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The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions…
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The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success

by Andy Andrews

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It is a great premise for a novel: Man loses his job, is faced with bills, and realizes that he is worth more dead than alive. It's typical "It's a Wonderful Life", but more heavy-handed and with more characters than one measly angel named Clarence.

Then there is "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. A man dies and fails to see his worth, so he is met by five people whom his life changed in ways he never knew.

The Traveler's Gift does the reader a great disservice in that the end is sunshine and rainbows and that is simply not the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes your circumstance does matter. Sometimes forgiving others doesn't change the world. Sometimes persistence is a waste of time, especially if you are on the wrong track. This book is full of feel-good sound bites that do not translate seamlessly into real life.

For every Chamberlain, there were hundreds (if not thousands) of men who died in Gettysburg who felt just as passionate about being a man of action as he did. Anne Frank told him to choose to be happy. However, she forgot to tell him that anger which is just is also a tool that Jesus himself used for the benefit of the Kingdom of God. Abraham Lincoln told him to consider what others thought after Christopher Columbus told him not to pay attention to the opinions of others. And that was after King Solomon told him to surround himself with those whom he wanted to emulate.

And in the end, David Ponder catches a glimpse of himself as today's Joel Osteen or Tony Roberts, speaking feel-good fluff to an arena full of gullible people. I just had to roll my eyes when I read the part about David Ponder Boulevard. If you do all of these seven things, recommended by some of the most famous people in history, you will be successful. Believe that, and I've got some land to sell you.

Here are the seven that I would preach:
John D. Rockefeller: Work hard, rest often
Albert Einstein: Believe in something bigger than yourself
Nicola Tesla: Know that life is not about fair
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: Remember that "this, too shall pass"
Napoleon Bonaparte: Get that chip off your shoulder
Aristotle: Everything in moderation
Jesus of Nazareth: Strive to have very few regrets

While this book is a good story when it's not overly preachy or sunshine-and-rainbows, it is the latter so often that it is not recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
This was my first read by Andy Andrews and since that time he has been one of my favorites! This book is a great read and an inspiration to continue on the Christian journey. A must read! ( )
  GospelChick | Dec 14, 2014 |
A very rare "not worth finishing" tome. Sanctimonious and preachy, filled with the wisdom of white men (with one familiar female WWII refugee thrown in). Little parables are followed by personal declarations by the main character of the value of the lessons of the parables. ( )
1 vote KarenIrelandPhillips | Jan 19, 2014 |
Andy is fast becoming one of my favorite writers as his style is captivation; poignant and humorous; this story gives us an excellent "what-if" with several important people through out history and makes me want to read more about them as well ( )
  longhorndaniel | May 29, 2013 |
I am not a big fan of fiction, but I do remember principles told in a story. Andy Andrews shares the 7 decisions that determine personal success:

1 The buck stops here. I am responsible for my past and my future.
2 I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others.
3 I am a person of action. I seize this moment. I choose now.
4 I have a decided heart. My destiny is assured.
5 Today I choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.
6 I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. I will forgive myself.
7 I will persist without exception. I am a person of great faith. ( )
1 vote dannywahlquist | May 14, 2013 |
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Epigraph
In great deed, something abides.  On great fields, something stays.  Forms change and pass, bodies disappear but spirits linger to consecrate ground for the vision place of the soul.  And reverent men and women from afar and generations that know us not and that we know not of, shall come here to ponder and to dream and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls.
Dedication
Dedicated to Robert D. Smith, a champion--and the inspiration for this book.
First words
Headlights swept the house as the taxi turned out of the driveway.
Quotations
"As children, we were afraid of the dark. Now as adults, we are afraid of the light. We are afraid to step out. We are afraid to become more."
"Do not run from power. Gather it as you would the finest fruit. Power in the hands of a good person is like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day. It refreshes everyone with whome it comes in contact."
"if you worry about what other people think of you, then you will have more confidence in their opinion than you have in your own. Poor is the man whose future depends on the opinions and permission of others. Remember this, if you are afraid of criticism, you will die doing nothing."
"If a thousand people believe something foolish, it is still foolish!"
"David, we are all in situations of our own choosing. Our thinking creates a pathway to success or failure. By disclaiming responsibility, we crush the prospect of an incredible future that might have been ours."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0785273220, Paperback)

The Traveler’s Gift effectively combines self-help with fiction . . . sustaining momentum while simultaneously passing on instructions for positive thinking . . . an exemplary job at providing positive suggestions for overcoming life’s obstacles.” - Publishers Weekly

“Andy Andrews will challenge you to reach your fullest potential.” - John C. Maxwell, Founder, The INJOYTM Group

The Traveler’s Gift touched me in a way no other book ever has.” - Barbara Johnson, Humorist and Best-Selling Author

Only a few months ago, he was a successful executive. Now he’s a desperate man. But a divine adventure is about to unfold. Join David Ponder on an incredible journey that will help you discover the Seven Decisions for Success.

In the tradition of best-selling books by Og Mandino, The Traveler’s Gift is destined to become a classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"David Ponder is at a crossroads. Having lost his job and the will to live, he has been supernaturally selected to travel through time, gathering wisdom for future generations. Visits to historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, and Anne Frank yield the Seven Fundamentals for Success that will impact the entire world."--Publisher's description.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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