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on June 13, 2006
After recently purchasing this book, I was so enthusiastic about its inspiration and clarity, that I bought another as a gift for a 16-year-old young man whom I thought could grasp the important messages that author Carroll is sending. However, I kept feeling that something was missing from this motivational story. What I realized is that Carroll is not only successful today due to allowing his inner strength and voice to help lead his way through life, but he also had strong contributions from others (his Grandmother, teachers, etc.) while creating his way. Unfortunately, with today's culture of "It's all about me," Carroll doesn't plant the idea anywhere in this book that once you realize your goals (or even during the process), part of the journey might include you becoming that teacher or "encourager" that he suggests you should seek out when finding your dream. I'm certain that the author does indeed give back, no doubt by setting an example for others, if not actively being involved in community service. But, adding a Chapter 8 with a message that finding and sustaining your life's work is just as much about changing yourself as it is at the same time how you can affect someone else's life by giving back. Whether it's donating your time, money or skills, contributing to your community completes a fulfilling and meaningful life. You can bounce that red rubber ball all by yourself, or you can share it with others.
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on June 18, 2008
I loved this book which is cleverly illustrated. It put a big smile on my face! Certainly inspirational in a very light but profound way Kevin Carroll takes us through his journey with the Red Rubber Ball (pages have colorful drawings and excellent design) and how he has found inspiration to shine in his life while making a difference in the world and going for his dreams. With his seven simple rules he has accomplished a lot (along with well-being), Carroll is an athlete, one of the first afro-american NBA's trainers, speaker and has a leadership position at Nike. All because he followed his passion for the Red Rubber Ball... He talks about every day being a chance to look for something unexpected and about making life our playground to have fun in whatever we are passionate about. I say that is a pretty miraculous way to go through life and reminds me of the work of Ariel and Shya Kane. They are catalysts for having a brilliant life regardless of the circumstances, their books Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: A Book About Instantaneous Transformation, How To Create a Magical Relationship and Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment as well as their 3 Principles of Transformation are excellent guides to live a fun fresh life full of opportunities, right here right now no need to wait for the future. If you're interested in having your life be magical and fun, creating opportunities and living to the fullest, I highly recommend checking out both Carroll and the Kanes.
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on September 27, 2005
This is a surprisingly fun and simple read, but the message is oh so powerful. Kevin Carroll talks about finding your passion, whatever that is, and finding a way to turn that into your life. For many of us looking for our passion, this book serves as a reminder to never give up, no matter how silly it might seem to others. Don't take your ball and go home...Find it and play with it as much as you can!
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on August 6, 2013
Caroll's message is great, and no one can argue that this book isn't inspirational. However, I do feel it gives unhealthy ideas too. For example, Caroll reported that to get through school, he worked entire nights and only slept during 2 short naps in a 24 hour period, every single day. That's unhealthy, not motivating. Yes, you should work to make your passion reality, but for goodness sake, do it the healthy way with lots of sleep, good food, and exercise.

Besides that, it's a small book, so there's really only mostly positive information in it. There is no help section for if things go wrong, and there is no section on friends/family/people you love helping you succeed either. I would advise taking this book in the same way you regard those little calendars with inspirational sayings; acknowledge it, work toward it, but realize that constant happiness with what you're doing in life isn't always feasible. Instead, focus on being content.
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on November 8, 2006
I read this book on the suggestion of someone I know and trust. I pre-ordered it and received it "hot off the press" and was able to take it with me on a recent trip outside of the country. I saved it for my return flight when I knew I would be tired and perhaps need some inspiration, and I am happy that I did.

As is often said, don't judge a book by it's cover. I thought the book was going to be cute and perhaps contain a few nuggets of wisdom, but what I found instead was my new manifesto for life and living. Kevin does a great job providing background information (from whence he came) to frame his ideas and suggestions, but where many authors leave off, he takes it to the next level.

