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Book Review

I have always been a little wary of self help books yet I am avid reader and I had a long trip
scheduled and no book to read. Fortunately my flatmate had a few books I hadnt yet read,
including Robin Sharmas The Saint, Surfer and CEO (A remarkable story about living your
hearts desires) which I read while travelling around the Netherlands.
The book was fairly interesting and had some advice that I found particularly relevant for
someone who hadnt read many self-help books before. I will not judge on the content, I will
simply highlight the recommendations I found to be the most noteworthy and some of the tips
Robin Sharma gave to put it in practice. This is not a complete review, only some of the
advice I found to be important (for a complete review better check amazon or goodreads or
other similar sites).
1Meditate.
When you get up in the morning find a serene place and sit in a comfortable position. Then
close your eyes and start breathing deeply. To breathe properly is to live properly, and
breathing slowly and deeply will calm you. It will move you out of your head and into your
body, into your heart.
2Do something for another person.
I could make some time every week to volunteer or do some form of
community service. I could really support the people I care about in achieving their dreams
and living their highest truth in life, rather than worrying so much about whats in it for me
3Appreciate the little things (and show gratitude).
One of the things I do each day is bless my food. Before each meal, I give silent and sincere
thanks for the meal Im about to enjoy: I thank the farmers who grew the produce, the
fisherman who caught the fish, and the sellers at the market for making it all available. And I
give thanks to the world for granting me the privilege of having food on my table in a world
where millions upon millions of people dont have enough to eat. This is a simple little
technique, but it will create profound shifts in you. Trust me on this one.
Jack, these tools Im giving you might seem a bit odd. But the main thing is they work. Oh,
there are two more ways to really build your
personal gratitude muscles. One is to send love letters.

Right. The final tool to show gratitude is to give every person you meet a gift. That could
get expensive, I observed earnestly. I dont mean a formal gift, Moe said. It could be as
simple as giving someone you meet a true smile. It might mean giving someone a hug or a
sincere compliment in a world where weve forgotten the importance of genuine praise. You
could bring someone a single, fresh flower from your garden or a hot muffin you just baked.
Even listening to someone with complete attention and a wide-open heart is a gift that will
touch people in places you cant imagine.
4Your thoughts influence how you act (and find the best in each situation)
First, because in every situation, theres always some good everything that happens to us
represents an opportunity to grow and evolve into our best selves. Second, because this is the
only way to live a peaceful and happy life. And third, because, as Im telling you, our
thoughts are like magnets, attracting into our life people and instances
that harmonize with them. Keep focusing on the negative and thats what your life will be.
Train yourself to concentrate on the good in any situationand there always is if you look
hard enough for itand thats what youll see more of in your reality.
In general, its a pretty decent book that will give you some practical tools disguised in the
form of conversation. Some of them I wanted to implement anyway so reading it was a good
source of motivation to implement them.

About Author

Robin S. Sharma is the author of 12 global best sellers and a former Litigation lawyer, [1] leadership
expert,[3] and writer.[4] Robin has Canadian nationality. Sharma's career included work for the Supreme
Court of Nova Scotia as a judicial law clerk and employment with the Canadian government as a staff
litigation attorney.[5] He is the author of 15 books including Who Will Cry When You Die, The Leader
Who Had no Title and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, which has sold 5 million copies. Sharma is the
founder of a business training firm called Sharma Leadership International Inc. located in Toronto,
Canada.

He has written several self-help books on personality development and leadership which have been
published in more than 60 countries and translated to more than 70 languages.

In Robins own words, This book is a work of fiction. Its a story about a man named Jack
Valentine, whose path inlife was in many ways similar to my own and later in the paragraph he
confirms that . theyre the lessons that have transformed me
Jack Valentine a successful lawyer but having a failed family relation met an accident and
reached the hospital bed (Somebody smell a monk?) there he meet Cal, who turned out to be his

