14 July 2010

The Element

Written by Published in Book Reviews

Ever wondered what it is in life you are missing out on? Bored at work, school or university, in your leisure time? Want to do more of the thing you are best at? Then it could be that you need to find your Element.

Expert in creativity and innovation, Ken Robinson defines the Element as ‘the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion – a self-revelation, connecting identity, purpose and well-being’. But there is something is wrong with the way we live our lives. Though we live in a fast-changing world, our organisations and systems are locked into the past, causing us frustration. 

Through a series of epiphanies, we learn how people like Matt Groening, Mick Fleetwood, and Paul McCartney were saved from mediocrity by finding their Element. These stories, fascinating in themselves, remain anecdotal sidelines alongside the book’s other riches. Robinson brilliantly disseminates the West’s antiquated education system that pushes aside activities involving the heart, the body, the senses and a good part of our brains; the implications on workforces due to changing technologies and demographies; the West’s obsession with measuring intelligence through tests; the effect of the Enlightenment on our thinking. Sections on Finding Your Tribe, Getting Into the Zone and the importance of mentoring relationships, are compelling. ‘I get it; I love it; I want it; where is it?’ writes Robinson about the Element. The same goes about this affecting and inspiring book. 

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson (Penguin) £9.99 

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