THIS BOOK IS ABOUT finding a better, more meaningful life.
Robert Hanley has an insightful way of looking at the world—finding deeper meaning in everyday events that seem to float past the observations of most people. His unique perception has helped make his life better, bringing him greater understanding, joy, fulfillment, and peace.
He reveals his common sense process through wise, humorous, and heartwarming real-life tales taken from his own personal experiences. They may well make you laugh, cry, think, and help you to see the common threads of what he calls “discovering the obvious.”
Whether filling up his car at a gas station or having his teeth cleaned at the dentist, auditioning for a film starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino or giving the eulogy at Dean Martin’s memorial, the universal truths and values Robert uncovers in these anecdotes and stories relay the everyday applicability of a simple perspective that can provide enormous benefits to each of us in our respective journeys through life.
“Over time, I recognized that the richest thoughts of the wisest men and women, from eons ago
and right up to today, provided a perfect match to what it was I was experiencing in my own life, be it at
a gas station, a television studio, the restaurant around the corner . . . anywhere. And at the risk of
sounding like a religious zealot, I came to think faith and spirituality were a part of this, too.”
CFN – Conversation with Cardinal Dolan
(simulcast on Sirius XM)
In 2018, one year after it was first published, Do You See What I See? Discovering the Obvious was nominated for a Grammy Award. This was a part of many wonderful responses the book has garnered from individuals who freely, generously gave their thoughts and opinions of what they had read. Here is a portion of those comments:
“There’s a lot of wisdom here in these little stories. I am a better man for having read this book.”
—Charles Champlin, Arts Editor Emeritus, Los Angeles Times
“Written with insight, compassion, and love, with humor as a bonus. ‘The Leash’ chapter touched me and tickled me.”
—George Shapiro, Executive Producer, Seinfeld
“If you were looking for a simple, good gift . . . you couldn’t go wrong with this. Anybody would like it – atheist, agnostic, deeply religious person. It’s just good human wisdom.”
—His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“Delightful! Robert tells his story quickly and effectively while delivering valuable insights. He entertains as he shares what’s inside him . . . and invites us to reflect on what’s inside ourselves.”
—Rev. Bob Bonnot, Sr. VP, Programming, Hallmark Channel
“Robert Hanley’s writing is filled with charm, grace, and style. Best of all, he is a very special storyteller. Enjoy.”
—Mike Downey, columnist, Chicago Tribune
“This is a book that distills truth from the smallest—and most profound—of human experiences.”
—Gordon Livingston, M.D., author of Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
“Through a series of charming vignettes about his journey and those of the people he has met, Robert Hanley has woven a welcome tapestry of worthy lessons for practical and spiritual growth and a better life. Perseverance, fortitude, humility, dealing with humiliation, contentment, coincidence or providence, and faith all come to light in these stories, with readers being invited to reflect upon who they really are—and who they want to be and the choices they make in life. This engaging book of wisdom and love is one that you will want to read again and again.”
—His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, Archbishop of Washington
“I think these are nice stories, nicely told by a very nice man. I also think I’ve got to get a thesaurus.”
—Jim Brogan, stand-up comedian, writer, and talent coordinator, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
“I read it at night before bed for many nights! I appreciated your appreciation of events you express as bite-size digestible snacks. A worthy undertaking, since that is really what our lives are made up of – bite-size snacks to relish every day.”
—Trina Paulus, author, Hope for the Flowers
“I so enjoyed it! Practical, down to earth, but filled with great wisdom.”
—Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, D.D., Archdiocese of L.A., San Fernando Pastoral Region
“I had known Robert as a very fine singer and wonderful entertainer for quite some time before I ‘discovered’ that he also has the gift for writing. Some people have it all! But seriously, Robert is truly onto something in these simple, beautiful and insightful vignettes on life. He has prompted in me the memory of a line from a song in Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Mass’ in which we are reminded that, “God is the simplest of all.” Well, in his book Robert takes us on a journey that is both simple and sublime. I simply loved it and suspect that you will too!”
—Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, Diocese of Fresno, California
“This is a fascinating, fast read book. In each interesting episode we discover again and again the joy of relishing the inner gifts we have as a way to peace, contentment and fulfillment, rather than entering the rat race of doing more and acquiring more things. Robert Hanley is a person comfortable in his own skin and he invites us to enjoy being who we are called to be. While most authors write from the perspective of experience, Hanley writes from the perspective of eternity, like he’s already in heaven calling us home. This is a must-read book!”
—Bishop Emeritus Robert Hermann, Archdiocese of St. Louis
“Everyone loves a short book with good stories, humor, and life lessons. Robert Hanley has given us one—while reminding us to look for meaning in everyday events, to be forgiving, and to be humble. A heartwarmingread!”
—Hal Urban, author of Life’s Greatest Lessons
“It’s rare that one comes across a book that is so beautifully written, the contents of which are so wonderful and inspiring, that you have the sensation of coasting down a gentle slope on a big old, fire engine red, Schwinn bicycle, passing as you go marvelous trees from which you are able to pluck the choicest fruits of wisdom and insight. This is a fantastic book! You will take it with you wherever you go because you will not be able to put it down. Get it for anyone and everyone on your gift list.”
