This is a copy of a short comparison review I’ve done on the famous Robin Sharma’s book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and Peter Kelder’s “Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth”:
Several months ago I’ve read the very famous Robin Sharma’s book "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny". I finished the book in one weekend… mostly because I’ve only been given the book for the weekend. Anyway, although I found it generally interesting, I didn’t find it very inspiring.
But that’s not what I wanted to write about. The thing that hit me the most was the fact that I found a lot of resemblance between this book’s story line and the story line of the book "Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth: Book 1" by Peter Kelder.
Peter Kelder’s book describes a series of exercises, called the Five Tibetan Rites, which help one revitalize the body and the spirit. I have found them to be very heplful in one period of my life.
Now, what is similar is the basic story, where a sick, aging man (lawyer/colonel) travels to India to find a very isolate and hard to find temple. Then, when he returns to his friend back in (USA/England), he is totally unrecognizable: looking much younger, feeling stronger and full of advises how one should live, backed by vivid examples from the temple and practical exercises. Although the advices themselves are generally different, they do have a common ground but that’s to be expected since both of them come from similar places in India.
This whole thing makes me wonder whether Robin had read Peter Kelder’s book before and was influenced by it? Personally, I liked Peter Kelder’s book more interesting and easier to follow, maybe because I read it first, or maybe it’s because the exercises are so simple and well explained. Personally, if you’ve read and liked Sharma’s book and would like to read a similar book that was written much earlier, in the late 1930ies, I would suggest you to read "Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth" by Peter Kelder. If you haven’t read any of them still, I’d suggest reading Kelder’s book and sticking to its exercises.
On another note, a reader of my review has commented the following on Robin Sharma (unedited):
Robin is pure marketing. Thats all. If you read his books..they are basically all the same, written with different story lines. I find that unlike other motivators i’ve talked to, Robin does NOT walk the talk. He treats those around him, especially his staff who are totally devoted, like hired help. He expects that they should have no lives other than being his employees. Leave the office at 5?? Even if you had started at 7? Never, without getting a questioning look from the boss himself. Ask him how many employees he has gone thru in the past 4 years alone. Ask him how come someone on his staff is in tears at least once a week. Ask him how come he intimidates them and then asks why they are uncomfortable with him? Robin Sharma pretends to be many many things he isnt. His new career of “guru” is merely a reinvention of himself, born of finding a more exciting way to make major bucks without the stress and hours of “lawyering”. His Childrens Foundation? Hasnt collected a cent yet, nor has he helped one child. But it sure looks good on his resume and website!