In these uncertain times, there’s no better time to talk about hope, and Andy Andrews’ latest book, “The Noticer” is based on just that.
Although Andrews has seen great success as a bestselling author and sought after speaker, he knows better than most what it’s like to hit rock bottom.
Andrews lost both of his parents at age 19. His mother died of cancer and, soon after, his father died in a car accident. His overwhelming grief sent him on a downward spiral. As a young man he found himself homeless, often sleeping in a garage or under a pier.
It was at that time that Andrews began to devour biographies of great historical figures, noticing a pattern in their shared characteristics – leading to his first bestselling book, “The Traveler’s Gift.”
The success of his first book did not come easy. Andrews’ manuscript was rejected more than 50 times before it was published by Thomas Nelson and became a bestseller, often appearing on required reading lists for students.
“I know what it’s like to wake up full of doubt and fear, achingly despondent and demoralized,” he says.
Andrews says that anyone who’s ever felt anything like that will not only find hope in “The Noticer,” they’ll find the proof of hope they need.
The story, which is loosely based on Andrews’ own experiences, features a mysterious old man named “Jones” who arrives in a town on the Gulf Coast at the most opportune moments – when the town’s residents need him most.
In real life, Jones literally helped Andrews come out from under a pier.
“He offered me perspective,” says Andrews. “I’ve found that perspective yields calm; calm yields to clear thinking; clear thinking leads to ideas and ideas lead to answers.” “Jones was the first person to tell me the truth about myself, he figured out a way to tactfully talk to me and reach me in my situation,” he recalls.
Andrews says people often make bad decisions in the most difficult times of their lives because they lack perspective. In the book, Jones tells the people he encounters that he doesn’t have any “cool” talents like others, but he does have the unique ability to notice little things that will make a huge difference in one’s life.
“We need a new perspective,” says Andrews. “God teaches us through sound and our environment that things move in waves – even financial markets and cultural institutions move in waves. “When we understand that we can make better moves on this chess board of life,” he says.
Relationships are key
Andrews is often called upon by corporations to increase their bottom lines.
“I may not understand a thing these corporations do in their line of business, yet I can help them make significant improvements by working with them on vital relationships,” he says.
“How can a company succeed when the most important part of an employee’s life is in disarray?” Andrews asks. “The relational part of their life, the mother-child relationship and the husband-wife relationship affects every aspect of their lives at home and at work.”
In “The Noticer,” Jones recognizes little things that would make a big difference in the relationships of the other characters, like the way they speak to each other.
“For example,” Andrews says, “Jones would say my wife is a ‘canary’ – someone who is sensitive to quality time. A canary enjoys sitting on the couch and hopes that someone would just sit and listen to them sing.”
“I’m more of a ‘puppy dog,'” he explains. “Say something nice to me when you walk by like ‘Who’s a good boy?'”
According to Andrews, ‘canaries’ don’t care what you say and ‘puppy dogs’ don’t care about quality time.
“I have to learn canary dialect and my wife has to learn puppy dog dialect,” he says.
Andrews says he majors in puppy dog and minors in kitty cat – the personality type that needs physical touch.
“Then there’s the gold fish,” he continues. “They like little acts of service. All they want from you is to straighten their castle and clean their water.”
Andrews not only survived the storm of grief when he lost his parents, he has also survived several hurricanes. He and his wife Polly, along with their two young sons, live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.
“Hurricane Ivan literally destroyed our house,” explains Andrews. “That was a crazy time. It gave us a lot of perspective.”
When asked how they’re doing presently, Andrews responds enthusiastically with a Southern drawl.
“Everything is great now. We’re even livin’ indoors!” he adds. Andrews says thousands of people are going through the worst time in their life right now.
“I want people to know there are things we can do and the proof of hope God offers us,” he says.
For more information on “The Noticer” and the movement to notice and recognize the five most influential people in your life, visit www.AndyAndrews.com.