Andy Andrews has become one of my all-time favorite authors. The first book by him that I read was The Travelers Gift. It honestly is one of the best books I have ever read. As the story opens, David Ponder has lost his job and is at one of the lowest points of his life. He has a car accident and is knocked out. While he is unconscious he is transported to 7 different time periods in history where he meets famous people like Harry Truman, King Solomon, Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, Joshua Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus and finally the angel Gabriel, and others. In these meetings these famous historical figures instruct him on one of seven key principles for living a successful life. These principles change his life. It’s a book every high school graduate in America should read.
Sequel to The Traveler’s Gift
The Final Summit is a sequel to The Traveler’s Gift. Fast forward many years. We revisit Ponder as an older man in his 70’s. He has lived those principles and led a successful life since the visits from the Travelers. When we meet up with him again though he is once again a sad broken man. His dear wife, Ellen, had passed away a few months ago and life had lost meaning without her. One evening, overwhelmed with grief he is visited once again by his old friend, the angel Gabriel.
Gabriel has a new task for him. It seems that humanity is nearing an end. Gabriel has come to ask David to come lead a group of all the Travelers from through the years. They will be humanity’s last chance. They must find the answer and that answer will be just two words. David will lead this discussion. They will be given just 5 chances to discover these words and after each attempt David will be allowed to consult with an additional traveler.
In the course of finding these two words David again is brought face to face with a variety of historical figures including Winston Churchill, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, King David, George Washington Carver, and many others. They explore many possibilities in an effort to find the 2 words that will save humanity. I’ll maintain the mystery of what they ultimately discovered. You’ll have to read the book to find out. To give you just a taste though King David was promoting “Exhibit self-discipline” as the two words. He was explaining that in order to be able to slay the giant Goliath he had spent years practicing slinging stones at rocks and trees. He stated:
“It takes self-discipline to practice, because practice is rarely exciting. But I understood the principle at an early age. Exerting self-discipline is merely the process by which you remember what you really want. You see, I did not want to practice. What I really wanted was to be proficient with the sling. Therefore, I learned to discipline myself to practice on targets – rocks and trees – for hours every day.
What do you really want? That is the question that fuels a person to a strong discipline that can only be administered to himself by himself. And success in any endeavor where self-discipline is involved boils down to this question: can you make yourself do something you don’t particularly want to do in order to get a result you would like to have.”
Life changing lessons
Andy is a wonderful story-teller. The books are engaging, witty, but pack a tremendous amount of wisdom. I strongly believe that if you want to better your station in life, you must be a reader. Charlie Tremendous Jones says that 5 years from now you will be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read. I truly believe this to be true. Andy Andrews’ books are a great place to start on this journey.
While Andy’s books are not purely about personal finance, I believe the general concepts he teaches, if applied, will help us in our jobs, our families, our spiritual walk, and ultimately in our finances too.
What books have you read lately that have greatly impacted your life?