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National Bestseller—New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly What makes the difference between failure and success?  The Traveler’s Gift offers a modern day parable of one man’s choices—and the attitudes that make the difference between failure and success. Forty-six-year-old David Ponder feels like a total failure. Once a high-flying executive in a National Bestseller—New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly What makes the difference between failure and success?  The Traveler’s Gift offers a modern day parable of one man’s choices—and the attitudes that make the difference between failure and success. Forty-six-year-old David Ponder feels like a total failure. Once a high-flying executive in a Fortune 500 company, he now works a part-time, minimum wage job and struggles to support his family. Then, an even greater crisis hits: his daughter becomes ill, and he can’t afford to get her the medical helps she needs. When his car skids on an icy road, he wonders if he even cares to survive the crash. But an extraordinary experience awaits David Ponder. He find himself traveling back in time, meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives—from Abraham Lincoln to Anne Frank. By the time his journey is over, he has received seven secrets for success—and a second chance.


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National Bestseller—New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly What makes the difference between failure and success?  The Traveler’s Gift offers a modern day parable of one man’s choices—and the attitudes that make the difference between failure and success. Forty-six-year-old David Ponder feels like a total failure. Once a high-flying executive in a National Bestseller—New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly What makes the difference between failure and success?  The Traveler’s Gift offers a modern day parable of one man’s choices—and the attitudes that make the difference between failure and success. Forty-six-year-old David Ponder feels like a total failure. Once a high-flying executive in a Fortune 500 company, he now works a part-time, minimum wage job and struggles to support his family. Then, an even greater crisis hits: his daughter becomes ill, and he can’t afford to get her the medical helps she needs. When his car skids on an icy road, he wonders if he even cares to survive the crash. But an extraordinary experience awaits David Ponder. He find himself traveling back in time, meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives—from Abraham Lincoln to Anne Frank. By the time his journey is over, he has received seven secrets for success—and a second chance.

30 review for The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Wood

    I try not to give out one star ratings lightly. I only give them to what I think are the worst books, the books in which I can say afterwards that they were a waste of my precious time and I wish I had those moments of life back. This book I feel is worth that one star rating. This is a pop psychology self help book with a religious undertone. As is popular with self help material, the author broke his work into a list. Surprisingly, he did not create an acronym to describe the ideas as well. For I try not to give out one star ratings lightly. I only give them to what I think are the worst books, the books in which I can say afterwards that they were a waste of my precious time and I wish I had those moments of life back. This book I feel is worth that one star rating. This is a pop psychology self help book with a religious undertone. As is popular with self help material, the author broke his work into a list. Surprisingly, he did not create an acronym to describe the ideas as well. For each aspect to make yourself into a better you, he had some random shlub timetravel to meet various famous people just as they are about to conduct something which had made them famous. Now I am not going to dispute the author's history. Yes, Christopher Columbus sailed west in 1492. Yes, Truman ordered the bomb to be dropped in 1945. I do dispute the authors interpretations as to why many of these decisions were made. For example, he should have done more research on Copernicus and his scientific work as well as ancient Greek knowledge that was not lost during the middle ages before he wrote the part with Columbus. But while the historical aspect of the book played a major roll, it was merely a prop for the author to push his seven concepts, each of which was written out by the historical figures in a rambling and repetitive way that made it difficult for me not to nod off during those parts of the book. I would like to also point out that one of his points he pushed is to associate yourself with quality people. He also pushed religion throughout the book. So it is too bad Jesus did not know about these seven rules to a successful life. After all, he hung out with lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes rather than shun them because of their low status. Now I am off to join the Flat Earth Society. I will be determined to stick to my decision because I am too ignorant to know what is wrong. I will be persistent on joining them. I will do it today so I will not procrastinate. I will smile and be happy while I do it. And I will live with the consequences of my decision because the buck stops here.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

