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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Paperback – 7 Jan 2010
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With a crackling wit and a deep humanity, (Ken Robinson) urges us to ignore the naysayers, bypass the crowd and find the place where our talents and desires intersect (Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind)
A book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it (Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway)
Happiness really is within your grasp (Guardian)
The Element gives you the feeling that all is possible if we dig deeply within ourselves, using our imaginations and curiosity (Vidal Sassoon)
About the Author
Ken Robinson is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit organisations and some of the world's leading cultural organisations. He was knighted in 2003 for his contribution to education and the arts.
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This is linked in with his criticism of education, which does not cater for diversity and squeezes children down very narrow channels.
His views and outlooks on identity, finding satisfaction and simply being yourself fit in perfectly with my job as a counsellor
An easy read that challenges you to think "Am I really happy with my life and my job, or am I just doing things that everyone else expects me to do!"
Ken Robinson sets out to detail what the element is, how famous examples have found theirs, and how it could radically impact the lives of individuals and wider society. Win.
It's a fascinating read and really gives you food for thought about what your element might be. And herein lies the small snag at the heart of the book. He doesn't really give you any real direction as to how you might go about finding yours. True, you might find inspiration in the examples he gives of others, including Paulo Coelho, Ridley Scott, Paul McCartney, Mick Fleetwood and Susan Jeffers. But a little more assistance might have been nice - especially given his focus on the importance of those mentors and teachers who have helped his examples find theirs. Perhaps this is because he wants you to buy his follow-up book.
The first couple of chapters get a little repetitive and after a while, the endless congratulatory stories of a person going from having a terrible time to loving life get very same-y, but from about chapter 4 onwards the book hits its stride. It's a damning indictment of the education system, although more solutions could have been offered than just showing more examples of schools that do things differently. It's easy to criticise a system, but much harder to propose a new one.
That being said, it's still a fascinating and inspirational read, and highly recommended reading - particularly for policymakers.
Ken Robinson talks about a state Education is in now and how it can be changed to meet needs of ours and in forming a better society as a result.
Like I said, I love this book, I admire Ken Robinson, and I recommend it to anyone who is open minded enough :) Enjoy it!