Customer Reviews: The Saint, Surfer, and CEO
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on August 28, 2005
Imagine that you’re a molting animal that has to shed its outer layer when going through a period of change. Or rather, imagine that you are a caterpillar, shedding its cocoon so it can become a beautiful butterfly. Now imagine your soul doing that very same thing, continuously, in order to reveal the new you. That’s the effect that this book will have on its readers.

This book forces you to look at everything in your life that irritates you, that stresses you out, that presses your buttons and everything else that you dislike about yourself as “vehicles that carry the lessons you need to learn” and hence empowering you to move on to the next level of self-discovery.

Every single paragraph that you will read would bring you to a whole new level of awareness. You would never look at your life the same way again.

Its amazing how the knowledge of these 3 main characters of this book (1) The Saint (2) The Surfer and (3) The CEO, can transform your whole new outlook on life. The Saint teaches how to “live wisely”, The Surfer teaches how to “love well” and The CEO teaches how to “serve greatly”. These 3 main characters are actually life coaches of the protagonist who is called Jack Valentine. Jack is taught by his coaches:

• How to be “authentic as a human being”.

• “Theories on the way the world works as a school for our

growth, and how challenges are actually opportunities – if

we have the wisdom to seize them.”

• “The concept of The Integrity Gap and how we betray

ourselves when we’re not true to ourselves.”

• “The stained glass window metaphor and how it applies to

the filters through which each one of us see our world.”

• How to live “in the heart” and “The importance of staying

loose to the moments of the world”.

• How to release “the control that the vast majority of us

cling to in order to discover the true treasures that are

meant for our lives”.

• “The importance of making things happen in life” and

balancing it off with living “in the mystery of it all,

staying open to all possibilities”.

• “Self-care practices for personal renewal and creating our

best selves”

• How to translate all these above concepts into our careers

and professional lives, highlighting the need to be kind

and loving in business.

And many more mind baffling gems of wisdom for healing, for overcoming life’s struggles, for success in all its forms and for living a live of true happiness. These coaches do not only propose what things you can do to make it happen, but also how to do them - customizing it to your personal situation. It’s as if you have your own personal, career, leadership and life-legacy coach. I personally could not put the book down and had to go back on previous paragraphs in order to internalize this totally therapeutic experience.

To the reviewers who suggested that the plot of the story was too simple, to them I say that the plot of the story is not the point. It is not a literature classic but a self-discovery classic. Wisdom should not get lost in complication and should be understood by everyone, from any culture, and from any educational background. In other words, wisdom should be clear and not be confused in literary jargon. How can one reach the essence of their being through a set of hyperinflated words? Oh please! The beauty of the story is that it’s simple yet powerful.

This book is not only a self-help book but also a tool for having a successful business. The book ends with a surprise for Jack that translates as a surprise gift to the reader – which is “Gateways To A Beautiful Life” information gained from the book summarized into 10 outstanding declarations. You can simply type, print and place it in your office, bedroom or anywhere so you can easily be reminded of what you learnt while reading the book.

I’ll definitely get more copies as a gift to many of my family and friends. I’ll also share its concepts with my students and clients. Read it before its too late, it might just save your life. That’s how powerful this book is.
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on March 26, 2004
Several years ago I visited a trendy restaurant and ordered their chicken mango salad. Some delicious bits of chicken and mango arrived, nestled in a bizarre mishmash of strange colored and shaped lettuce. I politely picked through the lettuce and ate what I could endure, but the overall experience was one of confusion and disappointment. All those feelings came back when I read this book.
Robin Sharma provides life lessons via the fictional story of Jack Valentine, an advertising executive who is reunited with his long-lost father as they share a hospital room. On his deathbed, Cal Valentine sends Jack on a mystical journey to meet three mentors -- you guessed it -- a priest, a surfer and a CEO.
Writers such as Og Mandino and Paolo Coelho have mastered this style, delivering clear, profound messages through believable dialogue. Sharma doesn't come close here...the dialogue is stiff, unrealistic and unnatural. It is littered with dozens of profound quotes that deliver a great message, but send the hokey factor sky high. Success principles appear to have been cut from other sources and pasted in these pages with not much thought given to organization or flow.
The gist of Sharma's message is to submit to the will of "the universe" for your life and follow your true vocation. Some won't mind this message, but I was surprised to see that "God" is almost avoided like a four letter word in these pages, even by the priest.
Just like that chicken mango salad, there are some good nuggets to be found here, but you can save yourself the agony of picking through the jungle of lettuce by reading the summary on the last three pages.
Larry Hehn, author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
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on March 16, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is written as a fictional story, but it is chock-full of wisdom and inspiration.

This book is about determining what really matters in life- not money, not material posessions, but the real stuff of life. The main character meets with three inspirational coaches who each offer a slightly different perspective and different advice on living an extraordinary life.

As a Professional Life Coach, I am always looking for books with deep wisdom and useful metaphors. I read this book with my highlighter in hand and I soon found that I had highlighted nearly the entire book! This is a book I will definitely read again and will recommend to my clients.

The information in this book is not new. Many other self-help books contain similar words of wisdom and advice. What was new about this book was the fact that it was an entertaining and easy read. It also contained many metaphors and examples that made it easy to relate to the concepts presented.

