formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Gift...

You know that feeling you get when you read a book that affects you in some significant way? Yes? Well, I've had that feeling all weekend. I went to the bookstore on Friday to look for a book that had been recommended by a friend. It was in the self-help and psychology section and though my friend made it sound pretty good, after reading the back cover and skimming the chapters, I decided it wasn't for me and put it back. In a hurry, I turned to head out of the store but Ryan was poking along, browsing the shelves, and I had to wait for her to catch up. As I waited, The Traveler's Gift, by Andy Andrews, caught my eye. I'm glad it did.

You know how I did that post on change a while ago? I've been feeling the need to change my way of thinking but haven't been quite sure how to go about it. This book speaks to anyone looking for ways to move forward when they're feeling stuck. Well, it spoke to me, anyway... in some rather eerie ways, really. At points, it felt written specifically for me.

It's self-help disguised as fiction, which is what made me pick it up. I have great difficulty getting through self-help books, as I often tend to find them irrelevant (to me), silly, cryptic, or just plain 'out there'. This book was none of those things.

It's the story of David Ponder, a man at the end of his rope. He feels like a failure - as a businessman, a husband, a father, a provider, a man. Driving home after being fired, feeling desperate, he wonders if his family would be better off if he was dead. His car hits a patch of ice and careens out of control and everything goes black. When he comes to, he's sitting in an office with Harry Truman, on the day he signs the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. President Truman (the only one who can see David) gives him the first of seven 'decisions for success'. After this encounter, David is transported to six other people, Anne Frank and Abraham Lincoln among them, and they each give him another piece of the puzzle, until he has all seven decisions.

The information he receives (and conveys to the reader) is simple, really... the decisions or rules for success are certainly things I've heard before. They're about taking responsibility for yourself and your situation; about serving others; about taking action; choosing to be happy and being grateful; believing in yourself and your dreams; forgiving yourself... but Andy Andrews presents the information in a way that made me see it through fresh eyes... and it's been a while since that happened. I really identified with David Ponder. Though I've never, ever considered ending my life (nor would I ever, ever, ever do that), I've certainly felt at the end of my rope. I've felt it pretty recently, in fact. I've felt a failure. I've felt tired and fed up and pissed off and stagnant - unable and unwilling to make the changes necessary to get out of this trench I've dug for myself. But this book... well... it could be the proverbial kick in the ass I've been looking for.

So if you're craving change and feeling stuck, you might want to take a peek. I thoroughly enjoyed it. So you know, there is a 'God' element to it... bits that have to do with a divine plan and God watching out for us. Most of you know that although there is certainly an element of spirituality to my make-up, I don't really do God the way most people do or believe in things like a divine plan. But I still found it OK... I found that I could easily take out the bits that didn't work for me and apply the information regardless. I'm guessing that was the author's intent.

If you decide to read it (or have already done so), please let me know. I'd love to know what you think of it...

Hope your weekend was great!! XO

18 comments:

dizzblnd said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhh thank you! I am always looking for a good book, that sounds like just what I need!

sherri said...

Sounds like I need to take a trip to Barnes and Noble. (On the back of the Harley, with the wind in my hair...)

Lisa said...

smmoooch..YOU ARE A WINNER........send me your postal details !!!!
lisaballico@hotmail.com

YIPPEE !!

Debbie said...

Diane I am heading to the book store now..I have had a 'down' afternoon and nothing does my heart better then a good book!! and a kick in the pants!!:) thankyou!

Lisa said...

yes, i will add it to my BORDERS list xx

only a movie said...

oh, I'm so putting this on my summer reading list. Sounds like my sort of book.
:-)
Thanks

Sheila said...

This is one of my favorite books! I have recommended it to many friends and given it to many as well. You should love it. I hope you do~

blognut said...

Haven't read it - but I will. A spry little someone who knows how much I hate self-help books, and wears a size 6 shoe, mentioned that this one might speak to me. HEE HEE HEE! Cue the eerie tunes, my friend!

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I'm going to check this one out Diane. I think it will be my kind of book.

She said...

On my way to Amazon right now. I read tons of psychology and theology and spirituality books! I also happen to read a lot of fiction! Love when they are combined into one story! ;-)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

That sounds a very interesting book, Diane - And choosing happiness is something that we have to do consciously I think - Working towards it, that sort of thing. It's not an easy emotion just to settle on us, I feel, but is something you can wrap around you from time to time, should you choose to do so...

As for the god angle, I am holy with you on this, and I sometimes prefer to think of some kind of higher power instead, even if that is just appealing to the goodness, (or god-ness), in yourself and others...

I am up at stupid o'clock this morning, after decanting my husband at the airport - I send you bleary-eyed love x

Protege said...

I totally love the way you found the book; or the way it found you.;)
I believe very much in the fact that things are meant to be and that if we just pay attention to everything around us, we will find what we are looking for.;)
I love the way we discover something that is almost a revelation at times, whether it is a good book, that perfect quote, something someone says or something we see, that is just right in every way.
Wonderful post as always.

Michelle said...

Thank you Diane!!

Greenfingers said...

Sounds really good Diane. I really must read more, I've got a few unread books sitting around. I don't know how you find the time unless your one of those speed readers!

mom seeks life said...

Diane, you have done it again and helped me out of a blue spot - this book sounds fantastic. I've had enough of self-help/psychology books after drowning in Wayne Dyer over the last year and battling with Tolle! But I also can't seem to get interested in the style of fiction I used to read so this one sounds like it will bridge the gap. Think it was meant to find its way to you...and now to all of us too! Thank you

Chris said...

Two other suggestions along the same lines:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

dianne said...

Thanks Diane dear I will have to read it. ♡

Sometimes Sophia said...

I will add it to my list. The sequencing sounds like a brain trust version of Five People You Meet in Heaven. Who would I like to meet? Mary Cassatt, Virginia Woolf, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Gandhi, and Jesus.