Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
Title: The Traveler's Gift
Author: Andy Andrews
Reason for Reading: This book was recommended by Dawn as one I would enjoy. She was certainly right on three fronts. First, it's fun to read. It plays like an action-adventure novel or mystery at times. Second, it is educational. The wisdom contained within is impossible to miss as one reads through the narrative. And third, the traveler visits different moments in history, and I am a history buff (but that quality is not necessary to enjoy and learn from the book). This book was purchased, and no compensation was provided for this review.
Summary: The Traveler's Gift is the description of Andy Andrews' Seven Decisions that determine personal success. Andy read 200-300 biographies of successful persons. From this, he identified seven principles at work int heir lives. The decisions they made led to their successes and revealed these principles. The book introduces the reader to each decision by taking the traveler, David Ponder, on a journey to meet an historical figure. These seven people of great influence each teach him a gift. Written like a novel or historical fiction, the narrative the author has composed teaches while it entertains.
Review: Not a self-help in the traditional sense of diagnosing the reader's problem and then providing the authors prescription, The Traveler's Gift instead walks the reader through the decisions with the protagonist, David Ponder. Unemployed and struggling, he begins to wonder if he can find success in life, or if he's just cursed. Through his travels, figures like Harry S. Truman, Christopher Columbus, and Anne Frank give him the decisions that determine personal success. Their advice to him is the author's advice to the reader, though you won't feel preached to. The advice is more like the Maltese Falcon or Holy Grail of a suspense movie or a mystery novel. You won't find the author suffering from a superiority complex. Nor will you find these solutions too shallow to be followed in real life. No "visualize" or "think outside the box" directives that go nowhere in 3-dimensional life. The reader can appreciate how real these principles are to the individuals David meets. Andrew's descriptions of them and their circumstances are compelling, even to a non-history buff. As you read, you'll find parallels to your own life and challenges, even if they don't compare to the Battle of Gettysburg in historical importance. Andrews asserts that everything you do matters, and therefore, are valuable when done well.
Reading like a novel, but educating like a self-help book, The Traveler's Gift is a must-read for all. Brief, compelling, and insightful enough to read every year, put it in your library, or that of a friend.
Other resources: www.andyandrews.com