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Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life Paperback – 30 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241952026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241952023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
According to Ken Robinson, what he characterizes as "The Element" is not a physical location but the challenge is to locate it, nonetheless. "It's about doing something that feels so completely natural to you, that resonates so strongly with you, that you feel as if this is who you really are." Some people locate it in childhood, others decades later, and still others never. "Finding your Element is a quest to find yourself...it is a two-way journey: an inward journey to explore what lies within you and an outward journey to explore opportunities in the world around you." Robinson wrote The Element (2009) with Lou Aronica who also assisted with the writing of Finding Your Element four years later. Ever since the first book was published, Robinson explains, "people have asked me how they can find their own Element, or help other people to find theirs."

In response, this sequel has five main thematic threads that weave throughout the book, each of which is intended to help the reader reflect and focus on finding their own Element and, if they wish to, help others to do so. Robinson provides ideas and principles as well as stories and examples, stories, and other resources such as 15 exercises to complete (more about them in a moment) and clusters of questions to consider at the end of each chapter before moving on to the next. In fact, each chapter title is a question. "Although there are ten chapters in the book, Finding Your Element is not a ten-step program." Just as Oscar Wilde once suggested, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken," Robinson suggests that only the reader can answer the questions posed. "In the end, only you will know if you've found your Element or if you are still looking for it. Whichever it proves to be, you should never doubt this is a quest worth taking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emma on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am suspicious of 'how to' books as a genre but this one is cheerful, encouraging and optimistic. It can be criticised for addressing a privileged middle class audience who might be able to afford to change career path or have the luxury to indulge a passion whereas the majority of people are either unemployed or in jobs they can't abandon. But...Ken Robinson raises some interesting questions about how narrow our current education system is and how it undermines natural talents outside of academic achievement, a topic he has given many TED talks on. Well worth reading
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PlanckPige on 1 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Essential reading for anyone who feels they're just going through the motions and doing what's expected. Open your eyes to what you want to do instead. Lots of good exercises to get you to see yourself differently.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Oguzhan on 21 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ken Robinson is the guy who everyone should listen to when it comes to education, motivation and how the human Development Works. The book has too much fluff before it gets to the point. If it was me I'd publish this book in 40 pages and it would still get the work done.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By mb3012 on 24 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The good advice in this book could be written down in half-a-dozen pages at most. The rest is a bit dull. The author is clearly sincere in wanting to help people find their passion and in his belief that going so is a good thing. Can't argue with that. But the declared aim of this book is to tell you how to find your element and it really doesn't do that. The problem is ALL the stories of people following their passions start with a natural process of discovery - most of them a single life changing experience after which they just 'knew' what they had to do. None of the stories tell of someone who found their element through a process of analysis. I finished the book feeling that I hadn't learnt anything new or moved forward. I DID do the activities but this became harder because they are very repetitive and frankly unimaginative.

I came away liking the author and would have liked to have given the book a higher rating but it simply doesn't deliver on its aim.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anthony on 14 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
But it is not needed. IF you have 'The element' don't buy this! It is just cashing in on previous success.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would recommend anyone who is not clear of their future profession to read this. When you mix aptitude and ability with passion you get the sense of being in the "element". Work takes on a different meaning and is no longer "work" in the traditional sense. I wish more parents would give this book to their kids instead of pushing them to study without a purpose.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By fizzYcaL on 15 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
'Finding Your Element' gives you the courage to explore your talents, passions and skills. You'll end up asking yourself difficult questions, which if faced honestly will provide easy answers.

In the final chapter the authors introduce us to Bronnie Ware who worked with terminally ill patients and they all shared five common wishes:

1. I WISH I'D HAD THE COURAGE TO LIVE A LIFE TRUE TO MYSELF, NOT THE LIFE OTHERS EXPECTED OF ME.

2. I WISH I HADN'T WORKED SO HARD.

3. I WISH I'D HAD THE COURAGE TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.

4. I WISH I'D STAYED IN TOUCH WITH MY FRIENDS.

5. I WISH I'D LET MYSELF BE HAPPIER.

Taking this book on your journey inwards maybe your first steps to a life without regrets.
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