This is a wonderful book for anyone who is searching for meaning in their life. Give yourself time to really absorb the concepts and apply them to your life. You may find your life and your world transformed as a result.
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on January 27, 2003
Sharma's book is a thinly veiled litany of pop-success, self-improvement, and leadership aphorisms and clichés which could be collected from any half-dozen other books or seminars. The author possibly intersperses a few bits of original thought between near-plagiaristic repetitions of metaphors. This is all loosely shrouded in the context of dialog between an obvious ignoramous who is supposed to represent the reader on their path of self-discovery of all of this new wisdom, and the saintly gurus who so generously spew it forth. The book is at once amusing and insulting. However, as a collection of good folk wisdom, one could read it as a concise reminder of the way in which we would all like to conduct our lives.
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on June 13, 2015
Inspiring, mind changing guide that will reform and help you live your best life. The principles shared are not new or original to the author, but they are true and practical. The story is captivating, so it makes for an interesting read though some things are unrealistic and there appears to be somewhat of a disconnect. I would however still recommend this as a worthwhile motivational read.
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I enjoyed this book. It is a compilation of helpful and inspirational thoughts and ideas from all the other books and tapes currently marketed. Kind of a "cliffs notes" of self-discovery.

The author sets the fictional story in a hospital where an accident victim is recovering. He is met by his father, who he has not seen in decades, and his father gives him some advice and a letter before the father passes away. The letter contains details on three life coaches the son must go meet so he can learn and uncover his true self.

The first coach is a priest in Rome. The priest teaches him how to live wisely, using a metaphor of a stained glass window. You see life colored by your perceptions, like looking through a stained glass window you see things colored by the glass. Change your perceptions and life changes.

The second coach is the surfer, who teaches him how to love well. He teaches him to stop living in his head and start living in his heart. Live in the moment and enjoy what is happening right now. Everything you do comes from a place of love or a place of fear. Where are your thoughts coming from right now.

The third coach is a CEO of a brokerage firm. She teaches him how to serve greatly. Telling him you can get anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want, and you must conduct yourself with the utmost integrity.

The majority of this book I have read or heard in other places. Its not new material, but it is presented in a new way. One part of the book talks about how every meeting with another person is your chance to learn something new. If you keep meeting up with people who are filled with problems or complaints, its because they are being sent to you so you can learn a lesson that you need right now. They will continue to be sent to you, UNTIL you learn these lessons.

I guess that makes sense. Maybe this book came my way because it contains a lesson I still need to learn?
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on October 18, 2003
If you want to learn about what the author wanted to say, read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective people by Stehpen Covey. 90% of the contents of this book is contained in Covey's book, only in a much more detailed and convincing form. The remaining 10 % you will in find in other pop success books. Stay away from this one, you will find much better success books.
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on July 9, 2015
Robin Sharma is a remarkable author, gifted and insightful. The book takes the reader on a journey into the lives of three very different individuals, each of whom have a different perspective on life. Each page reveals life lessons that help the central character and subsequently the reader, confront deep truth and reality.
The writing style makes it an easy and enjoyable read.
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on July 14, 2011
I am an avid reader of self-help books because it is my line of work. There are those people who write and act from a deep sense of passion for people, sincerely encouraging fellow-man on his journey to greatness, and there are those who seem to jump on a money making band wagon, teaching because the business is lucrative. I appreciate it is every one to their own and I respect man's decision, however when reading this book I felt that it was a marketing exercise. Throughout the book many references are made to the authors other books, but I also felt that the true passion required to connect with people at this level was missing.

If you are looking for something which both genuinely moves you and inspires and educates at the same time, then try either Statue in the Square by Joanne St.Clair, or The Journeys of Socrates: How a Boy Became a Warrior Became a Wise Man by Dan Millman. I absolutely loved both of these books - they were a great read and life changing at the same time. In this type of book i.e. where fictional characters are used to tell the story, my judge of how it has affected me is if I cannot put it down and that when i am reading I am transported into the setting of the book. This was the case with both the books I have recommended, but not The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO.
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on July 16, 2016
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari exceeded my expectations. There are very few books I would consider life changing. This book however, I can confirm, changed my life, turned on a light in my thinking and certainly my destiny. I have read and reread it numerous times and highlighted the best messages applicable to my own life. It has been quite valuable and has arrived at a time in my life, when every word feels applicable as though the author has been sitting on my shoulder or visiting my living room. This book provides practical use for taking ownership of your life, controlling your destiny, your happiness. Guidelines for transforming your fears and controlling your mind. Self discipline, self control, self government, willpower which help create strong character and lives we choose to live with joy and truth. Following the simple guidelines provided can help transform your life into what you were meant to be, instead of what the world told you who you should be. I have shared this book multiple times and I have found that following and practicing the guidelines included in this book will change how you feel about yourself and ultimately how you contribute to the world. I am a believer, it simply works. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to live their best life, find happiness,success and be yourself in truth, even when those around you can't or won't. You will find your coworkers and people in your life who are closest to you will notice something different about you. Joy, happy, hopeful. In this book the guidelines will help you to learn to live with joy, courage, while, cherishing the value of time which we have so little on this earth and finding a life with purpose, which will ultimately help you fulfill your destiny. Since reading this book and practicing the simple guidelines I have had some amazing opportunities come to me, both professionally and personally. It's simply been a gift. The Seven Virtues of Enlightened Living. Master your Mind. Follow your purpose. Practice Kaizen. Live with Discipline. Respect Your Time. Selflessly Serve Others. Embrace the Present.
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