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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything [Kindle Edition]

Ken Robinson Ph.D. , Lou Aronica
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.59
You Save: $7.41 (46%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

A New York Times-bestselling breakthrough book about talent, passion, and achievement from the one of the world's leading thinkers on creativity and self-fulfillment.

The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transform­ing education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

Also available from Ken Robinson is Finding Your Element, the practical guide to achieving your highest potential.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Robinson (Out of Our Minds), renowned in the areas of creativity development, innovation and human resources, tackles the challenge of determining and pursuing work that is aligned with individual talents and passions to achieve well-being and success. The element is what he identifies as the point where the activities individuals enjoy and are naturally good at come together. Offering a wide range of stories about the creative journeys of different people with diverse paths to the element—including Paul McCartney, The Alchemist author Paulo Coelho, and Vidal Sassoon as well as lesser-known examples—he demonstrates a rich vision of human ability and creativity. Covering such topics as the power of creativity, circles of influence, and attitude and aptitude, the author emphasizes the importance of nurturing talent along with developing an understanding of how talent expresses itself differently in every individual. Robinson emphasizes the importance of mentors and reforming and transforming education, making a convincing argument bolstered by solid strategies for honing creativity. Motivating and persuasive, this entertaining and inspiring book will appeal to a wide audience. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


With a crackling wit and a deep humanity, (Ken Robinson) urges us to ignore the naysayers, bypass the crowd and find the place where our talents and desires intersect -- Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind A book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it -- Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway Happiness really is within your grasp Guardian The Element gives you the feeling that all is possible if we dig deeply within ourselves, using our imaginations and curiosity -- Vidal Sassoon

Product Details

  • File Size: 741 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670020478
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 8, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001MSMUH0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,214 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
375 of 408 people found the following review helpful
I first learned of Sir Ken Robinson through watching his lecture "Do Schools Kill Creativity" free on the Internet last year (his talks have been viewed millions of times by people across the world). In that talk he mentions he was in the process of writing a book -- THE ELEMENT: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything -- is that book. I was thrilled to be able to attend a lecture, one of the first stops on the book tour to promote this book and was so inspired I bought the book immediately.

This book's audience is every person in the world, every single one of us could benefit from reading and applying the information in this book. In addition to being about changes that a person can make in their own life during adulthood, the book also speaks to teachers and other adults who are involved in educating children. People interested in learning styles, learning disabilities, alternative education and education reform may be interested in this book. All types of artists and creative people may like to read THE ELEMENT.

The books starts off discussing children, how all children are unique, have certain interests and natural talents; have an inborn curiosity and a capacity to learn. Sadly, school is sometimes a place where some children are stifled and changed for the worse. Despite best intentions by society for children `to become educated', the issues with designing a `one size fits all' curriculum for mass institutional schools creates its own set of problems. In an effort to raise everyone's educational level up, some fall through the cracks, or their square pegs don't fit in the round holes. The way modern schooling is conducted damages some children. Attempts to educate all children to one standard plan does not allow all children with varying natural talents to shine.
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291 of 325 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars frustrating April 20, 2009
By M. Free
I borrowed and read The Element before reading any of your reviews.
My initial reaction to the first quarter of The Element was YES!! I've been saying for years that schools are killing creativity & individuality. But as the book wore on reporting on one rich and famous person after another, I became sad that my life seems to be slipping away and I've done nothing to the betterment of my community or the world. Then a few chapters later I was uplifted to find that it's still not too late. So great, I'm ready, so how? And then the book ends.
HOW?, I scream How?!!!
I was also disheartened that there weren't more examples of ordinary people, like Dr. Robinson's mother, who contributed to their families and communities by using intangible, compassion, service, organization. Being able to plan and execute an outing for disabled children to celebrate Earth Day is just as much a talent as acting or playing the piano. Doesn't get you much press and certainly doesn't make the Forbes 500 in salaries, but it's rewarding.
I enjoyed the book, but it left me frustrated.
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177 of 198 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Discouraging than Encouraging October 27, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The idea that one should pursue one's passion is neither new nor, in and of itself, particularly profound. We've all heard stories about people who have pulled themselves up by their boot straps and become amazingly successful and fulfilled. Nothing new here. So what's good about this book? What's new? What's useful?