father he didnt seen earlier.(which he knows only after Cals death). The caring father guide his
son to 3 noble people who are very successful in life and very good in advising people, Father
Mike (The Saint), Moe Jackson (The Surfer) & Tess Welch (The CEO). The message is entirely
delivered by talkathons first between Jack with Cal, then with the 3 advisers.
The main question the book throw to us are :
DID I LIVE WISELY?
DID I LOVE WELL?
DID I SERVE GREATLY?
The 3 advisers help us to reflect on the questions where a lot and lot of good advises are filled in
the conversation.
-Everything happens for a reason and there are no accidents in life.
-Some balls, like the one that represent career, are made of rubber. If we drop them, they have
the ability to bounce back. But some balls are made of glass- family is like that. If you drop that
ball, it doesnt come back.
-Live like a pencil and youll have a fine life (with reference to concentration)
-There is no chaos in the world, only order
-For my life to change, I must change. One of the best ways to do that is by getting the
simple fact that we see the world not as it is, but as we are.
-To become a success, its not really about doing more, its about being more.
-After you die, there will be plenty of time to be in a small boxso why live in one while
youre alive?
-A person without self expression is a person without personal freedom.
-The Secret of passion is purpose.
You can have plenty and plenty of inspirational quotes from the book for sure.
The central theme of the book is love. The work is based on the philosophy that entire
universe moves in accordance with our wish, or there is no difference between the outer world
and inner world. The highest objective of a person is to understand oneself and live the life
full, leaving a legacy.
We can see a lot of Monk who sold his Ferrari in the book, where Paulo Coelhos The Alchemist
surely influenced the author. Denise Waitleys The Empires of the Mind also play an important
influence where Who moves my cheese is limited in a single sentence for change. However, the
style of writing it appears influenced by Richard Bach. However, one who search for specific
references will find only small but obvious Connection.
The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Brahma, Vishnu, Siva.understanding the trio is
difficult for the common man, where Robin Sharma attempts on this relation to convey a point.
However, being a poor story teller Robin didnt succeeded in his attempt and has to depend on
the dialogues to deliver the message.
The initial stage was interesting and till Jack meet the Saint, the book progressed in good speed
and kept the interest, however, from there it become a preaching of sort. Monotonous. Robin
also failed to characterize each adviser, nor manage to beautifully segregate the assignments.
At the end, we go through the similar kind of dialogues and responses. Jack, Cal, Mike, Moe &
Tessall carry a similar character and all tells in similar stories. At least the character of Jack

should have been different, but he looks an intelligent student. Like a film without a villain, the
story didnt grow much.
There are certain serious contradictions and few statement which looks not so correct to my
believes and I seriously think that the author should have done the job taking a bit more time and
patience where it looks like all done in a hurry.
Even with all the minuses one may point out from the book, it is a treasure of advises and good
words for a better living. In a way the book is close to Robins heart and people talk the best
when they talk about themselves. For that matter I will say, contentwise the book is better
than The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, but in description (or Presentation) it falls short off
the mark.
If you are a person who is looking for some kind of guidance in life, success and
personality development the book will help you for sure.
Read it, if it come across youread it for the Saint, for the Surfer or for the CEO, Robin
Sharma. (He has asked me to pass the message within 24 hours of finish reading itseriously,
it is there in the book)

The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO by


Robin Sharma

9052008
Picked up this book by Robin Sharma, the same time I read The Alchemist.
The story is about Jack Valentine, and his search to learn how to live a happier, healthier and more
beautiful life. The title of the book are the three guides that came to his life, to help Jack learn about
the philosophy of life. There are 3 Final Questions in life:

Have I lived wisely? how to conduct your life so that its lived in a noble and enlightened way. The
importance of discovering the gifts on the inside of your life so you can live with immerse peace on
the outside.
Have I loved well? how to love life itself and each of the moments that occur within it.
Have I served greatly? how to be a leader on the planet, not just in terms of career, but in terms of
your life.
As I go through the book again, I see quotes that really strike me.
With the first teacher, a priest, he shares the following:
The journey of life is about spotting our weaker areas and healing them so that we eventually find our
best selves.
It (the journey of life) is not about improving oneself. Its about remembering oneself
Success is nothing more living your life according to your own truth and on your own terms.
For your life to change, you must change. The place where your greatest fears live is also the place
where your greatest growth is.
Techniques

that

we

can

use

to

get

in

touch

with

ourselves:

Write down what we discover so that we have the inner conversations with ourselves: Journaling
Take action each day to reveal the true you to the world to close the Integrity Gap, to be authentic,
be real, and by yourself.
From the Surfer, an ex-advertiser who gave it all up and lives on the beach, the following strike me:
For your life to be great, your faith must be bigger than your fears.
In the corporate world, theres too much doing and not enough being... Live in a state of calm
surrender, going with what life has in store for you.
Learn, do and then be...Moving from unconscious incompetence -> conscious competence ->
unconscious competence
Adversity is the diamon dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.
Techniques

for

self

love,

self-care:

Invest in self care activities such as getting a massage on a regular basis, taking time out to watch
the

starts

twinkle,

Feeding yourself with excellent food because you respect the temple thats your body.
Reading only the best books and listening to lovely music that sends your spirit soaring.
5

self-care

practices:

Shift from complexity to simplicity: leave space to enjoy the precious moments of life

Daily

Journaling:

How

would

What

do

What

one

thing

Answer

live

this

have
could

day
to

in

do

writing
if

be
today

the
knew

grateful
to

help

Morning
it

for
make

was
in

my

life

questions:
my
my

last?
life?

extraordinary?

What

can

do

to

make

today

incredibly

fun?

How can I help someone today?


