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The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Paperback – Dec 29 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Dec 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143116738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143116738
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The Element offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self.” —Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“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!
“A great and inspiring book. It’s been said that an unexamined life is not worth living. True enough and Ken Robinson doesn’t let us off the hook. After the first page, you have to abandon your ego and look for your own gifts and graces.” —Warren Bennis, author of On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic
“Robinson (Out of Our Minds), renowned in the areas of creativity development, innovation, and human resources, tackles the challenge of determining and pursuing work that is aligned with individual talents and passions to achieve well-being and success. . . . Motivating and persuasive, this entertaining and inspiring book will appeal to a wide audience.” —Publishers Weekly
“Ken Robinson is a remarkable man, one of the few who really look at and into you, so he makes you feel at ease and happy. I’m proud to be in his book as one of the people he feels attained the Element. Reading his book helps you pinpoint the search we must all make to achieve the best in us.” —Gillian Lynne, choreographer, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera
“While the world is changing faster than ever, our organizations, our schools, and too often our minds are locked in the habits of the past. The result is a massive waste of human talent. The Element is a passionate and persuasive appeal to think differently about ourselves and how to face the future.” —Alvin Toffler, author of The Future Shock
“A brilliant and compelling look at creativity, and the path to succeed in the global world of tomorrow.” —Harry Lodge, co-author of Younger Next Year

About the Author

Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit organizations and some of the world's leading cultural organizations. He was knighted in 2003 for his contribution to education and the arts.

To learn more about Sir Ken Robinson, visit his website at:

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Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on March 11 2009
Format: Hardcover
Why did Ken Robinson write this book? He explains in his Introduction: "My aim in writing it [with Lou Aroniva's assistance] is to offer a richer vision of human ability and creativity and of the benefits to us all of connecting properly with our individual talents and passions. This book is about issues that are of fundamental importance in our lives and in the lives of our children, our students, and the people we work with. I use the term [in italics] the Element [end italics] to describe the place where the things we love and the things we are good at come together. I believe it is essential that each of us find his or her Element, not simply because it will make us more fulfilled but because, as the world evolves, the very future of our communities and institutions will depend on it." Throughout his narrative, Robinson cites dozens of examples of people who have made the best of themselves and of others by embracing "a richer conception of human capacity." They have embraced the Element.

At one point, Robinson poses an important question to his reader: How are you intelligent? "Knowing that intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinctive allows you to address that question in new ways. This is one of the core elements of the Element." When people are in what is often referred to as "the zone," they are deep in the heart of the Element. "We become focused and intent. We live in the moment. We become lost in the experience and perform at our peak. Our breathing changes, our minds merge with our bodies, and we feel ourselves drawn effortlessly into the heart of the Element." I vividly recall Michael Jordan sinking one three-point shot after another ("all net"), especially in playoff games.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr on Sept. 28 2009
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about Sir Ken from his funny and interesting TED video: [...]

This engaging book takes you beyond just being "in the zone", and into being "in your element". Sir Ken says that 'The Element' is not so much about creativity, as it is about imagination.

In Sir Ken's words: "The Element is where natural talent meets personal passion... It looks at the critical conditions that enable us to find the Element in ourselves and in others, and the obstacles that get in the way... It explores the components of this new paradigm: The diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities."

Read it. Love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Cameron on March 7 2010
Format: Hardcover
Picked up this book after watching his TED talk.

If you are currently wondering such things as:

"What will they think if I do this?"
"Will I be good enough?"
"Do I want to do this for love or for money?"

then this book is probably for you.

Very heartfelt from beginning to end.

Especially engaging for me because I'm deciding between pursuing a Masters degree or one of my true passions in life instead.

The answer is clear after having read this book. Thanks Ken!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen Gadowsky on June 7 2009
Format: Hardcover
Read this book to find out why you or someone you know, that was full of "potential," seemed to "fall short" especially in their first 13 years of school. Sir Ken is an insightful educator that helps the masses, seduced by First World government's focus on accountability, understand what is really important in education. With humour and candor, Sir Ken Robinson brilliantly explains the importance of fostering creativity.For those who truly want to find out how educate with life impact!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Spend some time reading this book and then some time reflecting on how you got to the point of your life where you found the book and knew you needed to read it. Then reconsider your future and go find what drives your passion and incorporate it into your life. I don't know how you can't do that after reading The Element.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent guide to understanding what it is you need to think about to find your element in life. Full of real world examples. Anyone interested in this should also review Ken Robinson's TEDD Talks on YouTube. An educator who understands how to fix the educational systems.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Reid on Oct. 22 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Element : How Finding your Passion Changes Everything - Ken Robinson - 2009

This is a well-known book on creativity. Not particularly scientific, so it is to the side of what I am doing, but the gist is that you have an aptitude for something that you are passionate about and you should pursue it because that is the best thing for you to do. He has much to say about how the education system is narrowly focused on reading/riting/rithmetic, but that the world is in a period where change is happening at a far greater speed than in the past and as it is about technology not yet invented our children will be in a world with jobs not yet conceived. We are educating for the wrong thing: the past, the Industrial Revolution when basic math and reading was required and passed to a greater percentage of the human race in the western world in the 17th and 18th century. See [...] for videos of Sir Ken doing a lecture.

The first chapter explains what Sir Ken means by the Element. Pages 21 - 26 sum the situation up: I get it: I love it: I want it: Where is it? The next chapter has a good take on western thought that our interest in reason against emotion is deep-seated and not a good measure of intelligence. The IQ section is very interesting. The inventor, Alfred Binet, did it as a contract for the French government, thought of it as the opposite of an intelligence test, but for the use that children could get their special needs met in schooling and that intelligence was something that was not innate but could be made greater and greater.

The second part is the addition of Lewis Terman in 1916. He felt the exact opposite: eugenics.
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