If I had to encapsulate the entire book into a few words they would be "planning, passion, perseverance, play and perspective". It was obvious that he had a plan (not a rigid, fully-detailed roadmap, but rather a general idea of what he wanted to do and who he wanted to be, he was passionate in his pursuit of his goals, he persevered when the times got tough or circumstances changed, he made sure his life's work was fun and not just a job, and he always viewed what was happening as an opportunity to learn, grow and develop rather than an insurmountable challenge or roadblock.

This book doesn't offer a new or wildly revolutionary plan for success, rather it keeps it simple and offers some common sense ideas on how anyone cna lead a richer and more fulfilling life. It is simple, well written, fun to read, and something that I will not only read again and again, but will offer to my friends and colleagues to help remind them why they are doing what they are.

As someone who lives and works just outside of Philadelphia, his stories of growing up and working in the area added some additional relevance to the story for me.

I think this book is destined to be a classic in subject area, it's simple elegance should allow it to stand the test of time.
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on October 7, 2005
Encounter here the story of a man challenged by vicissitudes and his rise to success. The same private school where the author sneeked into to play basketball as a kid hired him to be their coach as an adult. I'm telling you that you haven't seen graphics telling a story so beautifully as it is done here. Bruce Mau, DK books, move over. Even in the size of a paperback it's my candidate as favorite coffee table book. The attitude and delivery on the thought of perseverance makes this a book with a backbone of steel.
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on June 19, 2008
I picked this book up in the lobby after one of Mr. Carroll's presentations. After the speech, the Q&A, and speaking with him in person I was thrilled to finally sit down and read through the book. With that kind of inspiration, the text is incredible - you can really feel the emotion behind his words!

Unfortunately, that seems to be lost on anyone not already familiar with Carroll's work. To them, the shortness of the book (particularly in comparison with its price) is a serious negative. Looking back at the book after a year, though, I have to agree. It's short, not much content, and if the deeper meaning behind the book layout and message isn't fresh in your mind it's difficult to pay attention to.

All in all, it's a phenomenal piece of work and a priceless vessel of inspiration. I can't give it a full 5 stars, though, because it isn't quite as exciting the second time around.
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on August 29, 2013
Not only does this book have a great message--it's super cute, too! I love the design and the creative pages. It's promoted at an "Oh, the Places You'll Go" for grown ups, but it's my favorite high school/college grade gift ever. Kevin Carroll encourages the reader to find his or her rubber ball--the thing they love to do. Once you find that, you'll find happiness and success. It's a great short read and very encouraging.
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on April 24, 2013
I bought this book over 6 years ago and it changed the way I think of the world. It brought me back to the place in my life where dreams seemed to live and matter and they mattered to those around you, like your favorite teacher.

It is a quick read and I keep it nearby to read when I need a refreshing of my soul!

Should be required reading for every high school grad!
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on March 13, 2012
I met Kevin maybe 4 years ago when he talked about his book and his life experiences when I was a member of the National Leadership Council for a honor society called The National Society of Collegiate Scholars [...]

They flew all of us from all the US to be apart of a retreat that would focus on basically being the best we can be. After his talk they gave all of us these book and I ran into one of my fellow councilperson while going to the room. He was so excited after the talk going on about how inspirational it was. And he asked me what I though. He seemed very saddened that I just didn't get it.

Put things that remind you of your dreams in a box and ponder them? Isn't that the same idea of the Dream Board introduced by Oprah? I picked the book up after 4 years of it being in my closet. And I can honestly say I still don't get it. But I think the message I DO GET is never stop dreaming and always have a dream to follow that wakes you up in the morning.

The book was written with good intentions. For me its a bit to immature. To many pictures (like a child's book) with big font and flashy colors. I'm not sure if I would consider this a book as much as a composition; however, for others (who are probably more open minded than I am)this book may hit a stronger message for you than it did with me. It must! I saw a lot of people after the talk happy with Kevin's presentation.

I think this book might be really good for a young person or teen that might be a little off direction in life.

Nice guy Kevin is. =]
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