    I gave this book more than 1 star because I think the seven decisions presented in the book are valid concepts to help your life go more smoothly. I mean choosing to be happy, to accept responsibility for your decisions, to forgive others, etc, etc, etc. - it's all good advice, that when correctly applied could certainly help you become more successful. That being said, I canNOT believe how self-important this author is! The last guide he meets with tells the main character, "You have been given I gave this book more than 1 star because I think the seven decisions presented in the book are valid concepts to help your life go more smoothly. I mean choosing to be happy, to accept responsibility for your decisions, to forgive others, etc, etc, etc. - it's all good advice, that when correctly applied could certainly help you become more successful. That being said, I canNOT believe how self-important this author is! The last guide he meets with tells the main character, "You have been given a gift that has the power to change your civilization," and, "Our Creator has granted you the extraordinary power of the wisdom contained in the Seven Decisions." Really? These particular tips will change all of civilization? Wow; I've heard of some authors who said their books could change mankind, but I've never read that belief printed so blatantly in their own creations. And I'm pretty sure I've heard all the advice from better writers at some time or another, so presented here, they didn't strike me with their "extraordinary" import. And that's another problem: this book is not very well-written. It's a little choppy and rreally contrived. So, my recommendation is: read the tips (a list is handily supplied on p. 204 or even in other reviews), but as for the rest; take it or leave it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Silva

    Good afternoon readers! This week I'm going a little off the beaten path. As most of you know, I almost always write about a mystery in my blog posts. But this week's book was a little different, and it might be something of interest to you if you need a little pick-me-up in your life. :-) The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews is a wonderful fiction book about a forty-something-year-old man named David Ponder who's a bit down-and-out on his luck. He lost his job, his daughter needs her tonsils out, Good afternoon readers! This week I'm going a little off the beaten path. As most of you know, I almost always write about a mystery in my blog posts. But this week's book was a little different, and it might be something of interest to you if you need a little pick-me-up in your life. :-) The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews is a wonderful fiction book about a forty-something-year-old man named David Ponder who's a bit down-and-out on his luck. He lost his job, his daughter needs her tonsils out, the mortgage is behind, and things just kinda s*ck in general. So just as he's ready to give up on life (think It's A Wonderful Life) he's given an amazing opportunity to visit some key people in history in order to learn a lesson from each of them. In order of the people he meets, they are as follows: Harry Truman ~ David learns "The buck stops here" King Soloman ~ David learns "I will seek wisdom" Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain ~ David learns "I am a person of action" Christopher Columbus ~ David learns "I have a decided heart" Anne Frank ~ David learns "Today I will choose to be happy" Abraham Lincoln ~ David learns "I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit" The Angel Gabriel ~ David learns "I will persist without exception" Does it go without saying that David's life undergoes a dramatic turn-around after having the amazing experience of meeting seven such influential people in history? Probably. So if you personally ever need a boost to your self-esteem--or maybe just a little kick in the pants--then this book is a really motivational read. It makes you realize how lucky we all are to have this shot at life and that we really are the driver's of our own destiny. So, like I wrote earlier--this book was not my "typical" read, but sometimes it's nice to try something new. And if you give this story a chance, I promise you'll shut it with a smile on your face and some determination in your heart. 'Til next week, happy reading my friends!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    Nothing groundbreaking, no new news here. Boring, hokey, overwrought...seven steps most of us have learned by our early teens. Yes, there are historical inaccuracies, but that is the least of this books' problems. The set up for the story reads as if a high school English teacher asked their students to write the saddest thing they could ever think of, and then make it sadder, pile on the schmaltz. The historic characters are so free from fault, it is difficult to draw inspiration from them. Per Nothing groundbreaking, no new news here. Boring, hokey, overwrought...seven steps most of us have learned by our early teens. Yes, there are historical inaccuracies, but that is the least of this books' problems. The set up for the story reads as if a high school English teacher asked their students to write the saddest thing they could ever think of, and then make it sadder, pile on the schmaltz. The historic characters are so free from fault, it is difficult to draw inspiration from them. Personally, I find that knowing the great personas from our past were actually flawed individuals who were just doing the best they could in their particular circumstances much more attainable role models than this drivel. Spoiler! In the end the main character reaches the pinnacle of popularity and wealth, and it seems that the author deems that the ultimate goal. How is anyone else supposed to live up to that? It would have been nice to see him be successful as an average Joe, holding down a good job, caring for his family, taking pleasure in the little things...but no, he must become Jeff Bezos and Jesus rolled into one. Add an eighth step. Appreciate what you have. Maybe a ninth, too. Skip this book and do something more productive with your time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris Vonada

