The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success
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The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  6,173 ratings  ·  997 reviews
Much like the best-selling books by Og Mandino, this unique narrative is a blend of entertaining fiction, allegory, and inspiration. Storyteller Andy Andrews gives a front-row seat for one man's journey of a lifetime. David Ponder has lost his job and the will to live. When he is supernaturally selected to travel through time, he visits historical figures such as Abraham L...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Thomas Nelson
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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.

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...more
Nothing groundbreaking, no new news here. Boring, hokey, 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 his students to write the saddest thing they could ever think of, and then make it sadder, just, pile it on. The historic characters are so free from fault, it is difficult to draw inspiration from them. Personall...more
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...more
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...more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
A friend gave this book to me as a parting gift three years ago. It sat hidden away in my bedside drawer until recently. I would call this book a self-help book in a way because it does give you short passages giving you seven decisions to make your life a success. My favorite happened to be the decision to forgive yourself and begin again each day. The book is different because it brings you these decisions through the story of a man named David Ponder. Ponder initially reminded me of a modern...more
Kim Justice
Aug 31, 2013 Kim Justice rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my readers of self help
Shelves: reviewed
Well I saw this book still on my shelf and had not had a chance to read it. So a couple of weeks ago I picked it up and lets just say I was not missing a lot.

I usually do not read many "self-help books" to begin with. I have read quit a few due to my health issues in the past and some helped some didn't. But was told this one was good so I got it and like I said laid it down and forgot.

The combination of a few genres put together in this book just was not for me. But there was some humor as we...more
Tanya W
I have to admit I feel a little guilty giving this 2 stars, because it seeks to help people improve their lives by focusing on attributes that contribute to a person's success. It is certainly harmless material and a very quick read, so you won't lose much time reading it if you are interested.

What I liked:
The principles of success are sound and good... here are a few in summary:
Encourage others to struggle and that the struggle is worthwhile.

Indecision limits the Almighty and His ability to pe...more
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...more
I liked the message and 7 decisions presented by this book. However, I was turned off but the somewhat hackneyed writing of the actual story.

And to be honest, I was much more interested in how the protagonist would apply these decisions in his own life and current situation, rather than seeing a glimpse of a possible future where he has already accomplished his goals. I thought it took away from the message that the protagonist was basically told, apply these things and you will be successful be...more
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...more
I have read this twice and loved it both times. Would highly recommend it. A quick,easy read that is both uplifting and entertaining.
This book was very engaging, although not very much plot. Actually it was a journey through one man's thoughts or dreams. It was interesting to experience the settings the main character was taken into to describe or explain some revelatory directions that the character chose. It was interesting to think about why the author chose these specific people and time periods and places to make his point about this particular value. It made me think about who I would have chosen to describe this ideal....more
Once I got to chapter ten my hopes crumbled immediately since it was made obvious the book is nothing but military and religious propaganda that advocates for the all so powerful USA and disregards completely the damaging consequences of this sort of attitude, were we to think about how many countries and the people this superpower actually attacked. I said I had hopes because the positive attitude, light read and the slightly hypnotizing effect of the beginning prompt me to read it; unfortunate...more
Happy that a friend gave me this to read. A reminder of 7 basic principals for life told in an interestingmanner.
It took me forever to read this book. When we got to the decisions, I kept alternately going "OK, that is a good point" and then rolling my eyes. It got so preachy, and then the way it ended turned me off. I feel like arrogance got in the way of his message for me. I do think there are some good points in the decisions, so I would have rather read just the decisions and saved myself some time. Even with the eye rolls.
Katie Savacool Taylor
I saw Andy Andrews at a Women of Faith conference. He was funny, insightful, and overall a great speaker. He had points to make and left me wanting more. So I checked the book out of the library.

This was one of the quickest reads that I have encountered in a while. It's well worth the 3-4 hours to read it because I read it in 3 sittings.

If I write anything else I will give it away.
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.
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~ 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."

~ Spoken at the request of four different U.S. Presidents

~ Every single minute a book by Andy Andrews is sold somewhere in the world!

~ New York Times Bestselling Author of The Noticer and The Traveler's Gift

More about Andy Andrews...
The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why The Truth Matters More Than You Think The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters The Lost Choice

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“Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their minds slowly. Failures make their decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.” 60 likes
“Life itself is a privilege, but to live life to the fullest- well, that is a choice.” 32 likes
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