Andrews lived a relatively normal life until the age of 19, when both his parents died – his mother from cancer, his father in an automobile accident. “I took a bad situation and made it much worse,” Andrews says with a rueful smile, referring to choices he made during this tragic period of his life.
Within a span of several years, the young man found himself literally homeless (“before that was even a word!” he says), sleeping occasionally under a pier on the Gulf Coast or in someone’s garage. It was then that Andrews asked the question that would focus his search for what would ultimately affect millions of people. The question? “Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?”
To find the answer, he first went to the library. Over time, he read more than 200 biographies of great men and women. How did they become the people they were? he wondered. Were they born that way, or were there decisions made at critical junctures in their lives that led to their success? The young Andrews finally determined that there were seven characteristics that each person had in common. “What will happen,” he mused, “if I study these seven common denominators and harness them in my own life?”
The rest is history. The “Seven Decisions,” as he calls them, were the engines used to carry Andrews’ life in a different direction. And more than 20 years later, those same Seven Decisions became the outline for The Traveler’s Gift and the basis of his PBS Special.
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