulls. The first powered farm implements in the early 19th century were portable engines – steam engines on wheels that could be used to drive mechanical farm machinery by way of a flexible belt. Richard Trevithick designed the first ‘semi-portable’ stationary steam engine for agricultural use, known as a “barn engine” in 1812, and it was used to drive a corn threshing machine. The truly portable engine was invented in 1893 by William Tux ford of Boston, Lincolnshire who started manufacture of an engine built around a locomotive-style boiler with horizontal smoke tubes. In the 1850s, John Fowler used a Clayton & Shuttle worth portable engine to drive apparatus in the first public demonstrations of the application of cable haulage to cultivation.

“1882 Harrison Machine Works steam-powered traction engine”

CLASSIFICATIONS OF TRACTOR ENGINES

  1. Utility Tractors
  2. Row Crop Tractors
  3. Orchard Type Tractors
  4. Industrial Tractors
  5. Garden Tractors
  6. Rotary Tillers
  7. Implement Carrier
  8. Earth Moving Tractors

Utility Tractors – A low- to medium-horsepower tractor; used primarily for pulling auxiliary equipment, but also used in construction with attachments for trenching, dozing, breaking, etc.

Row Crop Tractors – A general-purpose or row-crop tractor is tailored specifically to the growing of crops grown in rows, and most especially to cultivating these crops. These tractors are universal machines, capable of both primary tillage and cultivation of a crop.

Orchard Type Tractors – The orchard tractor is a type of tractor that is used in vineries and orchards. These tractors are built to navigate and manoeuvre in small areas or fields These are a special type of tractor used in orchards only. They are usually very high and tall so that the user can sit on the tractor and still pick the fruits or trim the trees. Outside of the surface of the tractor, it is clear, which means that you can get in and around all of the trees without a hassle. Best of all, they can be used in various types of orchards, regardless of what you’ve planted there, whether it is fruit trees or grapes.

Rotary Tillers – These are “walking type” tractors and are usually used in smaller fields and those that are at different height levels. These are places where ordinary equipment often doesn’t work efficiently, yet rotary tillers are small enough to get into small spaces and over hills with ease. A rotary tiller is essentially a motorized cultivator that works by the rotation of blades or tines in order to work the soil. It takes the soil, even hard, chunky soil, and creates a fine, clod-free bed of soil. After you use this equipment to “till” the soil, your garden bed is ready to be planted with any type of seeds you wish to plant.

Industrial tractors – Industrial tractors were once called Tuggers, and they are used to pull loads. In fact, most industrial tractors are not even made for agricultural use, but instead, they are used in factories while pulling things. They come in various models and horsepower strengths.

Garden tractors – Garden tractors tend to have a very small construction size. They are used more for grass-cutting tasks than anything else, or for creating new flower beds in your garden. Garden tractors have wheels that are roughly the size of a scooter’s wheels but are much thicker.

Earth-moving tractors – Earth-moving tractors have to be quite strong and extremely heavy, and they come in both tire and track types. If you’re working on a construction site, including work on dams and quarries, an earth-moving tractor can be a lifesaver.
They move earth to dig holes for basements and new construction, in addition to numerous other tasks, and even though they are expensive they are always built to last. They are used to move and relocate things such as dirt, debris, rocks, mud, or even lumber.

Implement Carrier Tractors – These types of tractors are meant to carry and mount many different types of implements, the chassis frame between the front and rear tires is extended. Therefore, they are able to mount implements that include drills, sprayers, seed drills, rotary sweepers, loaders, and dusters, among others. They come in many different sizes and designs, and the companies that sell them can provide you with the information that you need to make sure that you get the right one.

COMPONENTS OF A TRACTOR

A tractor is made of following main units:

  1. Clutch
  2. Transmission Gears
  3. Differential Unit and Final Drive
  4. Steering System and Brake Steering System
  5. Hydraulic Control System
  6. Hitch and Control Board of Tractor
  7. Power Take-Off Unit
  8. Belt Pulley
  9. Control Board or Dash Board of a Tractor
  10. Tractor Tyre and Front Axle.

Component 1 – Clutch: Clutch is a device, used to connect and disconnect the tractor engine from the transmission gears and drive wheels.

