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The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success Paperback – May 2, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (May 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785273220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785273226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (942 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Christian author and motivational speaker Andrews effectively combines self-help with fiction to catch readers' interest, sustaining momentum while simultaneously passing on instructions for positive thinking. With his can-do style, Andrews (Storms of Perfection; Tales from Sawyerton Springs) tells the allegorical tragedy of one David Ponder, whose woes begin when he loses his job, his confidence and essentially his drive for living. After a succession of losses, Ponder is rendered unconscious after a car accident, and is magically transported into seven key points in history. At each stopping point, he is met by historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, King Solomon, Harry Truman and Christopher Columbus, each of whom imparts one of the seven key decisions that Andrews asserts are essential for personal success. After his travel through time, Ponder regains consciousness in a hospital and discovers he is holding letters given to him by the various heroes. The letters offer familiar self-help counsel: accept that the buck stops with you, become a wisdom seeker and a person of action, determine to be happy, open the day with a forgiving spirit, and persist despite all odds. Although Andrews writes from a Christian perspective, his overall message (trust that God is sovereign, but do your part in making your future happen) will ring true with a broad spectrum of inspirational readers. Some astute thinkers may be put off by the simplistic story line, but Andrews does an exemplary job at providing positive suggestions for overcoming life's obstacles.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Comedian and motivational speaker Andrews has crafted a breezy little fantasy reminiscent of It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Our hero, the likable David Ponder, finds himself at a midlife crossroads: events beyond his control have deprived him of money and his job. With a wife and daughter to support, he becomes seriously distraught and contemplates suicide. A car crash precipitates the imaginary (or is it real?) journey that forms the bulk of the book-individual visits with seven historical notables. Each offers our titular "traveler" gifts in the form of written "Decisions for Success," which he then absorbs. For example, Anne Frank's "gift" vividly demonstrates that happiness is a choice. At book's end, there is a strong element of faith, but Andrews uses a light touch. Readable and less sentimental than Richard Paul Evans's The Christmas Box, this will find a ready audience.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

What could this one man possibly have to say that is important enough for the Commander of the Allied Air Forces to ask his help? Why did every senior leader the United States Air Force has in Europe and the Middle East recently assemble in one room at one time to hear him speak?

Who is this man, that he would walk the golf course with Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez as she played her last tournament as a touring professional? Why was he invited to spend an afternoon with General Norman Schwarzkopf and his son, who was about to depart for college? What would he be asked to discuss with a ninety-one-year-old Bob Hope alone by the swimming pool in the entertainer's back yard?

Hailed by a New York Times writer as a 'modern-day Will Rogers who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America,' Andy Andrews is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been received at the White House and has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents.

Andrews'best-selling book, The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success, is an international sensation, remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for four and a half months and being translated into nearly twenty languages. Featured on ABC's Good Morning America as a book-of-the-month selection, The Traveler's Gift is the stunning story of one man's search for meaning and success in life by traveling back into time and conversing with seven historic individuals. Its message of hope, faith, and perseverance is transforming thousands of lives worldwide every day, spawning a teen version, The Young Traveler's Gift; The Traveler's Gift Journal; a home study audio program, Timeless Wisdom from the Traveler; and life-study curriculum's in high schools, mental-health organizations, and prisons nationwide.

Andrews lived a relatively normal life until the age of nineteen, when both his parents died, his mother from cancer, his father in an automobile accident. 'I took a bad situation and made it much worse,' Andrews says with a rueful smile, referring to choices he made during this tragic period of his life. Within a span of several years, the young man found himself literally homeless (before that was even a word!' he says), sleeping occasionally under a pier on the gulf coast or in someone's garage.

It was at that time when Andrews asked the question that would focus his search for what would ultimately affect millions of people. The question? 'Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?' To find the answer, he first went to the library. There, over time, he read more than two hundred biographies of great men and women. How did they become the people they were? he wondered. Were they simply born this way? Or were there decisions made at critical junctures in their lives that led to such success? The young Andrews finally determined that there were seven characteristics that each person had in common. 'What will happen,' he mused, 'if I study these seven common denominators and harness them in my own life?

