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Around Christmas time, a friend gave me a book by Andy Andrews called The Traveler’s Gift. He had been talking about it for some time before he gave me a copy, but I can’t say that I really understood what his fix on it was. Of course, I tried to be super interested when he talked to me about it. That’s what you do with your friends–you ask them about the things they like and listen attentively even if it may not be something you would enjoy.
I did not think I would enjoy this book.
You see, I HATE advice books. This also includes self-improvement books. Why? Because I can be an egotistical butt-wipe who don’t need no help from nobody. I go through phases where I am fully convinced I can figure everything out all by myself and certainly don’t need a book to tell me otherwise.
Well, my dear readers, this book was the equivalent of walking confidently into a room, feeling like hot stuff, and having no idea that you have a whopping booger hanging out of your nose. You carry on in blissful ignorance while everyone else gets a good laugh at your expense. To clarify: I was the hot stuff, the booger was a huge list of flaws in my personality, and the book was the mirror I finally ran into that clued me in.
Now let me explain to you what this story is all about.
It tells the story of a man with horrifically bad luck. I connected with him and his misfortunes immediately, as I am also a magnet for catastrophe. He lost his job, his daughter was dying, his marriage was falling apart… And then he wrecked his car and died.
But not really. That happens at the very beginning of the book. The real adventure starts when he wakes up again in a completely different time period. There, he meets a famous man (whom I won’t spoil the identity of) that gives him words of guidance on how to turn his life around. Then he falls into darkness and wakes up again at a different time with a different person. This repeats until our protagonist has 7 phrases to change his life, supposedly sent as a form of divine intervention and a second chance.
I won’t spoil the people or places, or any of the events that take place in each location, but I will share the 7 decisions that changed the man’s life and reminded me of what I was doing wrong with mine.
- The Buck Stops Here.
“I accept Responsibility for my past. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions. I am responsible for my success. The Buck stops here.”
2. I Will Seek Wisdom.
“I will be a servant to others. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. I will choose my friends with care. I will seek wisdom.”
3. I Am a Person of Action.
“I do not fear failure, for in my life, failure is a myth. Failure exists only for the person who quits. I do not quit. I am courageous . I am a leader . I seize this moment. I choose now. I am a person of action.”
4. I Have a Decided Heart.
“I will not wait. I am passionate about my vision for the future. My course has been charted. My destiny is assured. I have a decided heart.”
5. Today, I Will Choose to be Happy.
“I will be grateful for the miracle of abundance. I will greet each day with laughter. I will smile at every person I meet. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit. Today I will choose to be happy.”
6. I Will Greet This Day With a Forgiving Spirit.
“From this day forward, my history will cease to control my destiny. I have forgiven myself. My life has just begun. I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly. I will forgive myself. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.”
7. I Will Persist Without Expectation.
“I will believe in the future that I do not see. That is faith. And the reward of this faith is to see the future that I believed. I will continue despite exhaustion. I focus on results. I am a person of great faith. I will persist without exception.”
As you may have gathered by now, this is a religious novel. It’s got Christian guidelines and it discusses God. However, even if you are not a religious person, I think its words can still ring true. And not all of it is spectacular life advice. A lot of the book is actual story, with well-formed characters just doing their best to survive.
I loved this book and all that it tried to teach me.
But did it change my life? ………….no. Not right away, at least. But it made me aware of my faults, and I will try to change over time.
This was one of the few books that actually made me sit down and think about life after I finished it. And as a person that does not like to be criticized, I’d say that it’s quite the achievement that I didn’t quit reading as soon as I realized I was not the great person I had been trying so hard to be. So the fact that I really loved it? A miracle.
I recommend The Traveler’s Gift to anyone looking for a good read, a good source of advice, or an escape from their own problems. It’s available on Amazon for less than $10. If you’re interested, the link below will take you straight to the page.
If you do decide to pick it up, come back and leave a comment to share your thoughts! I’d love to know if this book changed your life, or even if it was just a good read!