by Andy Andrews
In a matter of minutes, Jones, as he prefers to be called (no “Mr.” just Jones), can completely disarm the most stubborn stranger he encounters with little more than a few probing questions and several common sense, but often profound, answers. Upon first meeting Jones, most find themselves asking things like, “Who is this man? What brought him here at this place and at this time? And why would he be the least bit interested in talking to me?” Afterward, they’re left asking, “Where did he go? How did I survive before he showed up? And will I ever see him again?”
Each of them is at a crossroads. A choice must be made to either continue down the path they’re currently on or forge a brand new one. At just the right time, whether at the end of his rope, at the point of despair, or in her greatest time of need, they each meet Jones.
A single man looking for meaning having gone through two failed marriages; a couple trying to remember what it was exactly that first drew them to one another; a seventy-something woman who’s come to the conclusion her usefulness has passed; a young businessman striving so hard for success that he fails to realize what true success really means; all these poignant stories and more make up The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.
How many times have I wished I had just the right answer, as Jones always seems to, when talking with someone in a seemingly impossible situation. I’m no Jones, but it’s not unusual in Christian radio (my vocation) or in the world of Christian music in general to encounter, fairly regularly, teenagers, young couples, mothers and fathers, you name it, all looking for that spark, that piece of perfect advice that will be just the dose of confidence they need, not just to function, but to start anew and to make a difference in the lives of others.
Personally, I wish I had this book years ago. But I believe there is value to be gained from reading it regardless of where you find yourself in life. I’m at a place now where I have the opportunity to speak into the lives of several just starting their life’s journey. In fact, while on Facebook just last night, I was able to encourage a former intern using the principals in this very book. Thank you Andy Andrews. Here are some of my favorite take-aways from the book The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective:
- Whatever you focus on increases – “If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose…But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.”
- Every day, ask yourself this question: “What is it about me that other people would change if they could?” – “Another person’s perspective about you can sometimes be as important as your perspective is about yourself.”
- A friend who accepts you as you are is dangerous – “A true friend holds you to a higher standard. A true friend brings out the best in you.”
- We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge others by their actions – “There is no difference in the person who intends to do things differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place.”
- And my personal favorite? Your proof of hope – “If you’re breathing, you are still alive. If you are alive, then you are still here, physically, on this planet. If you are still here, then you have not completed what you were put on earth to do. If you have not completed what you were put on earth to do…that means your very purpose has not yet been fulfilled. If your purpose has not yet been fulfilled, then the most important part of your life has not yet been lived. And if the most important part of your life has not yet been lived…”
You’re reading this review so I assume you’re still breathing. It’s time to get to work.