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FROM THE HEART: Seven Rules To Live By
~ by Robin R. Roberts

book review by Beth Boswell Jacks

Good Morning America co-anchor and former Mississippian Robin Roberts has just written a gem of a book titled FROM THE HEART: Seven Rules To Live By (Hyperion). And speaking of hearts, this is a book guaranteed not only to warm readers’ hearts but also to give us much to consider as we examine our own successes, failures and life goals.

The book is small in size, large in content.

I read Robin’s book one night as I lay on an upper bunk in an Amtrak sleeping compartment, barreling toward Chicago. It helped me through the night, made me feel all right and, fortunately or unfortunately, failed to lull me to sleep. I loved it.

Down to earth, witty and wise, this former all-star athlete and ESPN anchor invites us to explore with her the seven rules she credits with her success:

        · Position yourself to take the shot
        · Dream big, but focus small
        · If at first you don’t succeed, dive back in
        · Never play the race, gender, or any other card
        · Venture outside your comfort zone
        · Focus on the solution, not the problem
        · Keep faith, family and friends close to your heart

Robin’s return to her Mississippi Gulf Coast hometown, Pass Christian, following Hurricane Katrina is unforgettable for those who viewed her experience on television. She felt “helpless and hopeless,” but the kindness and compassion that followed the storm lifted her spirits, and she realized again that life is good and we should be thankful for every breath.

“It’s hard sometimes,” she wrote, “because life doesn’t always feel so good. There are sad times and tragedies and moments of doubt when it’s hard to pick yourself up. What then?”

Her secret?

“You have to change the way you think in order to change the way you feel.”

In other words, as my mama used to say, your mad britches can just as well be your glad britches.

That philosophy applies to many aspects of our lives (fears, prejudices, jealousies, relationships), and yet the words are simple and easy to remember – just like the rest of the observations in FROM THE HEART. I felt as if I were chatting over coffee and grits with this lovely woman, who is definitely as beautiful inside as out. She spoke from her heart, indeed, and I listened.

I listened because I like this person and I like what she has to say. She’s upbeat, positive and strong. She has made it to the top of her profession in spite of huge obstacles, and she marvels at her success herself. There’s nothing pretentious about Robin Roberts. She’s just Robin, and she tells it like it is.

“Here’s a secret,” she says. “It isn’t always the smartest, most talented, prettiest or most charismatic person who has the most success. That’s true whether you’re talking about a great job, a great achievement, or a great marriage. More often, the people who succeed are those who don’t let setbacks and rejections stop them cold.”

Buy this book for your favorite graduates this year. Buy it for someone who needs encouragement, for someone who’s celebrating a birthday, or for Mom on Mother’s Day or Dad on Father’s Day, or for anybody on any day. This small book is a terrific reminder that life is good . . . if we work to make it that way.


WRITER’S BIO: Editor of USADEEPSOUTH, Beth Boswell Jacks is the author of three books (Grit, Guts, and Baseball and Snippets I and II). She is also a weekly columnist for a number of southern newspapers. Readers and editors may contact her at bethjacks@hotmail.com

For more of Beth’s stories, click here:
SNIPPETS -- the newspaper column

Write Ye Editor at bethjacks@hotmail.com.

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