How to Set Goals and Overcome Challenges

Andy Andrews lived a relatively normal life until the age of nineteen, when both his parents died - his mother from cancer, his father in an automobile accident. He left college and was homeless. Penniless, he lived under the boardwalk or slept in people's garages in Gulf Shores, Alabama. From the depths of despair and anguish he asked himself a question: "Is life just a lottery ticket or are there choices one can make to direct his future?"

Then something amazing happened, a turning point in his life. He befriended another grizzled old homeless person, who gave him a remarkable gift - a library card.

He worked odd jobs cleaning fish and washing dishes and in his spare time he started reading the biographies of famous successful people. He become more and more interested in learning how some people achieve success. It became an 'otaku' for him (Japanese for something that's more than a hobby, and less than an obsession).

He went on a quest -- self driven to search for the crucial guidance that led these people to overcome their most difficult challenges and achieve success. Over time, he read more than two hundred biographies of great men and women. How did they become the people they were? he wondered. Were they simply born this way? Or were there decisions made at critical junctures in their lives that led to such success?

Andy sent people letters asking for advice. "How did you overcome your worst challenge?" he'd ask. To his utter surprise, many of them wrote back. And he saved those letters and pondered and savored the incredible life saving advice that they contained.

It took several years, but Andrews finally determined that there were seven characteristics that each successful person had in common. He also found out he could teach people these remarkably powerful principles by telling witty and funny stories that deliver profound meaning. He became a stand up comedian in Las Vegas and started writing. He eventually wrote over 20 books including The Traveler's Gift, which has now sold over a million copies and spent seventeen weeks on the New York Times best sellers list.

His book Mastering the Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success is a guide to understanding how to use the seven life changing principles in one's daily life. It's a workbook into how to make what you do remarkable and extraordinary.

Andy Andrews believes that each one of us has the ability to change the world and find happiness. He's learned that even when you have nothing, every choice you make matters. Even more important, every choice you do not make matters just as much.

Andy is a believer in what is known as "The Butterfly Effect." Even the smallest tiny action can have dramatic consequences. The flap of a butterfly's wings, is inexplicably intertwined with the birth of a hurricane around the world.

Even the smallest things we do can have a tremendous impact on the world.

Andy is the first to point out that the seven principles, at first blush, don't seem very profound. "They can have impact once you really grasp how they've been used by other people. Then they become an amazing key to releasing incredible personal power that allows you to explore the world of opportunity that surrounds all of us."

Here's a summary of Andy Andrews' Seven Decisions and just a sampling of the examples he provides in the book:

  1. Be Responsible - Make a decision.
  2. Seek Wisdom - Listen to the guidance that is offered from people you can trust.
  3. Be a Person of Action - Seize the moment.
  4. Have a Decided Heart- Ignore rejection, let your passion be your guide.
  5. Choose to be Happy - Put a smile on your face or you won't be the one chosen.
  6. Forgive! Forget Anger Management - Use Anger Resolution.
  7. Persist Without Exception.

Is this all there is? This is not a quick-fix book. His book proves that everything you do matters, not just for you, your family, your business, and our country today, but for generations to come.

Andrews says that those people, including himself, who accomplish their goals by working all seven decisions do so through intense focus, hard work, and determination to succeed. But the pay-off is worthwhile. When you begin to use these seven decisions, you stop blindly following the pack and gain the opportunity to develop the individual personal habits and practices that lead to success in whatever you do, so you can have fun, invest meaningful time with the people you are with, and give generously to others.