The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

by Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica

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Element 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 85 reviews.
TerBenn More than 1 year ago
I heard Dr. Ken Robinson discussing his book "The Element" on Huckabee, and immediately ordered it at B&N online. I awaited it anxiously and was very pleased that it arrived promptly! My anticipation was well founded! Dr. Robinson's book was a GREAT read! I am at a point in my life, having worked in the same field for over 25 years, that I have begun entertaining the idea of pursuing another line of work along some of my interests. "The Element" gave me a fresh and insightful perspective into what is likely to provide me with the greatest level of satisfaction and feeling of achievement. Dr. Robinson did an artful job of weaving the stories of real people, many of them celebrities or people of notoriety, into his thematic presentation. He adeptly utilized inspiring true life accounts of people who have found "the element" to illustrate his persuasive arguments in each chapter. He paints a very convincing picture of how people are happiest in life when their abilities or competencies intersect their passions or most gratifying pursuits. In short, he guides the reader through "I get it!"... "I love it!"... "I want it!"... "Where is it?!" Fortunately, or tragically (I'm still mulling this over!), about the time I was ready to charge out and begin a new career, Robinson allowed for the fact that a person can still feel very fulfilled through pursuing their passion as a hobby or outside interest and not just through making it their life's work. Reading "The Element" was undoubtably time well spent! I seriously hated putting it down and, when I had finished it, thought that it ended almost too soon. However, Dr. Robinson did a masterful job of making his point, and providing genuine inspiration, in an appropriate amount of time. The length is perfect... long enough to be convincing... brief enough to leave you wanting more. Nice job. Dr. Robinson is certainly in "the element". Pick up a copy soon and BUY it, don't borrow it, as you'll want to have it on your bookshelf for periodic review!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise that people all should do their element is pretty common knowledge. The vignettes were interesting, but for me not much different that a gathering of profiles that I have read in various magazines. I guess I was expecting a more "how to find your element" rather than just examples of people in their element.
eejs More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. All parents and educators should read this. Explains why we need to make changes to our educational system to allow for and develop creativity and right-brained thinking as we progress in the 21st Century. Many examples of people who did not fit into conventional/technical/math/science curriculum, but became highly successful and have made an impact in the world when they found their "Element." Reading this and Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" will inspire you to want to make changes and to do away with all the technical testing required by Bush's No Child Left Behind law.
VirginiaMcHugh More than 1 year ago
Robinson's insight into creativity is innovative and motivating. He inspires us all to uncover and follow our inner passions in our daily life and work. Using anecdotes as well as thoughtful reflection, Robinson's humorous tone keeps the pace fast without diluting his message. This is a must-read for anyone who feels victim to monotony.
randomaccess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yet another "find your passion/do what you love" book, which makes a case for the importance of doing something you're passionate about (duh!), but with little advice on how to go about doing it. This one adds a deserved dig at our educational system.
jugglingpaynes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For anyone who has seen Ken Robinson's TED talk, some of the anecdotes in this book will sound familiar. The book is full of stories about men and women who have found their element, their passion. It offers advice on how to find your own element, as well as the obstacles that keep us from it. I was particularly interested in the section on standardized testing. I have been an opponent of standardized tests for a long time, and I have rarely heard a better argument against them. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to help guide a child (or themselves) toward a more fulfilling life.
dmcolon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you've ever heard Ken Robinson's famous Ted talk, The Element is pretty familiar ground. To some extent, it is an elaboration of that talk. Robinson stresses the importance of creativity and how schools systematically sap creativity out of students. The book is sprinkled with interviews with celebrities, scholars, authors, and the like. I really didn't learn anything new from the book, but Robinson does a good job making his case. He doesn't really outline much specific in terms of educational practices, but he does pose the problem to us. Robinson asks: how do we harness our creativity to face the challenges we face as a society? In that sense, the Element raises what is perhaps the single most important topic of our age.
GShuk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is really just his opinions on this topic for he only uses anecdotes to support his points. While it was uplifting at points it also felt long and drawn out. It was interesting hearing about the famous people who were having a hard time in school only to find their calling later in life. (He does a lot of school bashing) While this is not a self help book he does explore what is involved in finding your element and valuing the pursuit of it in others. There are better books on this topic.
cepheid36552 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It is SO inspiring. I think everyone should read this at some point in their life. It is never too late to make a difference with your life.
Doey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cute stories; extraordinarily little substance
buchowl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a disappointment to me. It was filled with inspiring stories about people who had found their passion/life's work against the odds, but the book had no direction or advice about finding what that passion is (some of us need a little help in that area). Then, after multiple chapters of inspiring stories, the book launches into a discussion on educational reform, then to environmental issues and finally to population statistics. While informative (and depressing) I'm not sure what exactly that has to do with finding your life's work or playing to your strengths (unless education/the environment/population issues ARE your passion). Nice book, important information but not the correct forum/vehicle.Recommended for someone who is well aware of his/her strengths and passions but needs a push to go for it. Skip chapter 11 and the afterword unless global/educational issues are of interest to you.
sgtbigg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not the usual type of thing that I read but I picked it up in the library on a whim. Dr. Robinson explains that those who do what they love are happier in life, no surprises there. He then goes on to give multiple examples of people who have had great success in life after doing poorly in school. The point being that schools do not do a good job of developing talents outside of math, science, and reading. While I agree with Dr. Robinson¿s assessments, once he made them he really had no where else to go so he kept making them in different ways. The book was relatively short but I got bored with it about half way through, once I got the main point it became somewhat depressing to hear about people doing what they loved and making a living at it. All in all it wasn't a bad book and Dr. Robinson injected a good bit of humor throughout. Bizarrely, some of his writing reminded me of Douglas Adams.
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E-reader_ More than 1 year ago
After hearing a speech by Sir Ken Robinson I purchased this book. It is worth the read. He expounds on his work in creativity. The latter half of his book seems to veer off; however, it is a book I would recommend. I especially would recommend it to parents of young children.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good that, although I borrowed the library copy, I may end up buying it. For anyone out there that knows they are meant to be doing more with their lives but, up to now, feels a bit sidetracked by life (education, friends, family...) this book will help you understand why you've ended up where you are, and give you some insight into how you can step into a more fulfilling life. BUY IT NOW!
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RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
According to author and education consultant Sir Ken Robinson, today's educational systems promote only certain types of learning and recognize only certain types of intelligence and creativity. Yet people are happiest when they follow their talents and do what they love. Robinson, writing with co-author Lou Aronica, describes this avenue to fulfillment as "the Element," the intersection of ability and passion. He uses stories of artists, scientists, athletes and musicians to support his theory. While Robinson makes a strong case for finding your Element, he doesn't tell you how to get there. Since he relies on case histories of the famous, some readers might feel more distanced than motivated. Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends this thoughtful self-help book, which challenges traditional views of intelligence and creativity.
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