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