-

daily

period

of

Communing

silent

retreat

with

nature

Nuturing your body. Its the place where your spirit lives, your home. Stay fit. Those who do not take
time for exercise must eventually make time for illness . Eating only the best foods available.
From the CEO, I learnt:
To have a better life, we must keep choosing how we are livingchoosing our best thinking and our
best actions. Choose how we live in every moment of our days.
Life is really short. Now is the time to raise your standards about what it means to be a person, to
show the world who you really are. If not now, when?
Elite performance in career and in life is about personal accountability. Be there for the people in our
life, genuinely care about people. Do the unexpected for them and give them some of yourself.
Happiness and success are the unintended yet inevitable by-products of a life spent creating value for
other human beings.
Techniques/key notes:
-

Have

thoughtful

conversations

with

people.

Get

good

at

conversations

Be a value builder: Seek out ways to enrich others, improve the lot of thos who have the privilege of
doing

business

with

them.

The purpose of life isnt to be happy. The wold would change if we began to become consumed, not
with being happier, but with being more valuable. How can I be more?Happiness is a by-product,
and it comes to those who dont seek it.
2 reasons to be in business:
-

To

create

value

for

others

and

for

the

benefit

of

the

greater

good;

To grow as a person. To actualize who we really are, and in doing so, make peace with ourselves.
5 steps on manifesting our hearts desires:
-

Articulate

vision.

Name

what

you

desire

in

your

life

Develop your strategy. Break that vision down into a strategy to execute it under. Break into a weekby-week

strategy,

more

manageable.

Setup a self contract: Personal accountability, The Law of Diminishing Intent holds that the more time
that passes after youve set a goal, the less likely you are to breathe life into it and to make it happen.

Measurement.
Celebrate

Self
your

examination
Proud

moments

Execution
The deepest of all human needs is the need to live for something more important than ourselves. Write
about your legacy and what your life stand for.

There is much in the book that can be shared and learnt. The writing style is such that the author
would reference to quotes, other books and using real-life stories and examples to invite readers to
connect to the words and the ideas.
Nothing new in the book, but it does make one re-think and connect better with the story.
Good to read!

However, the wisdom above was not just about realizing our dreams, but how we want to live our
lives happily, not only for ourselves, but also to other being so when we're on our deathbed, we can
answers the Final Questions, as the book stated, with a peace of mind, which are: 1. Did I live
wisely? 2. Did I love well? 3. Did I serve greatly?

Aside from being the kind of writer who jots down quotes, trickles ideas haphazardly
onto beverage napkins and can journal in continual cursive for hand-cramp-inducing
lengths, I am the kind of reader who, when engaged in a book/publication/text that grabs
my attention and wraps me around the content, I find myself writing down as much as I
read. A way with words and an ability to impact a readers experience with a book
through inducing personal reflection moments throughout its pages pretty much creates
flow with a page-turning, cannot be put down book. And let me tell you, Robin
Sharma had me flying through the pages of The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO like the
book was on fire (plus my favorite notebook is a little more ink heavy).
The book is all about a journey. A very specific journey one into self-discovery. The
story of a man on a mission to learn from influential life-leaders takes the reader all over
the world from Italy to Hawaii to New York and in each new city, a new teacher with
a new lesson awaits him. His journey is about transformation and the awareness of
our human impact and how we truly do choose our own reality.
Sprinkled in with luxurious looks at international cities are insightful offerings of looking
at lifes occurrences through alternate perspectives. By no means is this set up to
change ones way of being but moreso to bring a shifted language to how we relate to
feelings, thoughts and opinions around our experience of our lives. For example, in
commencing a conversation about broken hearts, the uber-romantic in me anticipated a
correlation to relationships and self love. In looking at broken hearts the conversation
turned to:
the breaking of our hearts that happens when we begin to realize that our dreams
have faded and our deepest longings have never been fulfilled.when we see the
current state of our worlds and the less than loving values that run it and when we sell
ourselves short and minimize our destinies.

Its relationships like this that are drawn throughout the book that make the concepts and
conversations so accessible, real and though provoking. I found myself looking to my
personal practice and seeing where I am not expressed and how that impacts my life
experience and how others experience me. Namely that I have been out of practice in
connecting with new people. I am a connector I love individual, human stories that you
experience in meeting strangers (unmet friends, I say!). And, sometimes it takes some
well placed reminders of whats YOU, truly you, and how you want those things to show
up in your life, to take the steps to recapture them.

The overall messaging is simple:


live well, love well and serve well
reconnect with your passions
create what fulfillment looks like for you
follow your bliss
I am breaking the spine on The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari also by Robin Sharma
check him and his books (and more) on his website. His ability to create contemplation
and weave aha! moments into story lines is a real gift, to say the least! Enjoy!