I started reading the Noticer because it was recommended to me a few times by various people. The story was surprisingly simple. A mysterious old man named Jones goes around and touches people’s lives with his wisdom on gaining perspectives. To be honest, I didn’t get the feeling that it was “one of the best books ever” or even a “must-read” like many reviewers have said. The lessons in the book were great, but I have definitely read similar things from other places before. That being said, there are still some good pointers in the book. It’s a very short and simple read, so give it a shot and see for yourself, maybe you will have a difference opinion!
“The way we feel loved is usually the same way we express love.”
If you are a verbal person and express your love for someone by telling them, you will expect the same from others in order to feel loved. But we often forget the obvious fact that we are not all alike! Your loved one might not be as verbal but expresses love in some other way—making you breakfast, for example. But since you speak different languages of love, you might misunderstand each other and feel unloved.
The solution to this problem is to think from others’ perspectives. This is the same as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. The lack of communication often leads to a waste of effort trying to understand each other and costs relationships.
“Well, that’s why smart people get tripped up with worry and fear. Worry…fear…is just a misuse of the creative imagination that has been placed in each of us.”
Some people say that they can’t focus because they worry too much. But worrying is focusing! It’s just focusing on the wrong things. Fear for the unknown future consumes lives. Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future, but human natures leads us to imagine the worst scenario possible. Optimism, on the other hand, is the best attitude one can have towards life. But of course it’s easier said than done. Especially during hard times, it takes not only a bright attitude but also real courage to keep a smile on your face.
What Jones is saying is that we should spend the energy we otherwise spend on worrying on the good things we have in life. Once we focus on those things, our heart would be filled with gratitude. It’s a waste of our creative imagination to doing something that does nothing but stressing us out.
“Likewise, there is no difference in the person who intends to do thing differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place.”
Way too often we judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions. But mere intentions are useless to the rest of the world. Don’t intend to be a good friend, but show up, reach out, and offer to help. Don’t intend to tell someone you love them, but do so. Especially when it comes to making changes, we often default to the comforting thought that just our intentions to change are good enough. It’s just finding an easy way of making peace with ourselves.
On the flip side, it’s good to be reminded that sometimes other people might mean good despite the consequences of their actions. Of course it’s not saying that people shouldn’t be responsible for their actions as long as their intentions are good. But I do think that putting the effort into seeing past people’s actions helps us become more forgiving.
More of my favorite quotes:
“Whatever you focus upon, increases…when you focus on the things you need…you’ll find those needs increasing. If you concentrate your thoughts on other things that you had forgotten you don’t have—and feel worse!”
“I believe you should ask yourself every day, ‘What is it about me that other people would change if they could?“
“Even during trying times, it is important to understand that such times are a normal part of life’s ebb and flow—nothing to be too alarmed about. After all, every one of us is always in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis.”