Thursday , February 22 2024
If you are still breathing, there is hope.

Book Review: The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Andrews is the author of The Traveler's Gift, which sold over one million copies, and was the subject of a two-hour PBS television special. Yet he knows a thing or two about hardship. It took 3.5 years of rejection by 51 publishers for him to publish The Traveler's Gift.

With that success behind him, here, in The Noticer, Andrews shows us how we, like he, can be transformed when someone takes notice, and helps change our perspective.

Part truth, part allegory, The Noticer is based on Andrews's true story as a homeless, directionless teen, living under a pier on the Alabama Gulf Coast. In this very personal story, a sage older man who seems to know all about Andy's life and his sadness visits him. The visitor, Jones, has a gift. He notices things other people miss. He chats with young Andy, imparting such sage advice as:

"Whatever you focus upon, increases. When you focus on the things you need, you'll find those needs increasing. If you set your mind on loss, you're more likely to lose. … But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person's life."

Subtly, Jones begins to leave books under the pier. Books that Andy devours, and that help turn his life around. Today, Andy has read over 200 biographies of great figures in history. He found these successful people had certain qualities in common, which he developed into the seven principles for leading a remarkable life, in The Traveler's Gift.

The Noticer provides an interesting perspective on, well, perspective, and the power of our decisions. One of the wisest areas of the book comes when Jones explains the concept of worry to another person, who like Andy, seems to have lost his way, and feels defeated. Jones knocks worry down to nothing, in percentages, such as:

"Forty percent of the things you worry about will never happen anyway. Thirty percent…." etc. You'll want to read this twice, or paste it on your bathroom mirror, to avoid so much of the unnecessary, unproductive worrying that impedes our progress, limits our full potential.

Andrews knows what a rich, full life feels like, but he also knows how it feels to wake up full of doubt and fear, despondent and demoralized. Yet, he inspires with his philosophy:

"If you are still breathing, there is hope. The most important part of your life has yet to be lived, and it doesn't really matter how old you are or how broke you are or how depressed you might be. Without a doubt, there is more laughter to come and more success in the future. You are still here."

About Helen Gallagher

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