After plowing through a number of books borrowed from the library, I turned my attention to a book I'd recently received - The Noticer, by Andy Andrews.
I had not heard of the author, but according to the book jacket he is a best-selling novelist as well as a popular corporate speaker. I made it to page nine before stopping to place a sticky note - the first of many - on the page to help me remember a bit of wisdom written there.
"...everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you'll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what's a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination - our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope."
This, spoken by Jones to Andrews, spoke to me also for a situation I have found myself struggling with recently. So simple, yet enough for me to look at the situation from a different perspective.
The story, on the surface, is a simple one. One about a mysterious man named Jones whose gift is that he notices things others overlook. Jones, with his white hair and his blue eyes that gently draw people in, has a way of disappearing for years and then mysteriously showing up at just the right time to help people look at their situations from another perspective. He's the noticer.
The book begins with how Andrews, who at the time was homeless, alone and without hope, met an old man named Jones who helped him look at his situation another way.
It continues with stories of Jones befriending others in difficult situations and dispensing simple words of wisdom to help them change their point of view. The characters, while fictional, all have problems that most of us can relate to. There's the couple with a failing marriage, teens debating who to date, an lonely elderly woman, and a career-driven young man who's focused more on money than people.
For each person and situation Jones provides wisdom and advice while helping them to notice the situation differently. Wisdom and advise that most of us can easily apply to our own day-to-day lives, as well as a simple reminder to stop and look at the situation from a different point of view.
I must admit that I was a bit confused if it was supposed to be fact or fiction, but came to the conclusion that everything after the introductory chapter was fictional.
The book is only 167 pages, yet I found myself lingering over the stories, re-reading parts, highlighting others, and placing sticky notes for the places I wanted to find quickly.
The book ends with a reader's guide. I typically ignore those when I find them in the back of a book, but this time I'm going to spend some time reflecting on my answers to the questions.
Curious to learn more about the author I did a quick Internet search which led me to The Noticer Project. "The Noticer Project is a worldwide movement to 'notice' the five most influential people in your life!" You don't even have to read the book to participate.
Disclaimer: This book was a given to me at no cost by Thompson Nelson in exchange for a review. (And whew, I'm glad I liked it)