—Rev. Lawrence Tucker, SOLT
“A beautiful book written with wisdom and love.”
—Cristina Carlino, Founder of philosophy
“Clearly Hanley Is a Man of Faith – and he reflects on moments where he could sense God working in his life. As an agnostic, I was slightly concerned that I might find the religious aspects of this book off-putting. However, it doesn't preach, it celebrates. The author speaks from a Christian perspective, but the message transcends denomination or religion, getting to the crux of what being human means: the journey to define one’s character and purpose. I’m glad serendipity lead me to cross paths with the author and gave me a chance to read this sweet and joyful book.”—G.R.
“Reboot Your Attitude to Life – This charming little book packs a wallop that helps wake us up to the commonplace miracles that surround us. In its series of brief stories, some hilarious and some touching, we’re reminded you don't need to climb a mountain to meet a guru with all the answers. All you need is what you already have. Open your eyes, slow down, pay attention, and surrender your anxious, worried, hurried, self-centered emotions to the person you truly are. Unleash your innate decency and connection to other people, and, in so doing, bring forth those same qualities from others. This is the best gift I can imagine for those who have it all but still want more, as well as for those who feel they have nothing. And, even better, it’s a fun read.”—P.W.
“This Is a Wonderful Book – The writing style is clear and engaging. The stories themselves are all uniquely interesting, and Mr. Hanley rather seamlessly weaves narrative with insight. I enjoyed each one. And for those of us not directly involved in the Hollywood entertainment industry, some of these stories offer a refreshing, behind-the-scenes look at the generosity that may exist within the show business world. It’s all in a handsome package, too, with beautiful illustrations. Highly recommended.”—C.M.
“All We Need Is in Front of Us – Such a refreshing look at the things we experience every day, and how they can have a profound impact on us if we only slow down enough to see them and let them sink in. While most of us do not have the experiences of an actor or comedian, we do have the breathtaking moments in our own lives that are just as remarkable. Mr. Hanley, thank you for reminding us all to embrace each moment and experience its overwhelming treasure!”—C.K.
“A Thoughtful, Thought Provoking Book – Robert Hanley has written a delightful book, which is fun to read, but makes you stop and think. After some stories, I thought, ‘Yes! I know just what he means.’ Others made me think that I had never looked at an event in the same way. Very provocative, but easy to enjoy.”—M.B.
“Keen Insights from Daily Life – Robert Hanley has a special gift for seeing the world in a unique way. He shares his insights in this lovely book. Each scenario has something valuable to offer in looking at life. I really enjoyed this book.”—D.R.
“A Book of Eternal Values – breaking into our daily life. It is a very well written collection of snippets which flow from the author’s grasp of the eternal glory that is guiding the choice of every word that is written. Thanks.”—A.C.
“This Is a Charming Book – of real stories that contain self-awareness and a great sense of humor. This is a lovely book with wonderful insightful stories. There is a deep quality of humanness. It is interesting to see Robert Hanley’s ability to be self-reflective as he moves about in a world of unpredictability. Most of all Robert is able to keep a sense of humor through all his encounters. The stories are charming and I applaud his ability to laugh at himself.”—David
“Great Gift Book! – I think this book was meant to be read and savored a little at a time, but I couldn't put it down. I liked the engaging (and sometimes funny) personal stories on universal themes. I appreciated the author respecting the reader's ability to draw their own conclusions. This is one of those books to pick up at the beginning or end of the day, or when you need a break. It’s kind of like sitting down with a friend. Nice-not preachy or too sweet.”—M.S.
“I Found This Book to Be a Simple but Incredibly Meaningful Read – It encouraged me to take in my surroundings more and find purpose in everyday objects and activities that I previously paid little to no attention to. His stories are relatable, but also unique which piqued my desire to find out what the lesson was from the next short story. I would definitely read more from this author. Well done Mr. Hanley!”—S
If purchased on this site, the publisher offers:
• Free shipping
• Author-signed copy of each book
Free shipping within the contiguous United States. Books are sent USPS Media Mail and usually take 3-8 days to arrive depending on your destination.
Orders are placed through PayPal using your credit card or checking account.
Do You See What I See? Discovering the Obvious is offered to the sightless for free. The book has been translated into braille (BRF). Simply use this direct link to Xavier Society for the Blind to receive the audio or braille version of the book for free. Please pass this on to anyone who can make use of this offer.
The book is also available on Amazon—Kindle, Audible and paperback (NOTE: Unfortunately, these Amazon books are not signed).
Contact us at any time with questions, ordering information, comments, or reviews.
Thank you for your interest!
For several decades, Robert has used his communication skills as a writer and speaker to educate, inspire and motivate thousands of people. He has been contacted by local and national media, schools and universities, civic organizations, and various places of worship to speak and, in some cases, conduct seminars on the subject of finding a better, more meaningful life.
For further information regarding booking Robert to speak or conduct a seminar, click here.