Imagine a world where everyone knows their talents, feels fulfilled by them and finds joy in contributing to the world with their work, instead of going to the office everyday to punch their time card and wait until closing time. Ken Robinson–an internationally known author of The Element and popular speaker–paints such a picture. He specializes in creativity, education and helping people live more joyful and fulfilling lives.
This book focuses on teaching why it is so important that we find what we are passionate about–our “element.” He explains how creativity is vital to a fulfilling life, and how there are limitless types of intelligence and ways of being creative–in other words, no one is stupid or unimaginative. He tells many stories of how individual people found their element, what they did with it and the success they found because of it–despite obstacles they may have faced. He also talks about the current educational system and how it often stifles creativity. He shares how we can transform schools in to places where children love discovering their own elements. Ken also describes what to do once we find our element: discovering the community, or “tribe” as he calls it, that revolves around that element, and then more specifically, finding a mentor who can teach and encourage us further along the path.
Parts I liked best
I loved Ken’s humor and all of the interesting stories of successful people. He interviewed members of the Beatles, Matt Groening (writer of The Simpsons), Meg Ryan, mathematicians, artists, billiards players, dancers, writers, hip hop musicians and many, many more. This is a very interesting book to read. The book opened my eyes to worlds that I never knew existed–billards world championships and quilt art for example. I learned to never discount a person’s interests. I came to more fully appreciate the importance of creativity and listening to our true selves.
How this book made an impact in my life, especially as a mother
I love the idea of helping my children find their passion in life. What a wonderful gift for a child! If I can help my children explore and find things that make them happy and make the world a better place, then I will have succeeded. My goal is to start this discovery process at as young an age as possible. It could lead to a very fulfilling and rewarding career, or perhaps it will be an amazing part of life that they absolutely love in their free time.
I also appreciated that Ken mentions that the element can be found at any age and any stage in life. We can also have more than one element and it can change over time. When we become parents, we often forget who we are due to our many responsibilities. But when we find our element, it enhances everything else we do. Our children can take a lot of pride in what we accomplish and it sets a wonderful example for them–that they can do what they love and be excellent at it. Often, our abilities within our element are enhanced by our age and experience, showing that we will never be to old to work within it.
*this post was previously published at PowerofMoms.com
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