Component 2 -Transmission Gears: A tractor engine runs at high speed, but the rear wheel of the tractor requires power at low speed and high torque. & Torque Converter: This is also called hydro-kinetic transmission. It is a device used on tractors for transmission of power and for multiplying the torque of the engine. It works as a torque multiplier.

Component 3 – Differential Unit: It is a special arrangement of gears to permit one of the rear wheels of the tractor to rotate slower or faster than the other. While turning the tractor on a curved path, the inner wheel has to travel lesser distance than the outer wheel & Final Drive: It is a gear reduction unit in the power trains between the Differential and the Drive wheels. Final drive transmits the power finally to the rear axle and the wheels.

Component 4 – Steering System: The system governing the angular movement of front wheels of a tractor is called Steering system. This system minimizes the efforts of the operator in turning the front wheel with the application of leverages. & Brake: Brake is used to stop or slow down the motion of a tractor.

Component 5 – Hydraulic Control System: It is a mechanism in a tractor to raise, hold or lower the mounted or semi-mounted equipments by hydraulic means. All tractors are equipped with hydraulic control system for operating three point hitch of the tractor.

Component 6 – Hitch: Implements are needed to be hitched properly for efficient and safe operation of the tractor. Implements can be: 1. Trailed 2. Semi-mounted and 3. Mounted.

Component 7 – Power Take-Off Unit (PTO): It is a part of tractor transmission system. It consists of a shaft, a shield and a cover.

Component 8 – Belt Pulley: All tractors are provided with a belt pulley. The function of the pulley is to transmit power from the tractor to stationary machinery by means of a belt. It is used to operate thresher, centrifugal pumps, silage cutter and several other machines

Component 9 – Control Board or Dash Board of a Tractor:

The control board of a tractor generally consists of:

  • Main Switch: When the main switch is on, the electric current flows in the electrical circuit.
  • Throttle Lever: This lever is for increasing or decreasing the speed of the engine.
  • Decompression Lever: This lever releases compression pressure from the combustion chamber of the engine and helps to start the engine.
  • Hour Meter: This meter indicates the engine hour as well as engine revolution per minute.
  • Light Switch: Light switch is for light points only.
  • Horn Hutton: This is for horn of the tractor
  • Battery Charging Indicator: This indicates the charge and discharge of the battery.
  • Oil Pressure Indicator: This indicates the lubricating oil pressure in the system.
  • Water Temperature Gauge: This indicates the temperature of water of the cooling system.

Component 10 – Tractor Tyre: The tyres are available in many sizes with the ply ratings as 4, 6 or 8. The ply rating of tyres indicates the comparative strength of tyres. The higher the rating, the stronger are the tyres. The inflation pressure in the rear wheels of the tractor varies between 0.8 to 1.5 kg/cm . The inflation pressure of the front wheel varies from 1.5 to 2.5kg/cm &
Front Axle: Front axle is the unit on which front wheel is mounted. This wheel is an idler wheel by which tractor is steered in various directions.

APPLICATION OF TRACTORS

Farm tractor designs and styles differ greatly. Tractors are often used on a daily basis for the several agricultural and non agricultural tasks by attaching or operating the light, medium to heavy implements, equipments and machineries according to the requirement and HP of tractors.

The major application of farm tractors for Agricultural and Non Agricultural sectors are given below :-

AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES

Preparing the field by attaching different implements, equipments and machinery for tilling, disking, harrowing, levelling and forming of beds, bunds, furrow & ridges.

Application of organic manure in line or rows by attaching a trailer and organic manure applicator.

Spraying of pesticides in field crops and tress by operating different types of sprayers.

Pumping the ground, canal, river, open well, pond or stored water by operating pumps.

Crushing of sugarcane by operating sugarcane crusher

NON-AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES

Removing the snow by attaching snow blower and grader.

Generating electricity by operating the Alternator/Generator.

Using for defence & airport applications to tow baggage.

Powering of building and road construction equipments.

Breaking of rock with tractor mounted pneumatic compressors.

