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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Paperback – December 29, 2009
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“The Element offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self.” —Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“Ken Robinson presents the theme of creativity and innovation in a way that makes you want to go out and make your dreams a reality. In his wonderfully easy-to-read and entertaining style he presents the stories of many who have done just that. . . . It is a book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it.” —Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., bestselling author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway® and Life is Huge!
“A great and inspiring book. It’s been said that an unexamined life is not worth living. True enough and Ken Robinson doesn’t let us off the hook. After the first page, you have to abandon your ego and look for your own gifts and graces.” —Warren Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic
“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. . . . Motivating and persuasive, this entertaining and inspiring book will appeal to a wide audience.” —Publishers Weekly
“Ken Robinson is a remarkable man, one of the few who really look at and into you, so he makes you feel at ease and happy. I’m proud to be in his book as one of the people he feels attained the Element. Reading his book helps you pinpoint the search we must all make to achieve the best in us.” —Gillian Lynne, choreographer, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera
“While the world is changing faster than ever, our organizations, our schools, and too often our minds are locked in the habits of the past. The result is a massive waste of human talent. The Element is a passionate and persuasive appeal to think differently about ourselves and how to face the future.” —Alvin Toffler, author of The Future Shock
“A brilliant and compelling look at creativity, and the path to succeed in the global world of tomorrow.” —Harry Lodge, co-author of Younger Next Year
About the Author
Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit organizations and some of the world's leading cultural organizations. He was knighted in 2003 for his contribution to education and the arts.
To learn more about Sir Ken Robinson, visit his website at:
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Disappointing. Stick with his 20-minute TED talk “How schools kill creativity” and call it a day.
The book has two major components - the first is the premise and exploration of the theory that we need to find the intersection of talent and passion in order to ensure that our life is fulfilling and that we are ultimately successful. He uses examples of Richard Branson and Gillian Lynne among others as examples of those who followed this path, and operated outside the primary educational systems to become successful. The second premise is that our education system is not conducive to actually promoting this approach to life, and instead we stifle creativity and the ability to follow our passions - or even identify those talents and passions.
Robinson's theories are a bit provocative, and also pretty resonant with this reader. How to identify the "Element" in each of us is a critical element to happiness, and we rarely do this on a systematic basis. Anyone looking to buy this book should listen to his TED talk as well - it will give a 20 minute flavor of the thoughts and approach, and also is darn well done.
Follow your bliss, find your element. Read this book to help motivate you to do both.
While the book spends a little too much time in the realm of 'celebrity worship' (i.e., there are LOT of celebrities that have found 'the element' apparently), the book is still a very good read.
The basic premise is that every person has their own 'Element' that they fit the best into. What is the element? Basically, the Element is the location where a person's passion, interests and natural abilities intersect.
The Element is something that a person has to find for themselves. Schools can't teach a child to find their element. In fact, many schools and parents do the opposite...they try to drive children into the 'safe' areas for careers and educational study.
The book contains a lot of stories of people that have found their 'Element'. Many of these stories are of people who've gone against the 'normal' educational route to become their own person.
That said, this book does not slam modern education and teachers. From all accounts, Sir Ken Robinson is very much pro-education and pro-teacher. What the book does do well is provide examples and discussion around the current state of educational theory and what it is doing wrong.
What is current education theory and practice doing wrong? Easy...we are teaching everyone the same thing and using standardized testing to examine what has been learned. In my opinion, there's nothing worse than
The book is an easy read and highly recommended to anyone interested in the ideas of creativity and passion and educational ideas.