The Element, offers insights about the importance of discovering your own true best self. Author, Ken Robinson provides a worthy critique on our education system. Public education was created in the interested of industrialism and in the image of industrialism which puts relentless pressure on students to conform. This conformity drains our creativity and prevents us from discovering the point where natural talent meets personal passion. Robinson emphasizes the importance of enthusiasm and that it should always be encouraged. Let’s stop judging and start encouraging.
I found the book to be very inspirational and validating for some of my own personal life choices. There was a little too much focus on the rich and famous. I would have loved a few more antidotes from more middle-class or even poor people who have discovered their passions. I hope many people read this book and find their own Element that provides meaning and happiness in their lives.
Here are some quotes from the book:
“Education is the system that’s supposed to develop our natural abilities and enable us to make our way in the world. Instead, it is stifling the individual talents and abilities of too many students and killing their motivation to learn. There’s a huge irony in the middle of all this.”
“Up to a point you welcome being interrupted because it is only by interacting with other people that you get anything interesting done.” (Freeman Dyson)
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
“If you want to change the world, who do you begin with, yourself or others? I believe if we begin with ourselves and do the things that we need to do and become the best person we can be, we have a much better chance of changing the world for the better.” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
“You can think of creativity as applied imagination.”
“The element is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion.”
“The element has two main features, and there are two conditions for being in it. The features are aptitude and passion. The conditions are attitude and opportunity. The sequence goes something like this: I get it; I love it; I want it; Where is it?”
“My goal with this book is to illuminate for you concepts that you might have sensed intuitively and to inspire you to find the Element for yourself and to help others find it as well. What I hope you will find here is a new way of looking at your own potential and the potential of those around you.”
Learn more about Ken Robinson’s ideas on creativity, his appeal to think of ourselves and to face the future differently at TED. View his TED talks online: Ken Robinson says School are Killing Creativity and Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution. TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design.