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Finding Your Element

How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life

By Ken Robinson
  • Read in 13 minutes
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  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson

Finding Your Element (2013) offers engaging advice on ways you might discover your true passions and talents, and then reorient your life to incorporate more time for them. Written with a keen sense of wit, Finding Your Element offers entertaining and inspiring wisdoms that will help you not only to be more productive but also to improve your overall happiness and quality of life.

Key idea 1 of 8

Forget long-term plans and accept the unpredictability of life: you'll find lots of new opportunities to achieve your goals.

Have you ever felt pressured to live your life in a certain way? Society often encourages us to follow a certain linear plan. We're supposed to graduate high school at 18, enter university, and then become a professional person, get married and have children. This narrative may work for some people, but for many of us it can be limiting and steer us away from opportunities in which we might excel.

We often have to commit to forming this plan at a very young age. Teenagers are expected to enter a specialization in university and then base their career off that decision. This means that many young people commit to a general plan of their entire career when they've only just finished their childhoods.

Planning our lives when we're so young certainly doesn't leave much room for unexpected opportunities, and yet life is full of the unexpected. You have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow, but that isn't a bad thing. You might find something that will lead to an opportunity you never expected. Rather than fearing the unpredictability of the world, use it to your advantage. Unknown situations may lead to something amazing.

When you accept that you can't predict or control the future, you'll discover many new opportunities. Ken Robinson's own life illustrates this well. As a child he became interested in theatre and stage direction, then later in drama education, and through that, education reform. He only began to write and give speeches in his middle age. As a young adult, he never planned to make most of his career outside England or become known for his writing and speeches. His greatest work resulted from seizing opportunities even when he didn't know where they'd lead.

In short, don't be afraid of the unknown, because everything is unknown.

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