During the summer holiday, my mum read The Element by Ken Robinson while I read Quiet by Susan Cain and she spent the whole time pestering me about how good the book was and how much I would love it, so obviously as soon as I had finished Quiet I picked up The Element.
Ken Robinson is described as an author, speaker, and advisor on education in the arts. The Element is the word that Ken has given to the point where natural talent meets personal passion. Through the course of the book, we discover all about what the element entails, how we can find it, and the people we can meet to help us through this discovery.
With many examples and anecdotes of famous faces who have managed to find their element even if they had many struggles to get there, we learn how we too can find that fulfillment and purpose in our own lives. Lots of us believe that we can't live our passion for various reasons but this book will persuade you otherwise, I promise.
Robinson's book resonated with me perfectly. He spent the whole book preaching what I already believe in and being able to use facts and knowledge to put into words what I always struggle to explain properly.
The last chapter was definitely my favourite and brought together everything that he had been discussing throughout the book with his key issue that he is trying to educate us all on so that we can prevent it taking place. He says that as a planet we are currently a crisis of natural resources, but we are also approaching a crisis of human resources.
A crisis of human resources involves us all needing the "right conditions for growth, in our schools, businesses, and communities, and in our individual lives" so that with these right conditions, as people, we can grow in synergy with others and our environment to make the world work with us in it. Because as the rate we are going, we won't have a world, or a human race to even sustain, and I don't think any of us want that.
If I haven't already persuaded you that this book is a must read for pretty much everyone, especially those interested in creativity, the element, finding your passion, education, research, stopping our planet and population going to waste, etc... Then I must ask you to watch at least one of Ken Robinson's TED Talks which I have linked to below because these are what has inspired me most about his work.
[something written as an emotional response to Ken Robinson's book]
The thing is not that I don't want people to be what makes you happiest, it's that I don't want a temporary replaceable person to be what makes you happiest. I want you and your purpose and being to make you happiest. I want you to find your thing, your element and to live that so that you can live your most full filled and happiest life possible. So you aren't reliant on anything temporary for your happiness so that I can know you've found the thing you can get lost in and forget everything else doing. That's what I want to make you happiest.
This is what I want my job to be about, not revolutionising the education system so that our whole education can teach us what our element is and give us the possibilities and opportunities to be able to discover this. Although I wholeheartedly support this ideal and wish for this revolution as much as its founder Ken Robinson. No, I want my job to be about giving people the tools to be able to do this themselves so that we don't have to settle for something that simply pays the bills, supports our family, conforms to what the system wishes us to do. I want to help us all uniquely find our element and live it because I strongly believe that this is how the human race will survive and how we can all reach our potential and live our lives to their fullest.
We should all be able to accept ourselves and our individuality and talents because that is our purpose, that was the reason we were born, to be able to discover what makes us tick and then to live that till we have no ticking left to do. In which case we have fulfilled our job, we have done all we can for ourselves and others.
I passionately believe that we are all capable of finding our element and hope that I shall be able to give people the tools to be able to do so.
Website | TED Talks | Buy the Book | Huffington Post
Images: Book | Ken Robinson