What happens when a successful businessman loses his job, his savings, his self-respect and his hope? And, on top of that, has a daughter in need of an operation? Well, if he happens to be the protagonist in The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews, he jumps back and forth through time (via a dream) and receives wisdom-filled advice from some of history’s greatest achievers.
“Not likely to happen”, you say? Well, you’re right. But don’t let that stop you from losing yourself in a couple of the most enjoyable hours you can ever invest. The bonus is that you’ll learn and re-learn some principles that truly can enhance both your personal and professional success.
The principles are familiar. They should be; they’ve been taught since forever. That’s because they work (which reminds me of Jim Rohn’s famous line, “Beware the person promising to teach you ‘new fundamentals”). 🙂
The magic, however, is not just in the principles themselves, but in how they are related. Andrews, a former stand-up comedian; now an internationally-known speaker and multi-bestselling author, is also a historian. Accordingly, the story’s protege, David Ponder, learn these lessons mainly from important historical figures at critical, difficult points in their own lives. They include a couple of past U.S. Presidents, a Biblical King, a Civil War hero and others. Combining actual events and exceptional storytelling along with the mentorship makes the reader feel a part of history.
I read this book when it was first published many years ago. Knowing that the author has had several other very well-received books out since then that I hadn’t yet read, it seemed like a good idea to re-familiarize myself with this one. Good idea. Somehow it was even more enjoyable this time around. Perhaps, this is because there were two decisions of which I especially needed to be reminded.
The actual principles/decisions are:
- The buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future.
- I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others.
- I am a person of action. I seize this moment. I choose now.
- I have a decided heart. My destiny is assured.
- Today I will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.
- I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself.
- I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith.
Nothing new? Sure. Then again, as the king in the story also told us in Koheles/Ecclesiastes, “there is nothing new under the sun.” But that shouldn’t stop anyone from giving themselves a huge gift, by reading…The Travelers Gift.
Note: Some of the Amazon reviews imply that the book has a Christian-based agenda. While the author is of the Christian Faith and makes some Biblical references, I did not infer any agenda being communicated other than to teach some very nice, success-based principles. If I were to use a “Twitter Hashtag” in response to those reviewers, it would be #GetOverIt 😉
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Well you know what? There’s nothing wrong with good Christian values, lols!!
I am definitely going to buy this book now!
Hi Amanda; Nothing wrong with that at all. Personally, I learn much from my friends who are of the Christian Faith. My point in writing that note was just to assure potential readers of the book who would be offended by any type of “religion-based” message that I didn’t feel it was an issue to be at all concerned about. Glad you are getting the book. I believe you’ll love it.
Nice post. I will have to go out and get the book. It has been my experience when someone is involved in something higher than themselves, it allows them to deal with adversity. Thanks!
Thank you, Michael. So glad you enjoyed the post. I have a feeling you’ll love Andy’s book!
Thanks for sharing your insights and recommendation about this book, Bob. I’d never heard of it, and now look forward to another 🙂 great read because of you!
Aww, thank you, Laura. Very kind of you to say. Enjoy the book!
Nice post. I read this book about 8 years ago and loved it. Time to read it again. It is one of my favorites next to your book Go-Giver.
Thank you, Tyler. That’s about when I read it, as well. So glad I re-read it. VERY powerful! And, thank you for your nice compliment! 🙂
Wow, how did you know I needed to be reminded right now of these seven principles/decisions? Thank you for the recommendation Bob. I especially like that it is a book you could consume in one sitting.
Thank you, Jary. I needed some definite reminding myself!
Thank you for the recommendation I will definitly put it on my book list. (Wink wink)
Thanks again my teacher!
Hi Shlomo. Thank you for your kind note. Enjoy the book!
“People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” ~ Samuel Johnson
Thank you for reminding us about ‘The Traveler’s Gift’.
I love this very poignant anecdote about Abraham Lincoln which clearly reveals that he was a ‘Professional’s Professional’ especially in ‘Dealing With Personal Pain’ in the line of Duty:
“He reached to his right, across the desk, and picked up his hat. It was the tall black stovepipe that had become as much a part of the man as any image David could remember. For a time, Lincoln let his fingers play softly across the large silk band. “This is a piece of cloth I carry with me in memory of Willie, my little boy. He died only a few months ago.” He took a deep breath and sighed. “Now my son Tad has taken to bed… deathly ill. And as you might imagine, Mrs. Lincoln did not agree that I should be here today.”
“Why did you come?”
“Duty. And the fact that I knew I could choose to pray for my son while wandering about the White House or pray as I continued in pursuit of the task that has been placed before me. I am quite confident the Almighty hears my cry no matter the location. Surely, His arms stretch from Washington to Gettysburg. I also believe the good Lord would rather me pray and work, not pray and wait.”
And I just love his book, ‘The Noticer’. No other book has dealt with ‘Perception’ in such a lucid manner.
Am going to be reading ‘The Final Summit’ shortly and am certainly looking forward to that!
Thanks and regards,
Hi Geetha. My pleasure. It was an honor to be able to share my thoughts on this excellent book. I agree with you regarding “The Noticer” as well. Just read it yesterday. And, I read “The Final Summit” today (just finished it about an hour ago). And, it’s also excellent! The depths of the author’s wisdom and his ability to tell a story are both quite phenomenal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
A thank you for a particular point in this post:
“The principles are familiar. They should be; they’ve been taught since forever. That’s because they work …” In our zeal to discover new things, we tend to forget that there are indeed “Eternal Verities” – Every guru, coach, mentor and inspirational author has always based his message on these – these are the seeds of our happiness and thus our success.
So they all say “the same thing” but as the great American philosopher Mae West said:
“It’s not what I say, it’s the way that I say it!”
Thank you for another “useful” post.
Thank you, Wayne. Great point. What you (and Mae!) said is right on the mark. And, Andy says it in a great way! Thanks for sharing with us!