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

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  10,400 Ratings  ·  1,386 Reviews
*Coming Soon the Continuation of David Ponder’s Story in The Traveler’s Summit*

What makes the difference between failure and success?

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller, The Traveler’s Gift offered a modern-day parable of one man’s choices.

Only a few months ago, David Ponder was a successful executive. Now he’s a desperate ma
Paperback, 227 pages
Published April 30th 2005 by Thomas Nelson (first published September 20th 2002)
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Sophia Jacqueline This book is amazing. It was first read to me by my mom when I was just about 6. I'm 17 years old now and I'm actually planning to talk to my teacher…moreThis book is amazing. It was first read to me by my mom when I was just about 6. I'm 17 years old now and I'm actually planning to talk to my teacher about writing a letter to make this a book a part of common core in school. It's a long shot, but I'd like to try. Everyone of all ages should read this book.
There is also younger books that Andy Andrews has written; I haven't read them (yet) but they are The Young Traveler's Gift and The Lost Choice.(less)

Community Reviews

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Vincent Wood
Aug 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.

M.M. Silva
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
Chris Vonada
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
May 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Andy Anderson
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
Kimberly Smith
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Peregrine 12
Dec 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have read this twice and loved it both times. Would highly recommend it. A quick,easy read that is both uplifting and entertaining.
Alexandra Swann
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Vicki Davis
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Laura Scheunemann
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Oct 15, 2008 added it
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
Jane G Meyer
Sep 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adultnon-fiction
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
Jun 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my typical read. Neither bad nor great. So either a strong 2 or a weak 3 star.
Jordyn Redwood
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fictionalized account of Mastering the Seven Decisions.

Both with interesting takeaways.
Keely Chamberlain
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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!
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.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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.
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Leti Ortega
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I'm not a fan of fiction books, but it had history in it, which I am a fan of! My uncle had a near death experience and told me a story something like this story line. I started and finished this book in one day!
Sullivan Vaughn
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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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~ 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...

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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.” 82 likes
“Life itself is a privilege, but to live life to the fullest- well, that is a choice.” 47 likes
More quotes…