    The first Andy Andrews book that I picked up was The Traveler’s Gift, and it was as if God himself handed it to me, one of those “perfect books at just the perfect time.” It’ s funny how things unfold according to God’s plan. Those moments of “I really don’t understand why this is happening to me,” unfold into “EUREKA!!! – Thank you Lord!!!” – I’ve learned to take it all in stride and keep living happily in the moment, learning from the past but not holding onto it, and embracing every moment of The first Andy Andrews book that I picked up was The Traveler’s Gift, and it was as if God himself handed it to me, one of those “perfect books at just the perfect time.” It’ s funny how things unfold according to God’s plan. Those moments of “I really don’t understand why this is happening to me,” unfold into “EUREKA!!! – Thank you Lord!!!” – I’ve learned to take it all in stride and keep living happily in the moment, learning from the past but not holding onto it, and embracing every moment of this awesome time here on the planet Earth. The Traveler’s Gift is about the 7 decisions that determine personal success but written in a time traveler’s perspective. The time-traveler guy, David Ponder, goes from being at the top to desperation, like in a snap, and is introduced to THE 7 decisions that can turn a life around, no matter how impossible the situation may seem. Along the way our friend gets to meet and receives wisdom from Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, Anne Frank and Harry Truman. I loved this book because Andy takes a serious subject and makes it entertaining. Since reading The Traveler’s Gift, I’ve been making my way through Andy’s collection, steadily enjoying them one-by-one. Thank you God for working through David Keough to introduce me to Andy Andrews, I’m forever grateful!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andy Anderson

    7 Decisions that Determine Personal Success 1. The buck stops here. President Truman. Forget the past and quit blaming it on yourself or someone. You are responsible from this day forward. 2. Seek wisdom. King Solomon. Be with wise people and those who are searching for truth. Not just those who are on a journey. 3. Be a person of action. Joshua Chamberlain-Civil War-20th Maine Division. Do something. Don't be paralyzed by fear. Make decisions. 4. Have a decided heart. Christopher Columbus. Decide 7 Decisions that Determine Personal Success 1. The buck stops here. President Truman. Forget the past and quit blaming it on yourself or someone. You are responsible from this day forward. 2. Seek wisdom. King Solomon. Be with wise people and those who are searching for truth. Not just those who are on a journey. 3. Be a person of action. Joshua Chamberlain-Civil War-20th Maine Division. Do something. Don't be paralyzed by fear. Make decisions. 4. Have a decided heart. Christopher Columbus. Decide to have passion about your vision for the future. Don't worry about what others say. Poor is the man who believes what people say about him. 5. Choose to be happy. Anne Frank-Jew during WW2. It's a choice. Be grateful. Choose today to be happy. It's contagious. 6. Have a forgiving spirit. Abe Lincoln at Gettysburg. Forgiveness must be given away. Give up bitterness. Forgive yourself and those who did not ask for forgiveness. 7. Persist without exception. Gabriel in the room of unanswered prayers. Keep going despite. Don't worry about the pain of the process, picture the end results. Persist, work hard, expect. Have faith....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peregrine 12

    This book was one of the worst things in print I've ever seen. Three problems: 1. Main character is 2-D. False and unbelievable. Just a prop to get us into the author's story. 2. Author references history - but his facts are WRONG. (Specifically: Truman's apparent reluctance to drop the H-bomb on Japan; history shows that not only did he do it willingly, but he refused to NOT do it when Japan tried to surrender! This incident in the story supports the nice, convenient view that every American lead This book was one of the worst things in print I've ever seen. Three problems: 1. Main character is 2-D. False and unbelievable. Just a prop to get us into the author's story. 2. Author references history - but his facts are WRONG. (Specifically: Truman's apparent reluctance to drop the H-bomb on Japan; history shows that not only did he do it willingly, but he refused to NOT do it when Japan tried to surrender! This incident in the story supports the nice, convenient view that every American leader is always the reluctant hero.) 3. I personally didn't appreciate the Christian-Conservative moral overtones at the end. (Seriously - do we need to describe Saddam Hussein as on the same level as Hitler? Does the author think we're completely stupid, with no sense of history? Well, apparently, he does.) What's good: it was fun to think about meeting the historical figures presented in this book. The author's depictions of these encounters were creative and engaging.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Smith

