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RISMEDIA, March 15, 2008-Andy Andrews can’t say he’s your average success story. After living a relatively normal life until the age of nineteen, 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?” Those years earlier, he would never have guess he’d unveil the seven most important decisions to determine his personal success.

The 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 they 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 new 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. 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.

Andrews 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.

Andrews 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 generously provides in Mastering the Seven Decisions:

1. Be responsible – Make a decision.

Remember President Harry Truman, and that famous sign he kept on his desk “The Buck Stops Here.” He signed his name on a single sheet of paper that authorized the decision to drop the atomic bomb on two cities in order to end World War.

2. Seek Wisdom – Listen to the guidance that is offered from people you can trust.

Napoleon lost at Waterloo because he failed to listen to his troops who said that you can’t send them into battle without a bucket of nails, which were used to plug the torch holes of the cannons that were seized and render them useless. Without the nails, the British were able to get their cannons back and fire them at Napoleon’s forces, and win the battle for Waterloo.

3. Be a Person of Action – Seize the moment.

Bill Gates decided to drop out of school at Harvard University to build a computer system that would one day become Microsoft.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, a school teacher, out of ammunition against overwhelming odds, led a bayonet charge against fully armed Confederate troops, and won the battle of Gettysburg.

4. Have a Decided Heart- Ignore rejection, let your passion be your guide.

Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield’s book was rejected by over fifty publishers before Peter Vegso at Health Communications decided to take a chance on them. The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series has now sold over 100 million copies.

Thomas Edison tried and failed over 1,000 times, before creating the incandescent light bulb.

Joan of Arc was only seventeen years old when she led the armies of France against the English. The military leaders cringed at the thought of a peasant girl leading the men of France. “Immediately. Now. Now, we must take them now. I intend to strike at the heart of the barricade,” she said. “If you go in, not a man will follow you,” they told her. “I won’t be looking back,” she replied.

5. Choose to be happy – Put a smile on your face or you won’t be the one chosen.

Consider what employers do. If you have two prospective employees with the same educational background, and equal experience, who are about the same age, and even look and dress very similar. One of them gripes and complains, and the other one smiles and is happy.

Or how about the husband who’s jealous of the way his wife treated their dog. Day after day, year after year, the wife would come home from work and the dog would run to the door, smiling, tail wagging happily, giving wholehearted, devoted attention, and lavish affection to the wife, every time she came home. And how did the wife treat the dog? Oh baby, come to mama… good to see you! Oh, I love you, too.

Lesson learned? If you want to be treated at least as well as the dog, then maybe you should take some lessons.

Ain’t that the truth!

6. Forgive! Forget Anger Management – Use Anger Resolution

Joshua Chamberlin, who led that famous charge at Waterloo, was chosen by President Abraham Lincoln to accept the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. There, Chamberlin stunned the world with a show of forgiveness and respect: He ordered his troops to attention, saluting General Robert E. Lee and the defeated South. With that bold stroke, planned behind the scenes by Lincoln of course, the President of the once again United States of America began the healing of a nation and its people.

7. Persist without exception.

Nelson Mandela sought to transform a country filled with racial divisions and oppression into an open democracy. His real qualities of forgiveness, patience and persistence were revealed to the world only after he was released from prison. He served a twenty-seven year sentence for leading a non-violent strike and for his involvement in the African national Congress’ resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policy.

In Mastering the Seven Decisions, Andy Andrews aims to prove 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 decision 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.

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