Healthy book of the month: The Traveler’s Gift

Everyone loves a success story. It’s not only inspiring, but it’s also encouraging. “Perhaps I could be like so and so,” we think. If I work more, try harder, make more connections — then I’ll be successful.

Countless books have promised to teach the keys to success. “If you just do these five things, we guarantee you’ll be successful,” authors claim on the backs of books. Self-help books boast that three easy steps can lead to greater accomplishments or share the 10 new routines that will boost productivity. If you’re a lover of fiction books, perhaps you’ve longed for a fictional success story. But where could there possibly be a book that combines fiction, nonfiction and success?

Look no further than The Traveler’s Gift, a New York Times bestseller published in 2002. Although it’s 14 years old, the message author Andy Andrews conveys is timeless.

The Traveler’s Gift opens with David Ponder, a 46-year-old executive at a Fortune 500 company. David has it all — until he doesn’t. Suddenly his world comes crashing down. He loses his executive position and takes a minimum wage job. On top of that, his young daughter gets sick, and without healthcare coverage, he and his wife aren’t able to pay her medical bills.

When things go from bad to worse, David loses it. On the brink of a meltdown, David recklessly drives his car and gets in a crash. But when he awakes, he’s not where he expected he’d be.

David embarks on the journey of a lifetime in The Traveler’s Gift. In a way unbeknownst to him, he travels through the realms of time and meets a number historical figures, including Christopher Columbus, King Solomon, Abraham Lincoln and Anne Frank. David meets them in their natural habitats, while the hustle and bustle of their daily lives continues around them. Not only does David get to talk to them about their experiences, but he also gets to learn from them.

Throughout the course of the book, David learns seven key decisions one must make to achieve success:

  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.

The final stop on David’s journey through time is the future — in particular, his future. And it doesn’t look quite as awful as he thought it would.

When he returns to the present and wakes up in the hospital after his car crash, David is a changed man. No longer is he negative and pessimistic about his situation. Instead, he has a detailed plan for turning his life around.

If you’re craving a fiction-nonfiction-success story rolled into one, pick up Andy Andrews’ The Traveler’s Gift. It you’ll get wrapped up in the engrossing tale and you’ll end up with a better knowledge of historical events and a clear outline for achieving your goals.



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About Erin Dietsche

Erin ran track from an early age, but it wasn’t until her parents “forced” her to join her high school cross country team that she fell in love with running. Since then, she’s become an avid runner and learned how to balance her running with her interest in eating chocolate. In recent years, Erin has embraced other forms of fitness like lifting weights. When she’s not working out, she enjoys anything theatre-related, writing plays, reading, listening to rap music, and playing the piano.