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The Element: How Finding Your Passion…

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009)

by Ken Robinson

Other authors: Lou Aronica

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7922311,595 (3.92)3



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Review from World Cat:
With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the element--the point at which natural talent meets personal passion--and then outlines an essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities to meet the challenges of living and succeeding in the twenty-first century.
  COREEducation | Sep 3, 2015 |
This book made my reading list because it was on a list of books recommended to change your life, or a similar promise. Perhaps this would be true if I were reading it at age 19, but I suspect that most people of my age have encountered Robinson's themes previously. I recall as a teenager having Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking thrust upon me by my parents, who apparently thought I was mired in teen negativity. Imagine that! In the intervening years, I've had exposure to finding my "zone", the "artist's way", and myriad programs of workplace creativity-inspiring. And yet, I still can't definitively label my particular element. There are numerous activities I enjoy, and a few I even do well, but nothing I could accurately describe as an overriding passion.

Most of Robinson's success stories involve people who found their element seemingly by chance. I'm left to wonder what happens to the would-be dancer who is never taken to the ballet studio and thus never discovers this latent gift? Robinson doesn't address that, although he does give examples of people who find a passion later in life, or in a unorthodox context.

I spent most of the book also wondering who would drive the garbage trucks if everyone is out looking for their creative element. Surely some tasks are necessary but unlikely to elicit much passion. Zen Buddhists tackle this reality by urging mindfulness and reverence when performing every task, no matter how mundane. But Robinson doesn't seem to be coming from the "be here now" school of thought. However, he does indirectly address the question in a section titled "for love or money," noting that some people pursue their passion as a hobby while working a job to pay the bills.

Robinson's stories are engaging and inspirational, and every now and then even those of us in our middle years can benefit by renewed attention to this question of, "what are my dreams and am I pursuing them?"
( )
  Sharon.Flesher | Jul 13, 2015 |
Come tutti i libri incoraggianti e intelligenti le recensioni possono essere sostanzialmente di due tipi: (1) le solite stronzate (2) meglio della Bibbia.
Si', e' vero, alcune sono le solite cose gia' sentite, ma Robinson non le dice, le trasmette. Poi, non sara' come la Bibbia ma ci sono tanti tanti spunti che, se non risolvono, almeno aiutano. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
If you've ever found yourself sitting in a classroom wondering what in the heck you were doing there, this book offers 260 pages of pure encouragement. ( )
  dele2451 | Sep 2, 2014 |
ShelfNotes Review

Dear Reader,

The Element made for an interesting listen, since I audio-booked this. The Audio version had many pros and cons. I'm not a huge fan of self-help books but when I do read one, I prefer to listen to the audio book. This particular book had an excellent narrator and was really easy to follow along (without getting lost if you miss a sentence or two).

Robinson starts off the book using bullet points of everything he was planning on getting to (which I found slightly college term paper-esque). Each section has vignettes of personal experiences (many from famous/successful people). Each chapter ends with questions and exercises to help you work out your Element. This was what didn't really work for me since I listen to my audio books in the car. I tried to participate in my mind while driving home from work but I found myself needing the physical pen and paper to complete the exercises successfully. When I got home, I had every intention of picking up the pen and paper but it never really happened. Not sure if this is a failure on my part or the inconvenience of having the subject brought up to me during an inopportune time.

Even though I didn't complete the work the way the book was intended, I still felt I started recognizing my strengths. I've always known I'm a bookaholic, and I know that I would be extremely happy to have a job surrounding books. Now that I recognize my element... I'm suppose to work towards utilizing it. Many of the successful stories happened because of luck, money and accessibility... which is all well and good for someone who comes across this but not everyone has this chance. My circumstances have me up against the wall when it comes to education and as far as money goes, fat chance. I'm left with pure luck and hard work and I only control one of those aspects. I believe what he tells us in the book is very helpful to most people, I just might not be one of them. I respect all that Robinson shows us through The Element but haven't been convinced that it'll save your life.

Happy Reading,
AmberBug ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
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Ken Robinsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aronica, Lousecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143116738, Paperback)

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.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Discusses how people can gain the most career satisfaction with a balance between natural talent and personal passion, explores the conditions that enable and repress that possibility, and describes the careers of Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Meg Ryan, and others.… (more)

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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