This Man’s A Total Wreck: The Traveler’s Gift Chapters 1-4

How’s it going guys? You enjoying the book? I hope you’re already finding encouragement from the chapters we’ve read. I know David’s story so far is kind of a downer, but it gets better. I promise! I’m sure you already know that if you’ve read ahead. And let’s face it, that’s pretty easy to do with a book like this. Sometimes you just can’t put a book down, and for me, this is one of those books.

Let’s dive right on into what we’ve got so far with the first four chapters:

 

Chapter 1

Summary

David’s life is falling apart. He’s lost his job. He lost his car. He lost his income. He feels like he‘s lost everything, putting him in a seriously negative mindset. So much so that he can’t acknowledge that he does still have wonderful things in his life to be thankful for, such as his wife and daughter. We learn that David rarely spends time with his family. He hasn’t seen his daughter for an entire month! Clearly, this guy‘s priorities are out of wack. We notice David’s wife isn’t nearly as concerned about their future as he is. And maybe this can be attributed to her being tired, but we can also guess her lack of panic comes from her faith in both her husband and God, believing that everything will be okay. David obviously lacks faith in both of those things, so what does he do, he panics. We soon learn how this negativity can further affect someone’s life…

Ah-hah! Takeaways

Don’t be like David and forget that it’s your child’s birthday. Seriously, how messed up is that? We can see that David rests a little too much of his idea of happiness on his financial success, and while that is important, his family should have been his number one priority. It’s that old saying of money can’t buy you happiness. Sounds like David may have missed the boat on that one. The fact that David’s wife found it odd seeing him in jeans and a T-shirt speaks volumes about how often David spends time with his family, or rather, the lack of time. Don’t let this happen to you! No matter how important you may feel like your job is, it is not nearly as important as your family. You can always get a new job, but you can’t replace your family.

Let’s take a look at Ellen’s attitude.  Same situation, different response. Stay positive. Even though she’s been faced with the terrible news that her husband has lost his job, Ellen doesn’t let it phase her. She stays upbeat, not letting the stress affect her in the same way it is affecting David. She knows their life could be much worse, and that they’ll get through the hard times.  Ellen has faith things will be okay, so she doesn’t let herself fall into the negativity trap that David has fallen into.

 

Chapter 2

Summary

It’s been several months and David and his family are in worse shape than they were at the end of the last chapter. David’s at a dead-end job and his wife has to go to work again. While at work, Ellen calls David and reveals their daughter needs to get her tonsils removed, but they won’t be able to afford the surgery. They can’t borrow more money. They aren’t making enough. They’re kinda screwed. David gets fired for talking on the phone with his wife, and instead of going home he goes out on a crazy drive. He can’t shake the dark thoughts that are going through his head. His driving becomes careless and reckless…eventually winding up in an accident.

As it turns out this accident is just a blessing in disguise…

Ah-hah! Takeaways

Don’t continue to dwell in negativity because it can start to affect other aspects of your life. David lets himself focus on the bad things that have happened to him, which disempowers him to move forward in his life. He allows the defeat he feels to keep him from trying to go back out in the world to find a great job, just settling for mediocre.

Never settle for mediocre, guys. Strive for greatness.

Negativity can seriously start affecting your mental state. Don’t let something small ruin your outlook on life, or your health. It may feel like your world is ending, but trust me, it isn’t. Don’t keep asking yourself, “Why is this happening me?” That’s a self-pitying response. Ask yourself a more empowering question, “Why is this happening FOR me?”   Take control of your life and do something about it. You’re in control of your life and how you let things affect you.

 

Chapter 3

Summary

David wakes up on the floor in a strange room. This room just so happens to be in Potsdam, Germany at the tail end of WWII. He’s not alone in the room, though… Harry Truman is standing over him, not at all phased that there’s a random guy in his office. Soon, we find out that this has happened to Truman before, and that he and others have been tasked with writing down helpful tips to aid David with the trouble in his life. Truman’s tip is all about taking charge and owning your actions, something David really needed to start doing.

Ah-hah! Takeaways

“The buck stops here.”

Don’t say “It’s not my fault!” or “Why me?” Own it! Take responsibility for your actions. You are where you are today because of your thoughts and actions. Your thinking effects your actions and decisions. Think positively, and you will make a good decision. Think negatively, and, well… you’ll make a bad decision. Even if you made bad decisions in the past, the future is still spread out in front of you. Make the conscious decision to be more positive, and your other decisions will follow. You are responsible for your actions and what happens to you. Don’t blame others. You’re in charge of your own life. Be in charge!

 

Chapter 4

Summary

David is now in the ancient throne room of King Solomon during one of the Bible’s most famous stories. He witnesses the wise king decide who the mother of an infant boy truly is, and then follows Solomon back to the king’s chambers. Solomon expresses the importance of wisdom and the people you surround yourself with to David

Ah-hah! Takeaways

“I will seek wisdom.”

To be wise, you must seek out knowledge. Surround yourself with the people you want to be like. Do you want to be smart and successful? Then seek out those people and be around them.  I always say “You are the average of the five people you hang around” The more you’re around someone, the more like them you become. If you hang around lazy and complaining people, you will become lazy and complaining. To seek out knowledge is to be active as you are constantly searching for a way to better yourself. Don’t focus so much on your own success that you forget to help others. The wisest and most successful people are often active in their communities, acting as servants rather than rulers. This is why my family, my employees, and I are so active in our communities. We seek to spread wisdom and positivity to those around us so that they, in turn, can spread it to someone else.

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