The rest is history. 'The Seven Decisions,' as he calls them, were the engines used to carry Andrews' life in a different direction. And twenty-plus years later, these same Seven Decisions became the outline around which he built the story of The Traveler's Gift and the basis of his PBS Special.

- Andy's Latest Work -

Since the success of The Traveler's Gift and Mastering the Seven Decisions, Andrews has released an array of well-received literature, including the New York Times bestseller The Noticer. Offering a fresh and insightful perspective on how people can change their view of the world, and their place within it, The Noticer has succeeded tremendously in furthering Andrews' prevailing message of finding hope in the face of adversity. Based on the remarkable true story of Andrews' own life, the book teaches its readers that, "Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective."

Released in the same year, Return to Sawyerton Springs features Andrews' trademark wit and humor as he weaves tales around an enchanting town that can be found in the hearts of those who long to take a deep breath, relax, and find time for the humor and meaning in everyday life. "I dare you to read the first chapter aloud to a friend and not fall on the floor laughing," said Mark Victor Hansen, creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. By reflecting on the seemingly ordinary aspects of everyday life, Andrews reveals them for what they truly are--extraordinary aspects of something much greater.

Released in 2010, The Heart Mender has created a stir in literary circles. Elegantly blending a riveting story, extensive research, and a powerful message of hope, the novel is a true adventure set against the warm waters and white sand of the America's Gulf of Mexico during World War II. Lieutenant Josef Landermann is a German U-Boat officer betrayed and left for dead. When he washes ashore in a sleepy coastal town, he looks to a young war widow for survival. Robert Silvers, executive publisher of The Saturday Evening Post calls The Heart Mender an "unforgettable experience."

2010 also saw the release of two more books, The Butterfly Effect, a book exploring a scientific theory based on physics within the context of our own lives, and The Boy Who Changed the World, Andrews' first children's book. The Butterfly Effect shows readers that every action, however big or small, matters. Andrews accomplishes this by introducing historical examples that illustrate how one person can set off a spark that, in turn, ignites the lives of unforeseen others.

The Boy Who Changed the World illustrates this same principle to children, enabling them to see how they can have a meaningful impact on the world around them. It is full of vibrant, full-page illustrations by Philip Hurst and chronicles the true story of the young Norman Borlaug--the boy who grew up to change the world. Children will be delighted by the illustrations and excited by the story as they learn that they too can change the world, just like Norman.

On April 12, 2011, The Final Summit, the long-awaited follow-up to The Traveler's Gift, was released. The Final Summit finds David Ponder, the hero of The Traveler's Gift, at a completely different time in his life. Now older--and with the wisdom of the Seven Decisions he discovered in The Traveler's Gift--David Ponder and a cast of historic figures have been charged with the task of discovering the one principle that will save all of humanity from dire consequences. And the answer they seek is only two words.

Andrews' latest book and New York Times Bestseller, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, arose from a question Andrews asked himself several years ago: Where do we being to find common ground in regard to what we want (or don't want) for the future of America? From the question came a challenge: Is it possible to write something that doesn't use the words Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, yet conveys a message with which everyone could agree? Can it be written in a concise fashion allowing anyone to read it, clearly understand the message, and be empowered in less than fifteen minutes? How Do You Kill 11 Million People? is his answer to those questions.

Driven by his own personal moving story, Andy Andrews communicates to his audience through the heart--an uncommon style in today's media-driven world. Arguably, there is no single person on the planet better at weaving subtle yet life-changing lessons into riveting tales of adventure and intrigue--both on paper and on stage.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#71 in Books > Self-Help
#71 in Books > Self-Help

Customer Reviews

What an enjoyable and easy book to read.
Becky Graham
It really makes you think and want to make true decisions to better your life and your thoughts.
Emma L. Bedford
This is the third copy of this book for me and as gifts to my friends.
Charles P. Gennaro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

204 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E Ellis on September 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Travelers Gift" is a little treasury of wisdom for living an unconventional life in a conventional world. In the spirit of Og Mandino, Andy Andrews outlines seven principles for successful living:

