Chazown looks strangely like the word shazam, but the Hebrew word is actually pronounced khaw-ZONE --- with a hard-clicking guttural sound to start. If it's unfamiliar to you, no worries, because it won't be by the time you finish reading Craig Groeschel's new book.
Chazown simply means a dream, revelation or vision. Groeschel believes that everyone is given a unique, one-of-a-kind chazown. The key is discovering yours.
The book takes readers on a personal journey to discover their purpose in life. To accomplish this sizable task, Groeschel challenges readers to examine three overlooked areas in life: their core values, their spiritual gifts and their past experiences. By examining all three of these areas, you'll find a sweet spot where they all intersect and reveal your purpose.
Groeschel writes, "When you are in touch with your God-given core values, that's exactly how you will think and live. Your core values will rearrange and direct your energies, your time, your thoughts. If you ignore them, sooner or later you'll be miserable. If you identify them and pursue them, you'll unleash your potential and set yourself up for fulfillment and success."
After helping readers identify their sweet spot, the book presses one level deeper by asking readers to examine five areas of their life: their relationship with God, relationship with other people, finances, health and fitness, and work life. Quizzes and probing questions invite readers to take a deeper look at their own life and how they're living.
He writes, "You're at a fork in life's path. You have two choices. You can go back to life the way it was, without a Chazown. Without a vision, a dream, a revelation. No passion, no plan, no direction, no motivation, no purpose. Perishing daily on the inside. Or you can find people to hold you accountable. You can move into a life of purpose. A purpose for which you were uniquely created. A purpose that follows a path blazed long ago by God, just for you."
To accomplish this sizable task in one book, Groeschel draws on stories from his own life and those of his friends and church members as well as a wide range of often-heard motivational stories. Along the way readers are encouraged to visit an interactive website to record their personal journeys, mission statement, and individual responses to the questions found throughout the pages.
One of the book's greatest strengths is its layout and design. The paperback title is packaged inside a colorful, plastic sleeve that is eye-catching. The text is laid out in easy reading portions, complete with artwork and designs that complement the writing. The result is a fun, interactive and visually stimulating work.
For readers who catch the vision for CHAZOWN, five DVDs are releasing this summer as part of the curriculum. Titles include "Work Life," "Physical Life," "Financial Life," "Relationships with People" and "Relationship with God."
Overall, Groeschel's writing is passionate and compelling. He wants everyone to catch the vision of dreaming big and discovering their true purpose. CHAZOWN is recommended to anyone looking for a book on vision or leadership.
Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg on November 13, 2011