    At a recent business conference I heard Andy speak. He was surprisingly funny, but had some very poignant insights into business and life. I decided to get some of his books after hearing him speak because I had learned so many things from him. This book was great. It sucked me in right from the start. Profiling a man who lost everything he'd put into a career, his low income and low self esteem spill over into his home life and begin affecting his marriage and relationship with his daughter. Bro At a recent business conference I heard Andy speak. He was surprisingly funny, but had some very poignant insights into business and life. I decided to get some of his books after hearing him speak because I had learned so many things from him. This book was great. It sucked me in right from the start. Profiling a man who lost everything he'd put into a career, his low income and low self esteem spill over into his home life and begin affecting his marriage and relationship with his daughter. Broken in every sense of the word, he finds himself embarking on a sudden and unexpected journey that teaches him the very powerful life lessons, or more specifically, the seven decisions he will need to make to have success in this life and turn EVERYTHING around. Without wanting to give everything away, there are inspirational heroes who share with him the very decisions he will need to make. A parable, of sorts, that any reader could relate to, and adopt these seven decisions for ourselves. Each "decision" has a definite code for living at the end of the chapters, an easy to read sum up of the attitude or philosophy required to adopt this decision. The heroes profiled are inspirational, and I had chills many times as I read along. I enjoyed this book very much. Early in the book, there is a suggestion to read the "decisions" twice daily to adopt them into the heart, commit them to memory, and to be in a position to share them with others. I will definitely be adding them to my daily routine of affirmations and review of my goals because they are such powerful, life changing statements.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Farnoosh Brock

    Amazingly compelling, captivating and inspiring! I received this book as a gift from Robert D. Smith, who is the man the book is dedicated to as well as a very close friend of the author. I was going to skim it real quick and then give it to a friend who I knew would enjoy it more but wait, I couldn't. I was in the middle of 4 other books - I LOVE to read! _ and I had to put them down and even stop doing some of my projects to devour this book. Well-done Andy Andrews!! The story of David is so com Amazingly compelling, captivating and inspiring! I received this book as a gift from Robert D. Smith, who is the man the book is dedicated to as well as a very close friend of the author. I was going to skim it real quick and then give it to a friend who I knew would enjoy it more but wait, I couldn't. I was in the middle of 4 other books - I LOVE to read! _ and I had to put them down and even stop doing some of my projects to devour this book. Well-done Andy Andrews!! The story of David is so compelling. Andrews has a pretty nice writing style too, and I love the creativity here, meeting the figures from history and learning from their wisdom, but in a way that was truly inspiring. I blog in the self-development and motivational space and I get a lot of readers that just think this "inspiration" and "positive thinking" 'stuff' is not for them.... and they are simply wrong. They CHOOSE to believe they have no power, no will, no choice, and I love the no-nonsense way that Andrews clears that up! I took out a highlighter and marked several several passages, and my favorite was probably the episode with little Anne Frank. I know I just don't have the heart to read her diary but I so badly want to. How very touching!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Shockingly amazing and easy to read! This book is filled with so much wisdom. It really makes you think about your decisions and inspires you to make a stand. Stand up for yourself and take control of your destiny. My favorite statement "Until you have accomplished what you were put on this earth to do, you will not -- you cannot-- be harmed!" God has a plan and purpose for us. It is up to us to decide to embrace our calling or continue running from it while encountering all the obstacles on our Shockingly amazing and easy to read! This book is filled with so much wisdom. It really makes you think about your decisions and inspires you to make a stand. Stand up for yourself and take control of your destiny. My favorite statement "Until you have accomplished what you were put on this earth to do, you will not -- you cannot-- be harmed!" God has a plan and purpose for us. It is up to us to decide to embrace our calling or continue running from it while encountering all the obstacles on our own without the road map. I loved how the author mixed history and biblical information to prove his points. Very moving. Great gift item for those at a crossroad or just struggling to make a choice to be positive.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Davis