CONCLUSION

A tractor can act as a best friend to a farmer. In a country like India where farming and agriculture is the leading occupation of the people, a tractor plays a vital role in the life of a farmer. It can deliver several advantages to the farmers and make the task of farming easier. As an efficient machine, it helps the farmer to comprehensively carry out the various works related to the farming. Therefore, with a tractor, you as a farmer in India can expect good profits in the case of farming.

Book review of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

Overview

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny, by Robin Sharma, is an interesting book — as the subtitle suggests, it’s a fable, and it will certainly make you give some thought to your life, your goals, your dreams and how your daily habits help you reach those dreams. In other words, right up the Zen Habits alley.

I can’t give this book my highest rating (see Conclusion for the rating) for several reasons I discuss below, but I did highly enjoy its discussion of several concepts. The author is a leadership expert and author, and he fills the book with a combination of life strategies. Many of these are useful, but whether they work in combination is the real question.

The Fable

The book takes the form of a fable about Julian Mantle, a high-profile attorney with a crazy schedule and a set of priorities that center around money, power, and prestige. As such, Mantle represents the values of our society. The story is told from the perspective of one of his associates, who admires Mantle’s great success and aspires to be like him.

But when Mantle has a heart attack, he drops out of the game and disappears. He sells all his possessions and goes to India to seek a more meaningful existence. When he comes back, he’s a changed man. It’s as if he’s a completely different person. He’s learned from some mythical Himalayan gurus who give him mystical and yet practical advice, which he shares with his former associate (and the reader).

The Concepts

The core of the book is the Seven Virtues of Enlightened Learning, which Mantle reveals one by one. Now, although the book presents them as actual Virtues learned from Himalayan gurus, it’s important to remember as you read that these are made up by the author — actually, he pulled them from other sources and put them together:

  1. master your mind
  2. follow your purpose
  3. practice kaizen
  4. live with discipline
  5. respect your time
  6. selflessly serve others
  7. embrace the present

Each of these Virtues is discussed in some detail in separate chapters, each of them with several concepts and habits to develop. Most of them are very inspiring and potentially very useful. After reading the book, I incorporated several of them into my life, including the ones that involve positive thinking, visualizing goals, and more. Again, these are not new concepts and have been discussed in many other books, but the book presents a great collection of useful concepts that you might want to try out.

The Problem

After reading the book, I began to outline each of the Seven Virtues, because I was confused about all the action steps the book recommends taking. The truth is, each of the Seven Virtues encompasses a bunch of daily habits, and incorporating all of them into your life would be cumbersome. And some of them seem to me to be conflicting.

As an example of a large number of habits in every virtue, here are the ones I have listed for the first virtue, Master your mind:

  • Habit: Find positive in every circumstance; don’t judge events as “good” or “bad”, but experience them, celebrate them, and learn from them.
  • Habit: The heart of the rose: find a silent place and a fresh rose. Stare at the heart of the rose, the inner petals, concentrating on the folds of the flower, the texture, etc … push away other thoughts that come to you. Start with 5 minutes a day, stretch it to 20. It will be your oasis of peace.
  • Habit: 10 minutes of reflection on your day, and how to improve your next day.
  • Habit: Opposition thinking – take every negative thought that comes into your mind and turn it into a positive one. First, be aware of your thoughts. Second, appreciate that as easily as negative thoughts enter, they can be replaced with positive ones. So think of the opposite of the negative ones. Instead of being gloomy, concentrate on being happy and energetic.
  • Habit: Secret of the lake. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Then envision your dreams becoming a reality. Picture vivid images of what you want to become. Then they will become reality.

And that’s just with the first virtue. Each one has several habits to develop, and they’re not listed out as I’ve done here. If you tried to incorporate all of the habits in the book, your day would be very busy indeed. Also, I would recommend only trying to adopt one at a time — more than that, and your habit change will be hard to sustain.

Conclusion

Although I can’t give The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari my highest rating, because of the problem listed above, I still enjoyed it a lot and was highly inspired by it.

I give this book a buy recommendation for anyone interested in incorporating routines and habits that can transform their lives, help them achieve their dreams, calm them and make them happier. Yes, it’s a jumble of too many ideas, but you can pick and choose, and the ideas contained within are potentially very powerful. Plus, it’s a fun and easy read.