Why I wrote a book

Monday, September 7, 2015

Am I "Incredible" (Part 2 of 2)



Remember the movie, The Incredibles

As the film opens, Bob Parr is doing what he does best. Serving his community by fighting crime.  

However, it's only minutes into the movie when a rescue attempt gone wrong forces Bob out of his super hero gig. 

Still, Bob has a wife and kids.  And bills have to get paid. Bob takes a job with an insurance company. It's clear that what made him great at being a superhero wouldn't make him a great insurance agent. 

Can anyone relate to Bob Parr? 

You know you were made to do one thing. However, either responsibilities or circumstances of life force you to do something else. 

Don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an insurance agent ... unless you weren't made to be an insurance agent. 

I remember talking to a friend about this topic. He described his Bob Parr situation using a boat illustration. The yacht represented the security of his current job, and his dreams were represented by a raft. In my friend's analogy, he spent every free moment on the yacht trying to make the raft secure enough for him to launch out off of the yacht without drowning. 

Maybe that illustrations resonates with you. How do we balance between dreaming big and handling responsibilities? How long should you sell insurance if you were made to be a superhero? 

This is something me - and a group of my peers - are currently working through. One exercise, recommended to me by a friend, was extremely helpful. I'd encourage you all to try it as well. 

  • First, make a list of life-giving passions in a job. Think of it as things you love to do so much that it doesn't even feel like work. Try to come up with four of five things. 
  • Second, think of any restrictions. For me, those restrictions include geography and ethics. I won't move just anywhere with a wife and kids, and I don't want to work a job where I feel like I have to compromise my ethics. 
  • Third, think of limitations. I'd love to do a job with a bunch of things on my list of passions, but I need to make this much money to take care of my responsibilities.  Even if the job was a dream job, I'd have to say no if I couldn't feed my kids. 
After working through this list, I had a pretty good idea which jobs best fit me. The friend who introduced me to this exercise wrote a really good book about this, and when it's actually released, I will tell you more about it. 

In the meantime, a good resource if the book I recommended in part one of this two-part blog.  The book is called What Color is Your Parachute? The book helps you ask yourself a bunch of critical questions, which enable you to determine how you would truly define success. The parachute book then helps you map out a path to your goals. 

I write these blogs as conversation starters. I would love to hear from you. What is your dream job? What is stopping you from pursuing your dream job? 

Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The LeBron "Decision" We Must All Make (Part 1 of 2)

"Can I succeed in my hometown?"


This is a question we know LeBron James has wrestled through at least twice, as evidenced in his journey from Cleveland to Miami and ultimately back to Cleveland. 

In fact, the most criticism the NBA's most famous and physically gifted player has faced was for the "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" comment and everything that ensued afterward.

That was a mess! 

However, most has been forgiven after 'Bron returned to help the Cavs try for a championship that has eluded the city since the legendary Jim Brown was in the backfield for the Cleveland Browns. 

I can sort of relate to LeBron. 

Not with the  fame, finances, championships or basketball skills. (Maybe the hairline.)

But with the question. 

Can I succeed in my hometown? 

Like LeBron, I love my hometown. I'm as thankful to have grown up in Staunton as he is to have grown up in Akron. Like LeBron, I have dozens of ideas to leave my city better than I found it. And, just like Cleveland isn't exactly known for winning championships, my city isn't known for a lot of the things I want to achieve. 

This is what brought LeBron - as well as me and countless others - to the point of decision. 

"Should I be a pioneer in my hometown? Or should I just move wherever I need to move to make sure the dream gets achieved?" 

Although I once had dreams of sports achievements, my passion now is more theological. I want to be part of a gospel-preaching, multicultural church. I want to work with urban kids through a faith-based initiative. I want to write a few more books, and I want to create a sports, faith and culture podcast. 

And ...  I want to feed my kids and pay the mortgage. 

Do I have to "take my talents to South Beach?" 

Or do I try to pioneer those things here? 

Ordinarily, this is the part of the blog where you give five points, but this is something I'm still figuring out myself.  In addition to praying about it a lot, I've also been helped greatly by a book, What Color is Your Parachute, given to me by a friend at church. 

The book helps you ask yourself a bunch of critical questions which enable you to determine how you really define success. The book also helps you outline a map to achieve career goals. 

I write these blogs as conversation-starters. I would love to know how you've wrestled through moving or staying to find success. I also want to know what you've read that has been helpful to you in figuring out your career path. 


Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five kids and a freelance writer for Young Life Relationships, HipHopDX.com, JamTheHype.com and other publications. His first book, You're Grounded, was published by Moody Publications last year. You can order the book here