    This would make a great gift book for students. It incorporates history and some simple lessons. For those who want high-minded ideas, you might think this book is beneath you. I like down to earth people like Andy Andrews - who was at one point homeless. It is put in simple terms even a middle school child could understand. So, if you're someone who likes history and simple language or works with children, this is a perfect book for you. It is a very fast read and I recommend the companion book This would make a great gift book for students. It incorporates history and some simple lessons. For those who want high-minded ideas, you might think this book is beneath you. I like down to earth people like Andy Andrews - who was at one point homeless. It is put in simple terms even a middle school child could understand. So, if you're someone who likes history and simple language or works with children, this is a perfect book for you. It is a very fast read and I recommend the companion book to this if you have a class or want to work through the thoughts yourself. Read a chapter and then work the exercises in the companion book. It is an excellent book. You can get a good deal and get it autographed from the author's website.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    David Ponders was a successful hard working husband and father. He loved his bright happy life, Until he lost his job. He had slowly climbed to the top and once he got there, he was tossed right back down. Soon money was gone. To make matters worse, his precious daughter had become sick. He soon gets fired from a part time job at a hardware store. When life became almost unbearable something amazing happened. David finds himself driving down a highway at dangerous speed. He finds himself contem David Ponders was a successful hard working husband and father. He loved his bright happy life, Until he lost his job. He had slowly climbed to the top and once he got there, he was tossed right back down. Soon money was gone. To make matters worse, his precious daughter had become sick. He soon gets fired from a part time job at a hardware store. When life became almost unbearable something amazing happened. David finds himself driving down a highway at dangerous speed. He finds himself contemplating taking his own life. When his car suddenly hits ice. He starts to spin uncontrollably, then he becomes knocked out and finds him self back in time with Harry Truman. There he learns that he will travel to 7 places to meet 7 people each of whom will give him one of the 7 Decisions for Success. I don't usually like books like this, But I loved it! I was just looking for some inspiration in my life. I felt like David was easy to relate to. He was damaged and hurt, and looking for help wherever he could find it. I think a lot of people in this world are going through the same thing. The book was really helpful and awesome. Defiantly worth reading.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Second book I read by Andy Andrews. Not as good as Lost Choice but a worthy effort. In this book the traveler meets 7 historic people and is given wisdom and counsel from them: 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 will choose to be happy. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit. 6. I will greet th Second book I read by Andy Andrews. Not as good as Lost Choice but a worthy effort. In this book the traveler meets 7 historic people and is given wisdom and counsel from them: 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 will 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.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Swann

    I loved this book. I gave it several people to read because the truths really are timeless. I wish that this book had been out thirty years ago--it might have helped someone I know who really needed to understand the simple lessons hidden in the pages. Love the concept of the warehouse of humanity's lost dreams. I have wondered for a long time if God shows us at the end of our lives "what could have been." I also love the way we get to see David Ponder's future before the book ends. Extremely well I loved this book. I gave it several people to read because the truths really are timeless. I wish that this book had been out thirty years ago--it might have helped someone I know who really needed to understand the simple lessons hidden in the pages. Love the concept of the warehouse of humanity's lost dreams. I have wondered for a long time if God shows us at the end of our lives "what could have been." I also love the way we get to see David Ponder's future before the book ends. Extremely well done.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    I have read this twice and loved it both times. Would highly recommend it. A quick,easy read that is both uplifting and entertaining.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Laura Scheunemann

    Are you a poor, miserable, lazy, slob? Then CHOOSE not to be. There. Now you’ve read the book, too. (Oops, sorry. I’m going to forgive myself for that harsh comment so I don’t spend eternity “chained to the Mirror of Regret.”) Perhaps it would have been more persuasive if written without the pretense of being a fictional novel and simply left in the category of “self-help.” Andy Andrews could have used the historical figures as compelling examples just as effectively and probably with more grace Are you a poor, miserable, lazy, slob? Then CHOOSE not to be. There. Now you’ve read the book, too. (Oops, sorry. I’m going to forgive myself for that harsh comment so I don’t spend eternity “chained to the Mirror of Regret.”) Perhaps it would have been more persuasive if written without the pretense of being a fictional novel and simply left in the category of “self-help.” Andy Andrews could have used the historical figures as compelling examples just as effectively and probably with more grace writing a nonfiction piece. I have a feeling he’s a better speaker than he is a fiction writer and that he would have done better writing in his “natural” voice. Don’t get me wrong, the 7 principals themselves are fine. Nobody can deny that being an active participant in your own life is powerful or that surrounding yourself with positive vs. negative influences is a good thing. However, the message of the book got to be a little repetitive towards the end and started to feel like I was watching a late night evangelical program on TV (more about selling something and less about Truth). I guess my biggest concern with these 7 rules is that they can quickly become something glib, self-serving, over-simplified … even dangerous. Something other people use as a way to justify their greed and as an excuse to stop having compassion for others. (Also: Christopher Columbus, really? Andy couldn’t find ANY other example of a person with passion or conviction in all of history?).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave Hanna

