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 😉