Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognised thinker. I first discovered him when an animated version of a TED talk he gave was shown at a course I was attending, and I was seriously impressed – so I jumped at the chance to review his latest offering. The TED talk here is definitely worth a watch if you have any interest in the education system.
Finding Your Element is a companion book to an earlier publication, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, and has been written in response to feedback from readers to the first book – which seems to have been in the vein of “this is great – but how do I do it?”
Finding Your Element is a practical book, designed to walk you through the process of finding what makes you feel happy, fulfilled and has meaning for you – your own element, where your passions and aptitudes meet. It’s perfect for anyone who is unsure of what their work future holds or who feels stuck in a rut – for anyone aged 18 -80, or beyond. It’s not necessarily focussed towards career choices, although that is the most obvious application.
Robinson’s style is friendly and authoritative; he presents a large number of interesting case studies to illustrate the points he’s making, and there are regular exercises to complete to provoke your thinking and help you come to your own conclusions. The exercises use a multitude of learning styles – this fits with Robinson’s own views on creativity and learning styles – so the book does not subscribe to a one-way-fits-all mode of self-discovery.
As someone who is already working within their current element, the book was more an affirmation of my own decisions and situation than an awakening. Finding Your Element was definitely worth a read though; and the final chapter, “Living a Life of Passion and Purpose” is a fantastic recipe for living a good life, regardless of your age, stage, or where you are in terms of finding your element.
Review by Rachel Moore
Finding your Element
by Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica
Published by Penguin