    Andy Andrews, described on the book jacket as "a comedian, author, speaker, entertainer, television celebrity, and...serious fisherman," offers up this piece of fantasy historical fiction in which the protagonist, David Ponder, is about to lose everything he values because of a business gone bad. In an It's a Wonderful Life twist, he seeks to end his life, thinking that his family would be better off without him by collecting his insurance money. Rather than not being born, however, Ponder is tr Andy Andrews, described on the book jacket as "a comedian, author, speaker, entertainer, television celebrity, and...serious fisherman," offers up this piece of fantasy historical fiction in which the protagonist, David Ponder, is about to lose everything he values because of a business gone bad. In an It's a Wonderful Life twist, he seeks to end his life, thinking that his family would be better off without him by collecting his insurance money. Rather than not being born, however, Ponder is transported through time, where he "meets," in order, Harry Truman, Solomon, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, and the archangel Gabriel. Each one gives him a "decision for success" which he is to use when he recovers from his car accident. What Andrews attempts to do, in a rather hokey but easy-to-read way, is present to his readers a seven-step plan for taking control of their lives. Slightly spiritual without getting preachy, the book's seven tips do make sense, even if Andrews' method of presenting them is a bit far-fetched. (His historical research, however, especially on Chamberlain, is very good.) But perhaps this is what some people need in this era of self-help overload--a little escapism to help them realize that their lives are something that can be managed, and they don't need $200-an-hour help to do it. The simplest ways are often the best, if not the easiest, ways to do things.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marliss Bombardier

    If you like feel-good pop psychology plus bad theology then you will like this book. My antenna went up when I saw the endorsement by Robert Schuller. The first decision was okay--every one needs to take responsibility. But the second, seek wisdom, was where I got off. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that is not Andrew's premise by a long shot. But the time Andrews got to Anne Frank's decision to be happy and to laugh for seven seconds the first thing each morning, I started If you like feel-good pop psychology plus bad theology then you will like this book. My antenna went up when I saw the endorsement by Robert Schuller. The first decision was okay--every one needs to take responsibility. But the second, seek wisdom, was where I got off. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that is not Andrew's premise by a long shot. But the time Andrews got to Anne Frank's decision to be happy and to laugh for seven seconds the first thing each morning, I started skipping pages and just reading here and there. I am sure that Andy Andrews is a great motivational speaker, and he tells a good story. But at least a couple of his books--"The Lost Choice" is another one--are just motivational talks in book form, complete with the admonishment to read the affirmations over and over.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not my typical read. Neither bad nor great. So either a strong 2 or a weak 3 star.

  20. 4 out of 5

    SARAH

    That's right. I gave it 0 stars. I enjoy reading a lot of books and honestly don't have a very high standard. Even if a book is unintelligent I can still enjoy a good page turning plot. If the plot is slow I can still relish in thought provoking ideas and thematic exploration. This book has neither a compelling plot or an intelligent premise. The plot is terrifyingly laughable especially given that the author uses it to wallow in self-aggrandizement. Likewise, the themes are stagnant and the wri That's right. I gave it 0 stars. I enjoy reading a lot of books and honestly don't have a very high standard. Even if a book is unintelligent I can still enjoy a good page turning plot. If the plot is slow I can still relish in thought provoking ideas and thematic exploration. This book has neither a compelling plot or an intelligent premise. The plot is terrifyingly laughable especially given that the author uses it to wallow in self-aggrandizement. Likewise, the themes are stagnant and the writing is awful. This book is about a floundering man who is chosen by a God figure to learn some lessons and then returns to reality/earth to save mankind by imparting (as a motivational speaker) all the wisdom he learned. Stadiums full of people reverence him. Parks and hospitals are named after him and his family. Of course, he is fabulously wealthy. The mere mention of his name brings people to tears and testimonials. Now having said that, it is important to note that the author is a motivational speaker. The author turned himself into a hero. He makes himself God's gift to mankind...literally! This book makes me sad for all the wrong reasons. Sure, you can say: "but what does that matter compared to all that you learn from the seven gifts". Well, there are certainly some nice ideas. Not new ideas, just nice ideas. These nice ideas are truly the only redeeming quality of the book. It is just too bad that none of these ideas are unique. Beyond that concession I find no other. Through the course of the man's journey he meets several key figures from a variety of times and places. Yet, each of their voices are identical. No variety. No imagination. Amazingly, they all sounded exactly like the motivational speaker. Far more disconcerting are the blatant historical inaccuracies. I always figured that an author would want to research their ideas so that the text would not expose them as an ignoramus. Not this motivational speaker. He is just fine knowing that anyone who reads his book can see him trying to pass off creative story telling as truth. Worse still are the cliches. And, by cliches I mean cliche after cliche after cliche...after cliche. I wish I hadn't read this book. The title was hopeful and I actually liked the book more before I read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jane G Meyer

