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


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

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk video and groundbreaking book, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. The Element has inspired readers all over the world and has created for Robinson an intensely devoted following. ...

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

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk video and groundbreaking book, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment through the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. The Element has inspired readers all over the world and has created for Robinson an intensely devoted following. Now comes the long-awaited companion, the practical guide that helps people find their own Element. Among the questions that this new book answers are:

  • How do I find out what my talents and passions are?
  • What if I love something I’m not good at?
  • What if I’m good at something I don’t love?
  • What if I can’t make a living from my Element?
  • How do I do help my children find their Element?

Finding Your Element comes at a critical time as concerns about the economy, education and the environment continue to grow. The need to connect to our personal talents and passions has never been greater.  As Robinson writes in his introduction, wherever you are, whatever you do, and no matter how old you are, if you’re searching for your Element, this book is for you.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In The Element, Sir Kenneth Robinson wrote about the deep fulfillment that emerges when personal talent converges with personal passion. In Finding Your Element, he takes the concept further, explaining not only how we can discover our talents and passions, but also what we can do when they don't seem to mesh or don't lead to a successful career. Arriving during these still uncertain economic times, this book provides steadying guidelines to some of the major questions that we all need to solve.

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)
Publishers Weekly - Audio
Creativity expert Ken Robinson has carved out a niche for himself in the self-help genre. In his latest title, a sequel to the bestselling The Element, Robinson puts forth a strategy for self-analysis and introspection designed to bring about personal transformation. A British native now living in the United States, Robinson, with his conversational tone and relaxed cadence, seems to go out of his way to avoid the forceful delivery generally associated with motivational messages. Even the portions of the recording devoted to Robinson’s own inspiring story of coping with the challenges of polio at a young age seem low-key, though still engaging. A Viking hardcover. (May)
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
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452641713
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/21/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lou Aronica

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human potential. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers and has had a profound impact on audiences globally. Born in the U.K., he now lives in Los Angeles. 

Lou Aronica is the author and coauthor of several books, including the national bestsellers The Culture Code and The Element. He lives in Connecticut.

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