Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life

4.8 5
by Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Element gives listeners an inspirational and practical guide to self-improvement, happiness, creativity, and personal transformation.See more details below


The New York Times bestselling author of The Element gives listeners an inspirational and practical guide to self-improvement, happiness, creativity, and personal transformation.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This apparently rushed, thin sequel to the author’s previous book, The Element, outlines a practical path to finding your passion and turning it into a vocation. Robinson begins by encouraging readers to not only think freely about their aptitudes, but to actively muddle them—to try new activities, not for the activities themselves but for the skills and talents they may reveal or develop. Unfortunately, after introducing a new idea, Robinson often lapses into abstraction. Chapters attempt to guide readers through the “inward” and “outward” journeys of finding their “Element,” from understanding their own abilities, insecurities, and blockages to finding an outlet and community for their strengths. Most chapters begin with perfunctory brainstorming exercises bolstered with glosses on pop psychology (like lessons on learning types, meditation, and happiness studies) and inspirational anecdotes from TED-friendly celebrities like Jamie Oliver. None of Robinson’s advice is particularly motivating, as the exercises rarely encourage doing much beyond list, ruminate, or (even worse) search the Internet for personality tests. The book is brimming with stories of others finding their passion, but readers would do better looking elsewhere to locate their own. Agent: Peter Miller, PMA Literary and Film Management, Inc. (May 21)
Library Journal
In addition to hard work and perseverance, there are a number of ways to achieve one's dreams and goals. Professional mentor Carter offers 20 "breakthroughs" or "course corrections" (think following a compass) to assist readers in fulfilling their basic needs, such as finding love, understanding, and meaning in life. Carter poses questions, relies upon case studies, and guides readers through worksheets that ask them to list their priorities and strengths and their energy-givers and energy-takers (or people and activities that respectively invigorate one's life or sap energy from it). Similarly, Robinson (The Element, LJ 12/08) believes that one can achieve self-fulfillment by meshing natural talents and personal passions. He helps readers embark on a personal quest to find their purpose in life through exercises, narratives, and autobiographical information. VERDICT Both approaches are potentially useful to those willing to delve into the exercises. But are there new answers here to the old questions that are posed? Not really.
Kirkus Reviews
Another self-help book about attaining your true potential, from Robinson and co-author Aronica. The desire to help people find a life that resonates with who they are, both on the inside and the outside, is the principle behind Robinson's (Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, 2011, etc.) practical guidebook on discovering one's "element" or authentic self. "Finding your element is a highly personal and often surprising process," he writes, "that has different outcomes for each of us." Building on ideas presented in The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (2009), Robinson uses a variety of methods, such as questions and hands-on exercises (mind maps, vision boards, automatic writing and Venn diagrams are just some examples), to help readers on their quest. When followed, these prompts generate visual, progressive layers of understanding that lead readers to a place where natural aptitudes and abilities converge with one's passions. The ultimate goal is to create a life that brings inner peace and satisfaction along with social and economic balance for the individual and society as a whole. By acknowledging one's dreams and understanding the conditions needed to fulfill them, readers can create their own organic, nonlinear destiny and discover a lifestyle that eliminates regret and truly expresses a person's individuality. Stories drawn from his personal life as well as from those who have followed Robinson's other works add balance and some credibility to the process, and the books and websites mentioned throughout the text supply additional support. Mostly a rehash of The Element, but fans may glean some insight about understanding who we are as individuals and how we can have a better life that communicates our uniqueness to the world.
From the Publisher
"[Ken Robinson's] intimate, understated performance creates the perfect atmosphere for quieting down the noise in your life, taking a fresh look at things, and moving your energies in a better direction." —AudioFile

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for THE ELEMENT by Sir Ken Robinson

"Offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self."—Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, any dream, a reality. The Element captures that force with passion and insight."—Tony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within

"The Element is another reminder of why Sir Ken Robinson is one of America's finest imports. With a crackling wit and deep humanity, he urges us to ignore the naysayers, bypass the crowd, and find the place where our talents and desires intersect. This is a truly inspiring book."—Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

"Ken Robinson presents the theme of creativity and innovation in a way that makes you want to go out and make your dreams a reality. In his wonderfully easy-to-read and entertaining style he presents the stories of many who have done just that...It is a book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it."—Susan Jeffers, Ph.D, bestselling author of Feel the Fear and DO it Anyway and Life is Huge!

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