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

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,265 ratings  ·  288 reviews
Ken Robinson's groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, The Element, introduced readers to a new concept of self-fulfillment and has inspired readers around the world. When people find their Element, they tune in to their highest levels, and live their best lives. Now, in his new book, Robinson answers the fundamental question: How do I find my Element?

With his signature
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by Viking
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  4,265 ratings  ·  288 reviews

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Joel Bass
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This wasn't a groundbreaking or beautifully-written book. Most of its information was fairly familiar, and it depended heavily on inspiring quotations and anecdotes from people who have changed their careers. That said, sometimes you just need the right book at the right time. If you need a good kick in the ass, it doesn't really matter how well-crafted the shoe is. For me, this was great. Since I listened to the audiobook, I soaked up the inspirational and motivational bits but didn't really ha ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.4 stars
Did you attend a traditional school ? Was your creativity doused by math, english and following the program ? Do you even know what your passion is, or where your talents lie ? I really didn't have any idea when I picked this book up. I can do a little of everything and don't really know where my true talents really are. Jack of all trades master at none, that is what I was taught a little of everything. Was it the public school systems fault that I lack focus ? Who knows, but he gives
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-fulfillment
While doing a bit of shelf organization I decided that I not only wanted to read this again (after three years), but that it merited an upgrade to five stars.

I really enjoyed listening to this book, so much so, that I’m now on a second run through and I’ve borrowed a hard copy in order to concentrate on the exercises. I can easily say that I am besotted with Sir Ken Robinson. Yes, I have a predilection for an English accent, but I think it’s his humor that captivated. This could easily have been
Gary Schroeder
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I stumbled on to the books of Ken Robinson in the way that thousands of others probably have: through his wildly popular TED Talks. His easy-going speaking style and gentle sense of humor serve the topic of self-discovery particularly well. In Finding Your Element, you’ll find a writing style that closely matches what you may have seen while watching those videos. Robinson has a genuine interest in sharing the wisdom of self-knowledge that shines through.

Happily, this is not some airy-fairy self
I give up. Robinson makes great points and gives some good advice but I found the book to be repetitive sometimes and boring. I first read Robinson's "The Element," which was a good read and was suffused with personal stories that drew me in and sparked my interest in the book. I expected the same in "Finding the Element," however, it doesn't contain as many personal stories. "Finding the Element" is more of a guide and contains more facts and advice. My interest was not deterred simply because ...more
Raheleh Abbasinejad
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Two young fish are swimming down a river and an older fish swims past them in the opposite direction. He says, “Good morning, boys. How’s the water?” They smile at him and swim on. Further up the river, one of the young fish turns to the other and says, “What’s water?” He takes his natural element so much for granted that he doesn’t even know he’s in it. Being in your own Element is like that. It’s about doing something that feels so completely natural to you, that resonates so strongly with yo ...more
Audrey Dagenais
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I really loved this book. It works wonderfully as what it's aimed for : finding your Element. It contains about 20 exercises, plus the questions at the end of the chapters. I would recommend to write the answers instead of just thinking it in your mind. It did wonders for me and helped me have more confidence in life!
Right, so this didn’t suck? It’s not like it’s changed my life or anything, and I definitely skipped entire sections when my eyes got bored, but it’s given me a nice little boost of motivation to just keep going (nothing too intense) and stay happy.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
**Living like you’re meant to live.**

Are you living the life you should be living?

Based on the three elemental principles of (1) Your life is unique; (2) You create your own life; and (3) Life is organic, _Finding Your Element_ presents a great guide for creating a personally meaningful life. Whether you’re stuck where you’re at—or have a sense that you deserve a richer life—this book offers insight and inspiration:
“Finding your Element is a personal quest...The quest for your Element is reall
Abner Rosenweig
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I read an excerpt or an interview about Finding Your Element somewhere and somehow I got hooked into the idea that this book contained some revolutionary wisdom on discovering your true calling in life. For me, this wasn't the case. The book is stuffed with a great many tired platitudes, and its "revolutionary insight" basically boils down to the obvious idea of "do what you love."

