4 out of 4 stars
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You could make the case that Rob White is a self-made man. After all, his determination and willingness to work hard were what brought him up from humble beginnings to the success he enjoys today. But on reading the introduction to And Then I Met Margaret, you’ll find that White attributes much of his success to the multitudes of friends and mentors he’s learned from along the way. He has a laundry list of self-help celebrities he’s met and conversed with: Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy – all names we recognize from the bestseller lists.
This book, however, is not about any of them. And Then I Met Margaret focuses on the gurus that White encountered in his day-to-day life before he established himself as a successful businessman – the teachers, the bosses, the children, and even the perfect strangers that taught him important lessons about himself and the world. The result is a refreshing and inspiring read that I rate 4 out of 4 stars.
I’ve read as many self-help books as the next person. There’s something to be said for taking the advice of a self-improvement superstar – there must be a good reason they’ve become so renowned, right? However, And Then I Met Margaret proves that everyone on this planet has something to teach you, no matter their age, success, or station. I really enjoyed reading about these normal people and the wisdom they imparted on White, directly and indirectly. My personal favorite was the story of Debbie, one of White’s young students, who approached him with a very simple question – “How do I convince myself that I’m smarter than I think I am?” – and completely upturned his outlook on life in the process.
The author writes with a humility that really struck me. He lays bare his faults and failings, and his overall attitude is not, “Look how smart I am,” but instead, “Look how wise my mentors are.” Instead of coming across as preachy, his gratitude and enthusiasm shine through every page.
I also liked the way the book is structured. The chapters bite-sized, and each one starts with a one-liner – “The Myth I Believed.” At the end of the chapter, that myth is contrasted with “The Reality I Discovered.” This makes the lessons easy to digest and refer back to, and I'm sure I'll find myself flipping back to a few favorites.
And Then I Met Margaret is a compendium of sage advice from unlikely sources, and I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to better themselves. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for my own gurus from now on.
And Then I Met Margaret
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