My Review of One B1G Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do by Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke has a new book out and it’s called One B1G Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do and I think many of you should read it.

I saw Phil speak a couple years ago and was really taken by him. The first book I read was Jolt!: The Power of Intentional Change in a World that’s Constantly Changing and here’s my review. Then I read through Branding Faith: Why Some Churches and Nonprofits Impact Culture and Others Don’t

Initially, I wasn’t sure I’d like this book because from the descriptions, it already felt a lot like Jolt!. Then, I wasn’t real sold on the idea of limiting yourself to the idea of “one big thing.” which he addresses early on in the book. Then there’s that small matter that I’m still suspicious of books on branding, self-promotion and self-improvement even though I have appreciated a few of them. But after I rounded the corner of the third chapter, these fears were resolving and I remembered what I appreciated so much about him.

I like that he lives and works in California, involved in the entertainment industry, has a doctorate in theology, works with various types of big studios and also non-profits. I especially like that he’s not part of the Christian sub-culture, even though he clearly has access to it and it would seem he would profit greatly from it.

I like that he quotes pop culture references like Fight Club, literary figures like Mark Twain and sacred texts like the Bible. I also appreciate his insights like, “I wonder if today, we’ve become the victims of a desire to just live life as it comes – to assume that whatever works out is the best path. Especially if you’re a child of the 60’s, living a random life sounds somewhat romantic, but real influence in the world doesn’t come at random. It rarely happens by accident” – true.

Here’s the summary from
“One Big Thing is about finding out what you were born to do with your life and how to use it to revolutionize your business or ministry-and change the world.
In a complex, multi-layered world, it’s more difficult than ever to get your voice heard and to accomplish your dreams. To stand out today, you need to cut through the clutter and get noticed. Making that happen means to focus on the one thing in your life that drives you, inspires your passion, and separates you from the pack.”

I know quite a few people that could benefit from Phil’s thoughts here.  The strength of the book is that he leans into the longing for discovering your purpose without being emotionally manipulative or without bouncing of the other side of the spectrum of sounding insensitive and calloused.

My one concern to this genre of books is that in the pursuit of trying to get noticed, trying to leverage your influence, trying to find your own thing and all that, is that you could lose yourself. There’s vanity, pride and the bad type of self-promotion, and all these vices can take strong and subtle roots in the heart.  Further, in the big picture, it sabotages the mission of the Gospel.  To his credit, Phil warns the reader of this but I hope it’s believed. I hope I believe it.

That said, that is not on the author any more than it is on the reader. Because for me the flip side of that danger is a stewardship issue. God has entrusted you with a life, your being, personality, skill and gift set, family, community, calling, “data”, resources and countless other blessings that make you who you are. We are to be faithful with what he has graciously entrusted and in Phil’s words, we are to go out and do our “one big thing.”

If you have a few moments check out his video promo of the book:

You can buy it from Amazon here.

Also check out

Full disclosure: I was sent a .pdf preview by the publisher, Thomas Nelson and as always I am not required to give a positive review but an honest one. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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