I'm not saying this is bad advice, or that the commonsense wisdom, spoken through the silver-tongued mouth of Sir Ke
Gloria Denoon
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you care about how you are gifted and how to utilize those gifts to reach your full potential so as to make meaningful contribution to the society, then, this book is for you.

It is full of practical exercises and tips in finding what you are – and not - good at, what you love –and don’t like- to do, and discovering new opportunities to hone your talents and create your unique career paths in response to the needs of the environments.

The assumption is: when the talent and passion overlap, then
Victoria Ray
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've found my element (passion and purpose) after reading the book (in 1 day). The book has a very easy flowing style and a smart structure, plus without difficult therms which we all hate. The only minus is - we all already know our so called 'Element'. Otherwise would it be so easy for me to find it, in 1 day? The book suggest you to draw different circles, use colourful pens, answer thousands of questions, plus go online and try hundreds of tests...if you have time for that, or desperately-de ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I picked up this book out of curiosity and love for Sir Ken Robinson's concepts. I felt at 58 years age I had nothing much to learn about finding my passions. I was proven totally wrong. His reference to Bronnie Ware's experience with terminally ill patients under palliative care were revealing. The Five truths she has presented and the lessons from them were enlightening. I wish I has read it much younger age. I do not claim I have found my Element but at least I have started my second journey ...more
Sean Goh
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Personality comprises temperament, disposition and character.
Several sub-divisions: Sensitivity (Minimum threshold of stimulus for response), Intensity (of said response), activity, adaptability, approach/withdraw (typical response to stimulus), persistence, regularity, distractibility, mood.

Education breaks appear to be good. (i.e. don't rush it)
Tribes - find them at festivals.

If your spirit is constantly heavy, you are out of your element.

Assess your well-being regularly. Career, social, phys
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although a light read, this book was basically boring. There were far too many anecdotal stories of individuals finding their element (a.k.a passion) which soon made the book repetitive and tiresome. I am not a fan of self-help books at the best of time and this one certainly didn't endear me to the genre. In fact, the exercises suggested throughout Finding Your Element terrified me! Mind maps, vision boards, etc. . . . Argh!!!!
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A must read.

I'm on a mission of self improvement I found this book very helpful and useful to understand and discover who you are.
Mohamed Sharara
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
You should read this book
You will go deep inside and you will find yourself
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy reading self-help books
I usually try to steer away from self-help books; for some reason, I tend to get irritated with them. But I have to admit that I was intrigued by the title, especially since I feel that my own passions lie far away from my current career field. And when I learned that the author was a popular speaker on the TED series, I was intrigued.

On the whole, I felt like this book was more of a pep-talk and a guide to help discover where our passions and aptitudes lie. It was a fairly quick read, and alth
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This book gives you so many ways to think about what it is you were meant to do. I listened to the audiobook but ended up buying a copy so I could slowly work through all the writing exercises and quizzes.
Ken Robinson’s The Element created something of a paradigm shift.  The book focused heavily on the one-size-fits-all educational system that teaches children notions of success which aren’t right for everyone, encouraging educators and parents to find ways of helping children find their own element – the true potential that everyone has to identify and work within their own passion.  Though The Element was inspiring and motivational, it didn’t really provide specifics about how to go about findi ...more
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ken provided quite a few examples of how they find the element and the organic part of the entire process. Finding our element is really more about inside out approach rather then molding ourselves to the readily available labels or tags. I'm thankful to Ken for his kindness to share the stories and lessons to guide people to find their element and eventually live a life with purpose!
Ilie Dobrin
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much liked Ken Robinson's conquering personality ever since I discovered him on YouTube. He's a kind of teacher that any parent would want for his child. He's passionate about research into non-formal education. His books appear to be that boring kind of self-help-development books but only at first glance. At a deeper level, Sir Ken reveals a wisdom of inexhaustible force.

