Book Review – “One Big Thing” by Phil Cook

What really matters is what you do with what you have.” Those words from the famed H.G. Wells speak volumes as to the reality of the world in which we live, though I would add to that statement the phrase… “Where you are at.” 

Just walk into any chain bookstore and you’ll quickly notice that we live in a world that is overflowing with self-help books. From Dr. Phil to Dr. Drew and everyone in between, there are people out there willing to give you their opinion on how to find “it,” though they rarely ever tell you what “it” actually is. One Big Thing, the latest book by Phil Cooke is more than the typical run of the mill, buy it off the shelf self-help book designed to help you find either happiness or success in life. In our complex world, it’s difficult to find your way, to get your voice heard, and realize the dreams and desires of your heart. I work in the field of ministry communications and I can state as fact to get noticed you have to stand out from the crowd, and doing so isn’t an easy process. The author makes the argument that in order to effectively stand out means that you must focus on the one thing in your life that inspires your passion and separates you from the pack, and on that point I agree 100%. Now this book doesn’t promise to identify what your “One Big Thing” is, but does give you the tools and inspiration to find it so you can start living a life of purpose for yourself, which ultimately will impact those around us in a positive way because one life whether we realize it or not impacts another.

The book is laid out in an easy to follow, easy to understand format that avoids clutter, rabbit trails, or any other literary landmines that so often appear in the books I read. Each section of the book builds on the previous in an ascending order… asking questions such as “whose painting the portrait of your life,” “do we really have a destiny,” and “why one big thing.” Cooke follows up those questions by discussing the concept of power – focusing on our perceptions and values. The work concludes by taking a look at the fact that when it comes to the one big thing, the first that it’s not about us, and it’s never too late to start.

 Phil Cooke helps you to not only discover that one big thing, but also teaches you the secrets of making an unforgettable impact with your life. Now as previously stated he doesn’t give us the answer to life’s questions, he simply points you in the direction you need to go to find the answers… which to me is one of the things I appreciate most about this book. This was a book I read in three sittings. It was an easy read and I didn’t have to struggle to get “into” it, which was a great relief to me and my ADD.  The book is one that will cause you to reflect on past experiences, or at least that is what it caused me to do. I was led to reflect on my life journey, experiences I’d had and decision I’d made and how they have impacted who I am and what I do in life.  

This book is one that forces us to focus on “self,” which for me is hard, it runs against my personality type and often conflicts with my view of faith, which is Christ-centric, and service-to-others oriented. Phil does a masterful job at maintaining a proper balance, and in the process showing us that when we’re at our best, everyone benefits, including the church, and those within our sphere of influence… this book reminded me of many things I already knew but had forgotten or ignored, one of the most important being that I can’t and shouldn’t try to do everything and that I must say “no” on occasion when people want my input or time on a project… do one thing and do it well! 

You’re Not Crazy… states the epilogue of the book, which I found reassuring because, I often I feel as if I walk on the edge of crazy… and sometimes cross over. This book is for everyone who’s been pulled in different directions, born with multiple abilities or just wondered what to do with their lives, Phil aids you in getting the answer. Having read most everything from Phil that I can get my hands on I must say that with this book he has again hit it out of the ballpark… Unless you are someone who ignores the obvious you cannot close this book and not be ready to tackle tomorrow. I give this book a five out of five on all counts!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their “booksneeze” program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


About Jim

I'm currently the Communications Director for Missouri Operation for Vigorous Evangelism [MOVE] A Church planting ministry located in Jefferson City, MO. I believe that the church is the primary means through which God works in a community to love and redeem it. Here at MOVE we’re discovering new ways to be used for this purpose as God leads us and lights His path for us. As God forms this organization and shapes it for a new kind of world I want to be right in the middle of what He’s doing, traveling on this road of a disciple’s journey.

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