The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO by Robin Sharma

9 05 2008

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 it’s 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. It’s 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, there’s 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 that’s 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: Answer in writing the Morning questions:
How would I live this day if I knew it was my last?
What do I have to be grateful for in my life?
What one thing could I do today to help make my life extraordinary?
What can I do to make today incredibly fun?
How can I help someone today?

– A daily period of silent retreat
– Communing with nature
– Nuturing your body. It’s 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 living…choosing 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 isn’t 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 don’t 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 heart’s desires:

– Articulate a 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 week-by-week strategy, more manageable.
– Setup a self contract: Personal accountability, The Law of Diminishing Intent holds that the more time that passes after you’ve set a goal, the less likely you are to breathe life into it and to make it happen.
– Measurement. Self examination
– Celebrate your 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! 




3 responses

12 06 2008

Wow….very enticing…feel like running out to the bookshop to grab a copy already! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

14 09 2008

Robin Sharma has made a deep influence on my life. This is one is good ones. Though i liked Leadership Wisdom from the Monk who sold his Ferrari as one of his better works.

4 01 2015

This book contains so many great thoughts. I wonder how the author comes to them. It must be great to think like this. The five daily questions really ‘make change’ for me. I practiced them for a while (a year or a little more) daily and it lead me to where I am today (much further than I could be without this, I believe). The wisdom cannot be bought but this book can be the starting point to start discover the life as it is.

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