Review: Phil Cooke – One Big Thing

Phil Cooke – One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do

It’s a seductive idea: That we were put here with a purpose (by some unnamed capital-I Intellegence, natch, although this book doesn’t say so specifically), and all we have to do is “discover” it. That we have a capital-T Talent, and that we’re denying the world something special by not using it.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of talents. And while Phil promised to help me figure out which one is my Talent, all he really convinced me to do is write a blog about books and things. I am not convinced that I even have a Talent, but if I did, it might be reading. If you and I had a reading competition, I am pretty sure I would destroy you. Just saying.

That or napping. I’m pretty boss at napping, also.

So, this book is a little less “follow this exact procedure and your life will be perfect” than other books of its type. This is a good thing. But the downside is that its advice is a little less practical. He tells you what questions to ask, then doesn’t wait for you to answer them before he launches into how to get people to pay you for your thing. But he doesn’t really tell you how to get people to pay you for your thing, either. More like, he explains to you why it is important that people pay you for your thing. Thanks, Phil, I never would have guessed.

The questions are good ones, and I’m glad he asked me about them. What comes easy to you? Reading books, Phil. What do you love? Literally everything, Phil. Never met a single person/topic/activity that I didn’t love. Except that one guy. What drives you crazy? The way scientists suck at social skills, how schools manage to make absolutely anything boring, the way trees drop grossness all over your car in the spring, books that promise that after reading them, I will love only one thing instead of everything.

What really makes this book stand out from others of its type are the stories. Stories about people who were struggling and then found their thing. I love those stories. The one at the end about Handel made me cry a little. And also, stories about the film industry, for which I am a total sucker.

I would call this book pretty good, and if you’re wondering about reading it, you probably should. But don’t expect any miracles.