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218 of 249 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More Discouraging than Encouraging, October 27, 2010
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This review is from: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Paperback)
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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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2010 3:15:55 PM PST
Lyle Josey says:
It's interesting you would mention all of that. You may be right about the book, however, the author is quite different. I implore you to do a bit of googling on him and watch both of his TED speeches, just to get a better idea of him. I am not at all discrediting your review, just letting you know that the author is about a bit more than targeting "elitists" as an audience.

You may find that you become inspired once you watch the speeches, which is why many people bought this book, including myself (just haven't read it yet!).

It's my belief that you must make your own difference, no one can make it for you. If you bought a book to help you make difference, then you are likely looking in the wrong place. Everyone gets there through their own methods however, so who am I to say a book isn't one of them? heh.

good review, unbiased by the speeches (I think). I Still bought the book though, author's is too good at speeches!

Posted on Dec 8, 2010 1:17:44 PM PST
Paul Bressie says:
Looking for a process to discover your passion? Here's a suggestion: play.

Posted on Jan 1, 2011 1:16:12 PM PST
One of the best reviews I've ever read it my life. I'm gonna check out your other ones. Thanks!

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 1:23:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011 1:25:36 AM PST
John Read says:
Thank for for taking the time and putting your thoughts into this review.
Like the book you criticise, I think your critique may have been much better served by making suggestions for other books in your experience that addressed the need you identified. Then you would have moved your story from grumpy to solution focused, an important step in helping others too.

Here's some books that might help others find their passion and convert it into their career:
Finding Your Passion: The Easy Guide to Your Dream Care. Marcy Morrison.
Falling in Love with Work: A Practical Guide to Igniting Your Passion for Your Career by Denice Kronau (Paperback - May 15, 2011)
Backing U!: A Business-Oriented Guide to Backing Your Passion and Achieving Career Success by Vaughan Evans (Paperback - Dec 1, 2009)
No Parachute Required: Translating Your Passion Into a Paycheck--and a Career by Jeff Gunhus (Paperback - Apr 11, 2001)
And of course....the classic raised in the title of the book above from Richard Bowles, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles (Paperback - Aug 16, 2011)
Of course even my critics critique could be improved, a brief synopsis about each book, for example. I don't have time I'm sorry, even this is a luxury!
In closing, I really like one star reviews, they frequently say it like it is, and that can be really helpful. So thank you for your effort.

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 6:48:05 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 7, 2012 6:00:10 AM PDT]

Posted on May 15, 2013 7:15:29 AM PDT
TJ says:
Hi Susan,
In looking up this book, I noticed there is an Element workbook that just came out in 2013! maybe that will give you the answers you are looking for.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2013 7:59:25 AM PDT
Susan Adrian says:
Thanks so much for letting me know. I will definitely check it out.

Posted on May 17, 2013 1:10:56 PM PDT
Fred says:
The process of finding one's passion I would imagine starts from early childhood, it has a lot to do with how off springs are raised, how much exposure they have had to various endeavors and how much they have been supported and encouraged during this process. Void of such background (like most of us), one has to play catch up I would think; how could an adult, one that has been formed and pursuing a career venue could potentially stop, change course and restart on a different road? I would venture to say that one should and could put aside his/her inhibitions and start to delve within himself/herself and find in those long forgotten corners of ones mind and dreams, nuggets of interest and resurface them and this time, pursue them on ones free time and have the determination to do what it takes to satisfy those dreams. If one were to be following ones passion, the entire experience itself would be self fulfilling and fun. There are no easy ways to find your passion....


Posted on May 17, 2013 3:18:25 PM PDT
I also appreciated your review, and although I haven't read the book and I do plan to borrow it from the public library, I think I was already prepared to see some of the shortcomings you mention. (Frankly, I didn't care for Robinson's TED talks, either. He said some things which I know are misleading.) Still, it sounds like a quick read, and I'd like to see what he has to say, simply because he has been so influential lately

I doubt very much that you have no passion. Probably what you mean is that you can see no way how anyone would pay you to do what you love to do. That seems reasonable enough. So, if contemplating how to translate your gifts into dollars (or pounds sterling) looks like a dead end, then don't go that route.

What did you love to do most in your earliest childhood -- well before puberty, perhaps well before your age reached double-digits? What did you receive the most compliments on, the ones you remembered, which gave you an intense feeling of pleasure and self-consciousness? What gave your mother or father the biggest thrill? The biggest surprise?

This may not work, either. I am actually of the belief that "creativity," in a true sense, is almost never nurtured and probably cannot be. I believe that it is most likely to be born of rebellion. I also believe that its primary motivation is not money, which would ultimately be a narcissistic impulse. Money is the way we vote for what pleases the crowd. I'm more of the now-traditional view that the primary motivation of creativity is sexual. You're not trying to impress a crowd, then pass around the hat and find a million bucks there. You're trying to find the One who makes you complete.

Try reading Plato's Symposium, only be sure to get a really good, contemporary translation. The stiffer translations of Plato would put anyone to sleep in a couple of pages.

I don't believe "ordinary" people don't have a passion. That's like saying you have to be beautiful to have love in your life. I believe your passion was likely stifled. I also believe that we are encouraged to substitute phony passions for real ones, and to have our eyes on the dollar at all times.

Creativity is not a popularity contest; nevertheless, it is a social product. I believe people are less creative than they used to be, primarily because money can't fuel the real thing. There are few great achievements in literature, for example, by anyone under the age of 60 right now. Cinema is better, but not by all that much. The rest of the arts are in about the same state. It's as if everyone is looking over their shoulder to see whether money is coming. And technology -- oh, Lord. It prospers according to how well it can induce addictive behavior and spur consumption.

I think rebellion is the key. People will tell you over and over that you can't, can't, can't. That you mustn't. That someone else is better than you. At some point you will believe exactly the opposite. And then, you will have tuned them out forever.

Posted on May 27, 2013 3:42:40 PM PDT
Maximzodal says:
Passion? We all undoubtedly know someone who is passionate about something. And believe it or not, we may or may not find it admirable, or recognize its value to them. It's theirs, not ours. Not everyone's passion is earth moving or life altering.

Passion is not thrust on you. It can't be! Who could do it? It's your passion. Discovering what you are passionate about is totally individualistic and ultimately up to you alone. There is no cookbook with guaranteed, lab tested, recipes instructing you how to find what you are passionate about, Do this, then this, and this, and bingo, there it is. There can't be. Would you trust such a recipe? If anything, this book offers how others eventually recognized what they were passionate about and what they did about it. Illustrating, I suppose, that it is possible.

What are doing in your life? Is it worthwhile doing, is it interesting, do you want to continue doing it? If not, investigate what you do find interesting, what you do find worthwhile doing, what would you like to do.

Sorry, but no one else can find your passion, or tell you how to.
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