He had the chance to impose himself on the world through a relevant, highly perceptive 2006 TEDTalk speech, through w
Frank Calberg
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Takeaways from reading the book:

- Page 72: Hans Zimmer, who composed music for over 150 films including The Lion King, was a problem pupil of every school he attended. He went to 5 schools and was - as he put it himself - "thrown out" of all of them. He was generally restless, bored and disruptive in class. He was inattentive and miserable with the whole education process. The turning point in Hans Zimmer's life came, when someone asked for his help with using a Moog sound synthesizer. Hans foun
Mihai Rosca
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-paperback-a
I have just finished taking my last notes and finishing the last exercises in this book. I'm literally squeezing information out of my brain to put into words the importance of the work that "Finding Your Element" has made me do. But I can't. It's too much. I would need at least a few good novels published and the writing knowledge of George Washington to reach into your hearts and minds and warm you with the light of self discovery.

And since I can't do that I'll leave you with a quote from Les
The Dirty Sanchez
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
There is definitely a good reason why I'm leaving this book with one star: it's so bad I can't even find a rating that I can be satisfied with. It deserves more like 0.08 of a star, and only because there were no spelling errors. For an alleged business book, there are far too many pagan phrases and exercises to be taken seriously by anyone in the corporate world. No actual businessperson I know is going to engage in "automatic writing" as a way to jump-start their creativity or to reassess thei ...more
Alan Cheng
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-development
In a nutshell, this is a book on calling and finding your true purpose in life.

I recommend this book if you are a bit lost in life and need some direction. Otherwise if you are already quite self-aware and have some sense of purpose, the ideas presented in this book will not be anything revolutionary.

A few key concepts that I personally took away is learning about the perils of Barnum statements (i.e. confining yourself into predefined categories or expectations from other people), or the Forer
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-book
I believe that in order to honestly critique a work such as this, you need to take it seriously and do the work. Thus it is taking me time to read. I am thoroughly enjoying the personal journey that Finding Your Element is taking me on and I think everyone should take this journey. The exercises are creative and interesting...definitely thought provoking! I am learning much about myself I didn't know before and recalling much I did know. Sir Ken is definitely becoming one of my knights in shinin ...more
Giuseppe D
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Lots and lots of stories but, since your story is unique, you need to figure out what your element is on your own supposedly through a series of exercises which involve big pieces of paper and different colors.. I personally couldn't be bothered completing any of them but it might be useful. The thing is that, deep down, I've always known what me real element is, I only needed the courage to recognize it and reconnect with it so I guess what's really inspiring about this book is how people find ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books! It's not that I learned much new but that it is so well written. When we do what we are passionate about, we are truly living! So many awesome quotes and examples of people who found their "element" and are being what they were created for.

One of my favorite quotes is found on page 130, "The key to happiness lies not in changing your genetic makeup, which you can't, or your circumstances, which may or may not be possible, but in your daily intentional a
Tan Jing
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Self help books are as always cliched. But we certainly do need reminders in our life, hence i believe it's beneficial to read them once in a while.

This book offers ways to find your element: morning pages, automatic writing, mind mapping and of course trying out new things. It talks about many individuals and their life (e.g. Jamie Olivers and this person who uses her feet to massage ppl) as well which can be helpful when I write argumentative essays next time
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Sir Ken Robinson (born Liverpool 4 March 1950) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. They include the Royal Shakes ...more

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    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
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“Richard Felder is co-developer of the Index of Learning Styles. He suggests that there are eight different learning styles. Active learners absorb material best by applying it in some fashion or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to consider the material before doing anything with it. Sensing learners like learning facts and tend to be good with details. Intuitive learners like to identify the relationships between things and are comfortable with abstract concepts. Visual learners remember best what they see, while verbal learners do better with written and spoken explanations. Sequential learners like to learn by following a process from one logical step to the next, while global learners tend to make cognitive leaps, continuously taking in information until they “get it.” 6 likes
“Although mindfulness does not remove the ups and downs of life, it changes how experiences like losing a job, getting a divorce, struggling at home or at school, births, marriages, illnesses, death and dying influence you and how you influence the experience. . . . In other words, mindfulness changes your relationship to life.” 6 likes
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