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Customer Review

96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining speaker, very disappointing book, 1 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Hardcover)
Having seen Ken Robinson's talks on TED, I felt motivated to check out his book. I found what he had to say was both entertaining and inspirational, and I felt inclined to find out more.

Well, what of the book? I can suppose why many people gave it 4 and 5 stars. We all enjoy a good story. I do, and at first I did genuinely find the stories interesting and inspirational, but here the author uses a story to put forward even the smallest idea. By the time I was half way through I felt myself getting weary. The point itself seemed lost.
But there aren't just success stories. There are other kinds of stories, some of which really seem like digressions for the sake of a story, until at last it arrives on a wispy point, a brief bridge before, god help me, another story. I'm sorry to say there's little substance to this.

I loved hearing the Author speak on TED and in this book he describes speaking as his personal 'element', he explains that when you're in your 'element', time seems to slow down. This could explain how he got the bulk of this 288 page book's message in to a 20 minute talk.

If you are happy to read lots of stories about people finding their inspiration, get this book. If you are looking to be pointed toward finding your own inspiration, don't bother.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Aug 2011 02:28:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Aug 2011 02:45:12 BDT
Brendan says:
"If you are happy to read lots of stories about people finding their inspiration, get this book. If you are looking to be pointed toward finding your own inspiration, don't bother."

What I like is that he doesn't try to point you, because he couldn't know who the reader is and thusly where to point them. His point in the book is that every person is different and is good at something, and by pursuing what we love doing we have the greatest chance of living a life of personal meaning and happiness.

Sure, there are lots and lots of quite short 'example stories' in the book - but they are all true stories. He's no Hemingway of a writer, but he is an inspirational person and his points remain valid in written form. What you should take away from this book is that you need to do some soul-searching within yourself to find what you are good at and perhaps always wanted to do, but either never got round to it or you just never did it for whatever reason.

It's not too late either, as he says in the book: "Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal lens when he was 87".

Posted on 19 Dec 2011 10:08:46 GMT
A. Halfacre says:
Try this as a pointer to finding your inspiration: First, Know What You Want - why goals don't work and how to make them

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2011 14:27:08 GMT
A. Monaghan says:
I don't take recommendations for a book from its author very seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2012 08:36:33 GMT
Gary Orman says:
Well, it worked for me LOL! I followed the link and bought the book "First, Know What You Want" - and will review it shortly :)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2012 16:25:46 BDT
I had to chuckle at your comments, I was thinking that a book of this guy's work would just be an expanded view of his 20 min talk. I have a friend who has this book and after talking to her, I realised I got the core of the guys work in the video

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jul 2013 11:52:05 BDT
El Asmar says:
I have to agree with Brendan. Ken Robinson's element is in speaking, not writing a well structured book

Posted on 17 Apr 2014 15:38:00 BDT
Oscar Wilde says:
I couldn't agree more! 75% of this book tells the success story of one famous person or another and most of whom got support from families...nothing of real substance for those every day folk wanting to find their own "element". Screw work, lets play is a better book. It has practical advice.
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