The burning question for almost everyone not lucky enough to have their passion thrust upon them is How Do I Discover MY Passion?

That's the real question.

And when I ask that question, I'm not looking for vague, general guidelines, I'm looking for a process that will lead to the discovery of my passion. Do I even have one? Does everyone have a passion?

The people profiled in the book are all very remarkable, very unusual people. We're not all like them. How do WE discover our passion? I've already heard about the lucky ones; I want to know about the rest of us.

The book doesn't even come close to addressing this question in a meaningful way. And, of course, it could be argued that that is not its purpose. But then, what is its purpose: capitalizing on fame, name dropping, rehashing? Whatever else it might be, it's also an opportunity lost.

In the end, this is a book directed at an elitist audience, like the author and the friends he mentions. More than a disappointment, this book is a disservice to readers serious about making a difference in their lives.
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128 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea But Little to Substantiate It April 16, 2010
By Emma
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a tutor of many bright, capable and learning-disabled students, I looked forward to reading Ken Robinson's book. In the end I was quite disappointed. The book has an interesting premise that when people find occupations that match their passions and natural abilities, they find fulfillment (are in their "element"). The problem is that the support for this argument is based upon anecdotes rather than any meaningful survey or statistical analysis. Most of the examples given are exceptional people who have been successful in the arts, areas in which a large number of people would love to work but for which they can expect to get paid little or no money. Yes, it is true that members of the Beatles became successful in spite of their lack of interest in school, but to say that their path to fame and fortune can be reproduced for the many young men who fantasize about being a great rock musician is too big a leap to be taken seriously.

The challenge for educators and society in general is how to educate students of different abilities and learning styles so that they have the knowledge and skills they need to find an occupation that is both a good fit and generates a livable income. My students need guidance as they move from high school to post-graduation training/education and this book did not provide me with any meaningful additional tools with which to do this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very inspiring book
full of great histories of how people from different disciplines found their passion, can't wait to find my element. i totally recommend this book.
Published 3 days ago by Jacobo
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected more
I'm an educator and had seen sir Ken Robinson on Ted. What I got was a lot of fluff and very little substance. Read more
Published 4 days ago by dxbcust
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful - well thought out and well written
Ken Robinson offers some insights on finding what makes us more satisfied with our existence. While this is not a "How to" book, it has the feel of a guide that could help... Read more
Published 5 days ago by J. Mirabal
5.0 out of 5 stars The Title Tells it All
Everything means your life, your hopes, your fears, and unmasks your deepest desires. Knowing yourself is another way of becoming your best friend..
Published 23 days ago by Enid Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars The element
Every one in a while I will buy a book relating to finding ones passion only to understand that we have to stir our own "Passion"
Published 1 month ago by Roselynn Littlejohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent and inspiring
Excellent and inspiring, especially for the younger generation who seem to have lost the passion for nature as well as human interaction that can result in the innovation that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Baumgartner
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, if you need allot of examples of "How To."
The book was an interesting read on the histories of many people. It is written in a way to show you how others have changed their lives given their own challenges in life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joe Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars Retired
Passion, looking for irk am in a completely new phase in my life, so much on my to do list
Published 2 months ago by Embem
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I love the pure honesty of the way Ken Robinson's passion truely comes out in his writing. This book is uplifting, inspiring, and educational! I loved it!
Published 2 months ago by Mandi
3.0 out of 5 stars + tons of examples - not so many tools
The book nicely describes the element and various characteristics and aspects of it, but I had some expectations that it would provide useful tools. I found that it didn't really. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kristina Syk
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Topic From this Discussion
Why is the Kindle Version so expensive?
I second this. I would like to buy the Kindle version. But when it costs $3-$4 more than the print version. I just cant bring myself to do it, just on principle. It is disrespectful to customers, to think we wont notice, or wont realize the ebook price should be less than the print price. The... Read more
Sep 24, 2012 by Kenneth D. Hunsaker |  See all 2 posts
Cannot WAIT to read this book!
Sir Ken Robinson is fighting for us to understand that in the coming world, creativity will be our most important quality. Schools that focus on passing logical/linear tests have beaten the daylights our of our childrens' dreams and true abilities. There has never been a more important messag.e... Read more
Feb 21, 2011 by Christine Ranck |  See all 2 posts
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