How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Paperback : 07 Jan 2010
The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. It is here that people feel most themselves, inspired and able to achieve at their highest levels.
In this ground-breaking book, world renowned creativity expert Ken Robinson identifies a crisis in education and business: whether it's a child bored in class, a disillusioned or misused employee or someone who feels frustrated but can't quite explain why, too many people don't realize what they are capable of achieving.
Through stories of people - like Vidal Sassoon, Ariana Huffington and Matt Groening - who have recognized their unique talents and been able to make a successful living doing what they love, Robinson argues that age and occupation are no barrier and explains how it is possible for each one of us to reach our element.
With a wry sense of humour, Ken Robinson inspires us, above all, to reconnect with our true self - it could just change everything.
Watch Ken Robinson speaking at a TED lecture.
Read an interiew with Ken Robinson and find out how finding your Element can start today.
It's the new year, a time when many of us are full of good intentions. What would you recommend people do to maximise these feelings of resolve?
New Year's resolutions are often distant memories by the end of January. There are various reasons why we let them drift. Sometimes it's because we focus only on practical things that we feel we should do, like exercise, diet, keep a diary or try to be more organized. These are all sensible things no doubt, but they don't necessarily kindle our passions or nurture our spirits. The New Year isn't only a time to do the same things differently: it's a time to think differently about what we're doing. It's a time to explore your own unique talents and passions and ask what you can really do to develop them properly. We're much less likely to break a resolution that genuinely leads to a more fulfilling way of living our lives.
In light of the recession, which has left many people unemployed and/or re-evaluating their career path, what is your advice for how people could use the downtime to their advantage?
Finding your Element is a two way journey: an inward journey of reflection and an outward journey of exploration. The first is a process of reflecting on the times and experiences when we felt most ourselves, most in flow, most absorbed and at our most authentic. Some people find it helpful to make lists of moments and experiences: others to collect images and make a dream board or collage. The second is about trying new experiences, of doing new things and finding how they feel and fit with us. So also make a list of things you wished you'd done or would like to do and ask yourself honestly what's stopping you now.
Do you feel you have found your Element, or (this may be an obvious question) is it a continual and evolving process?
I'm in my Element when I'm working with people and sharing ideas. That's been true all my working life and yes, it is an evolving process, like life itself.
In your book, motivation and hard work are essential to discovering your passion and achieving success within one's chosen field. There are often, however, hurdles which stand in our way, discouraging us from sticking to our plan. How or what are some ways you have overcome obstacles throughout your life?
Being in your Element is about aptitude and passion. It's also about attitude - the willingness to make mistakes and the confidence to try new things. We all face obstacles to being in our Element. They include fear of failure, the disapproval of other people, lack of opportunities or resources. In my own life, I've always tried to face challenges and not back away from them. I also try to trust myself in the moment and to recognize that, in many areas of our lives, "waiting in the wings" thinking about what you're going to do is different and almost always harder than "being on stage" and doing it.
A question that has come up from your book is what comes first: education or the Element? How would you answer that?
Education, ironically, is one of the reasons that so many people have not found their element. This is because our current systems of education are based on a very narrow idea of ability. One of my aims in writing The Element is to encourage us all to think differently about our natural talents and to support teachers of all sorts who are pushing for forms of education that really develop them. You really should buy a copy. It's that good!
Size : 129 x 198mm
Pages : 288
Published : 07 Jan 2010
Publisher : Penguin
How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
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