Andy Andrews book “The Noticer” has to be one of my all time favorites. I gave or referred that book to dozens of people. When I heard about “The Noticer Returns”, Andy’s newest book, I couldn’t want to interview him. This is going to be a very helpful, as well as enjoyable book to read. (At the end of this post, I’m giving away a couple autographed copies of the new book.)
Here’s my interview:
Let’s jump right into it Andy with ha hard question. What is the most common mistake parents are making?
That’s a great question because there’s so darn many of them, but here’s what I learned after the first few years of actually being a parent and observing other parents—the vast majority of people are parenting with no particular results in mind.
There are two types of mistakes that the vast majority of parents make: little mistakes and big mistakes.
Curiously, the accumulation of little mistakes often ends up becoming the biggest mistake of all. We’ve all been taught not to sweat the small stuff (which is wrong too), so we think that the little, seemingly inconsequential things that happen throughout the day are no big deal. Why? Because, at the moment, the little things never seem like a big deal!
It’s very much like following a compass bearing on a long journey. If the compass is off by one degree, nothing will seem all that different a mile or two from the start. But after a thousand miles have passed, you end up discovering that you are WAY off from where you intended to go, all because of one little degree.
It’s only then that most parents say, “Well, this isn’t where I wanted my child to end up.”
What guidance does The Noticer Returns offer parents to help them avoid that mistake?
Jones, the main character in the book (he’s the “Noticer” mentioned in the title), helps people understand how to parent according to principle.
People say they want the “best” for their children all the time. If you ask any parents what they want for their kids, they will always give you that answer. The problem is that they give that answer without ever really defining what the “best” looks like.
The funny thing about the “best” is that it’s only one thing. There are many “good”s and there are lots of “better”s, but there is only one “best.”
Curiously, even people of diverse beliefs can agree on what the “best” looks like when they sit down and start listing out exactly what life’s best results are. And that’s exactly what Jones does with the characters in the book. They define the best and then they set out to discover the principles that can unlock those results.
So if your family is after the best, if you are parenting not just with the next 18 years in mind, but with the next 100 years in mind, if you’re after creating a legacy of achievement and influence, then parenting according to principle is a requirement.
Explain what a “principle” is to you.
We’ve all heard of things like the principle of gravity, right? Well, interestingly, the principle of gravity was working long before the apple ever fell on Newton’s head. But once he stopped and thought about exactly what was going on, our society was able to harness that principle to create suspension bridges, airplanes, and anything else that the principle of gravity influences.
Principles like that exist within our own lives. There are certain things successful people have done throughout history—whether they were successful businesspeople, parents, athletes, etc.—that we can observe and then apply to our own lives. The Noticer Returns is all about digging into the principles behind great parenting and raising kids who grow up to be great adults.
People seem to be saying over and over that our society or our culture is declining. Explain what we need to do to stop that from continuing?
The first thing is to understand how culture is created. Most people believe that choices and decisions create the culture in which we live, so we tell our kids over and over, “Make good choices.”
The problem with that is if the children don’t know how to make good choices—if they are not taught the thinking behind good and bad choices—it’s like telling them to take a quarter and always flip heads. It’s impossible.
So it’s not the results that define a culture. It’s the way of thinking that leads to those results. The way of thinking creates the culture, and this is something that Jones explains fully in the book.
The Noticer Returns is fiction, but there are a lot of real life principles that readers can take away and apply to their lives. Why write a fictional story instead of just a simple parenting manual?
I’m forced to write stories, Ron, because they leave non-fiction to the authors who are actually smart. Ha!
No, in all seriousness, I write stories because it gives people an entertaining way to learn life-changing principles that they may never have felt like learning otherwise. It’s a lot easier to get people to read an entertaining story about a mysterious old man who changes the lives of the citizens of a small town than it is to get them to read another “parenting book.”
Thanks Andy. Love your work. This is a going to be a great one. Can’t wait to read it.
If you’d like to win an autographed copy of this book, simply do this:
1. Comment on this post telling me one thing you think parents can do to improve their parenting.
2. Share this post on some other social medium (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
I’ll select a couple of random winners in the next few days.