    At first, I felt that the book had great potential. It followed a man on his struggle to make better decisions for himself—took him on a fantasy-like journey not unlike a scrooge adventure with the ghosts. Each person he met taught him a new lesson on how to be a leader. The format was intriguing. But the further I moved through the book the more unhappy I became. At the end, I felt that the message being told is: All men are capable of greatness, which will lead to both fame and fortune. There At first, I felt that the book had great potential. It followed a man on his struggle to make better decisions for himself—took him on a fantasy-like journey not unlike a scrooge adventure with the ghosts. Each person he met taught him a new lesson on how to be a leader. The format was intriguing. But the further I moved through the book the more unhappy I became. At the end, I felt that the message being told is: All men are capable of greatness, which will lead to both fame and fortune. There was little space in there for being a servant, or that God’s path for you might be one of hardship and stuggle, and though many of the lessons are valid—not blaming others on your decisions or the outcome of those decisions, being eager to learn and lead, making goals, etc... the final feel of the book is that we can all end up with hospitals named after us if we just follow his seven steps...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Read for a book club and I otherwise would not have finished it. It is poorly written and full of recycled self-help mantras from a narcissist who imagines his own greatness to mankind. As for the historically inaccurate time travel (was Columbus looking for a new trade route or the New World full of possibilites? the author fluctuates between both), I think Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was better done and at least more fun. Read for a book club and I otherwise would not have finished it. It is poorly written and full of recycled self-help mantras from a narcissist who imagines his own greatness to mankind. As for the historically inaccurate time travel (was Columbus looking for a new trade route or the New World full of possibilites? the author fluctuates between both), I think Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was better done and at least more fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jordyn Redwood

    Fictionalized account of Mastering the Seven Decisions. Both with interesting takeaways.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Keely Chamberlain

    This book is perfect for anyone who needs some encouragement! Everyone can connect to the feelings of David Ponder one way or another! Also the book is extremely entertaining and provides a neat inside to history. I really enjoyed going through the journey with David and meeting all the historic figures. Likewise, the book challenged me on a personal level to look at life a little different! I would recommend anyone read this book! It's good for all ages!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    The concepts in this book aren't overly profound, but they are certainly important and worthy of the engaging way that Andrews delivers them. The parable of David Ponder had me hooked and I found myself anxious to learn who he would meet next and what lesson his visitor would leave him with. All in all, a simple yet captivating read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    Hmmmmm. How do you rate a cheesy book with a great message? I almost quit after the first few pages but then after getting to the 1st decision I was hooked. Think Christmas Carol-ish in format (which I happen to hate), there are time travel visitations and eye-rolling dialogue but I think the message overshadows all of that. Worth the short read in my opinion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A modern day parable, down on his luck David travels through time to meet historical figures who give hime life lessons. My favorite lesson was from President Truman and it was "Take responsibilty for your decisions." A quick read, and the lessons really made sense to me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Wissink

    I found myself laughing, crying and even thinking about the wisdom offered in this book. I am now off to read the biographies of these great people mentioned in the book to learn more about how they lived life and touched the lives of others.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    Andy Andrews is one of the most incredible people I have seen. He has the gift of being able to communicate on all levels. His book Travelers Gift should be required reading for everyone. He has an accompanying DVD that is both entertaining and educational as well. I love this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sullivan Vaughn

    I thought this was a very very good book. It really made you think about you life choices and how you spend your life. It left you hanging and was something I can personally relate to. Overall I would recommend this book. It can change your opinion on your life and how you treat each day.

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