1. The Buck Stops Here - Taking personal responsiblity

2. Seek Wisdom - Search for understanding and discernment

3. Be a Person of Action - Being a courageous leader

4. Have a Decided Heart - Overcoming double-mindedness

5. Choose Happiness - Possessing a grateful spirit

6. Forgive others - The power of grace and mercy

7. Persist - Perservering with faith until the end

Using historical personalities (Lincoln, Anne Frank, Truman) and events (Civil War, Holocaust, World War II), Andrews draws powerful lessons from the past to inspire today's reader. This is not a particularly "Christian" book. Believers and non-believers alike will see the wisdom and usefulness of the seven decisions and their related stories. While there is an undertone of faith, the book is not certainly not a "religious" book in the traditional sense.

If you liked the Og Mandino collection, you'll really love this. An inspirational book with some meat to it. Hope you enjoy it!
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
Andy Andrews absolutely practices what he preaches. His little 'novel' cum self-help book has become widely popular since its introduction to the mass market in 2002. And there is a reason why. Aside from the personal biographical data that the author lived as a street person for a period in his life before he took charge and made changes in his philosophy that led to his rather startling success as a comedian, an advisor, an inspirational speaker and an author, Andrews knows how to capture the attention of his audience, lead them through his concepts of the Seven Decisions the Determine Personal Success in the guise of a novel, and follows up his service to mankind with variations of his original platform. Not only is Andy Andrews an inspirational writer, but he is also a successful marketer!

The original book THE TRAVELER'S BOOK is so well known that repeating a summary is unnecessary. Very succinctly, David Ponder is at the end of his rope financially, emotionally, and physically when he happens to have an auto accident, an event which triggers a time travel where he meets and gathers advice from King Solomon, Harry Truman, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus, and the angel Gabriel, each of whom delivers him a message of how to enhance life. Those seven decisions are 1)The buck stops here: Adversity is preparation for greatness, 2) I will seek wisdom: I will choose my friends with care, 3) I am a person of action: I can make a decision and I can make it now, 4) I have a decided heart: My destiny is assured, 5) Today I will choose to be happy; I am the possessor of a grateful heart, 6) I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit: I will forgive myself, and 7) I will persist without exception: I will find way where there is no way.
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138 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on November 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Traveler's Gift is a book of success principles told as a parable. It has several points in common with many other books in the self-help genre. On the plus side, if you study and follow the principles, you will probably benefit. On the downside, it is not especially original and it's not a book you would read for its literary qualities. This book also has a certain spiritual and political slant that will appeal to many readers but will alienate others. The hero of the story is David Ponder, a man down on his luck who, after an accident, finds himself hurled through history meeting many famous (and a couple of not so famous) leaders and other heroic figures. This includes two American presidents, Lincoln and Truman, Christopher Columbus, Ann Frank and King Solomon. The spiritual slant is definitely Judeo-Christian, with the archangel Gabriel even making an appearance. I suppose this aspect of the book can be appreciated as a parable even for those who don't share the author's religious perspective. The political slant I found a bit more problematic. Anyone who has qualms about the conventional American interpretation of historical events such as the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan, the noble motives of Christopher Columbus or the pure idealism of Lincoln and the Union during the Civil War might be distracted from the self-help aspect of the book and question some of the author's assumptions and historical sources. It may be that he is aiming his message at a very specific type of reader and is not concerned with such possible objections. This bias, no doubt, is reflected in the success principles themselves, which are mostly very macho and gung-ho (one notable exception is the section on forgiveness), with many military analogies .Read more ›
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Shelli Hellinghausen on November 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Andy Andrews has written a thought-provoking book that will challenge you to be your best. The Traveler's Gift is written in story form which makes it fun to read and hard to put down. The incredible journey of the main character, David Ponder, is gripping and enlightening. The seven decisions revealed in his journey are timeless and applicable to all areas of our life. I loved this book because it encouraged me to live up to my fullest potential. I would encourage you to read this book and give it to everyone you care about.
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