- Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin Books; Auflage: Reprint (27. Mai 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0143125516
- ISBN-13: 978-0143125518
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 2 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.451 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. Mai 2014
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Praise for FINDING YOUR ELEMENT by Sir Ken Robinson
“A book that is as relevant and imperative for the parents of a 12-year-old as it is for the CEO of a behemoth corporation. And with luck it will help you to find yours.”—Vanity Fair
“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.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Finding Your Element is an accessible, actionable guide for discovering what most matters.”—New York Journal of Books
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
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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The book sets out to guide you on a journey to find out what your Element could be. It is not so much a self help book that you have to read paragraph by paragraph and that delivers your much sought Element in the end. It is more a guideline in 10 chapters, where the questions for reflection and the tasks which Robinson suggests to do, will help you to understand yourself better. What are you good at?, what are your talents?, what makes you happy? are some of the headlines. You learn how other people found their Element and 18 exercises and additional questions help you to focus on yourself, your talents and what you love to do. Reading and working through the book sets you out on a course that brings you towards your True North and nearer to the work that you love to do and are good at. Robinson is also cautious and advices to try things out, once you have determined that your interests are so different, that you have to seek a new job and change your life completely. Still he is wonderful to encourage us to get on the journey as it is never too late to discover what matters for you. A great book and fun to read and helpful.
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He has three major principles:
Principle #1: Your Life is Unique.
We're all different.
We're all a mix of nature and nurture.
Principle #2: You create your own life.
Carl Jung: "I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become."
Principle #3: Life is Organic
We all change. We don't have a linear path. He incorporates a lot of examples of successful people who had a completely nonlinear path to success.
Vivek Wadhwa, famous for his work on immigrants working in the technology field in the United States, realized that "there is no link between what you study in college and how successful or otherwise you are later in your life."
Ken Robinson talks about a lot of the existing literature and methods for finding out what your passion is and he's fairly critical of them. He talks about what's called the Forer Effect, also known as the Barnum Effect. You mold your personality to conform with what people tell you your personality incorporates. Robinson is in favor of using personality types to describe yourself, but he says not to let the personality definitions (MBTI for example) limit you.
He also takes a lot of time to talk about happiness and positive psychology. He differentiates between your physical and spiritual well-being. When I was in the Andes and taking an anthropology class, I learned that the indigenous culture believes in two types of life force. One is the breath of life and the other I would call the force of spirit, just like Scott Russell Sanders' The Force of Spirit. He talks about Gretchen Rubin The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.
His definition of happiness comes from Sonja Lyubomirsky: Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, and well-being combined with a sense that life is good and worthwhile. I felt like that was a really comprehensive yet concise summary and I think that the happiness section was the best part of this book.
Robinson goes on to talk about the 5 different kinds of well-being: career, social, financial, physical, and community. He asks you what sorts of hurdles or responsibilities you have and what sorts of risks that you can take. He asks you who you want to be, but in a much more specific way.
He also talks about Bonnie Ware The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, because a lot of his action steps at the end of the book have to do with mitigating risks. I found it interesting that a lot of the suggestions that he had were in line with things that Barry Schwartz said at the end of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.
I've seen Robinson's TED talk and expected more of the book to be about the education system and creativity. While he does talk about them, he encourages the reader to engage in a lot of introspection through a variety of exercises; each chapter ends with a few questions about you and your life. My favorite exercises had to do with vision boards. I used Pinterest to create them and I really loved having a concrete, pictorial representation of more abstract concepts, such as the activities that I do in daily life.
Robinson also says that it's all an iterative process and we grow organically (Principle #3), so nobody should expect his or her desires at one point to be the same as at another point in his or her life. I know that it's valuable for me to read this as a recent college graduate and that I'll read it again, further down the line.
In response, this sequel has five main thematic threads that weave throughout the book, each of which is intended to help the reader reflect and focus on finding their own Element and, if they wish to, help others to do so. Robinson provides ideas and principles as well as stories and examples, stories, and other resources such as 15 exercises to complete (more about them in a moment) and clusters of questions to consider at the end of each chapter before moving on to the next. In fact, each chapter title is a question. "Although there are ten chapters in the book, Finding Your Element is not a ten-step program." Just as Oscar Wilde once suggested, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken," Robinson suggests that only the reader can answer the questions posed. "In the end, only you will know if you've found your Element or if you are still looking for it. Whichever it proves to be, you should never doubt this is a quest worth taking." True to form, Robinson asks most of the right questions but it remains for each reader to answer them, perhaps using some of the tools that Robinson provides. I have found mind mapping to be an especially helpful technique during both an inward journey of personal discovery and an outward journey of the world in which I live. As with answering questions, however, each reader must select which tools to use as well as when and how.
These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye, also listed to indicate the scope of Robinson's coverage.
o A Personal Quest (Pages xxii-xxiv)
o Three Elemental Principles (19-27)
o True North (27-30)
o Hidden Depths (39-44)
o Finding Your Aptitudes (44-48)
o What's Your Style? (65-71)
o Two Sorts of Energy (84-87)
o The Unhappy Truth (113-115)
o Having a Purpose What Is Happiness? (117-120)
o The Meaning of Happiness (120-126)
o Seeing Through the Barriers (143-146)
o Who Are You? (147-148)
o A Question of 160-165)
o Figuring Out Where You Are (173-174)
o The Culture of Tribes (191-192)
o Moving Forward by Going Back (215-222)
As I began to re-read this book prior to composing this brief commentary, I realized that amidst all the information, insights, and counsel that Robinson provides in abundances, there were certain key points that I had missed. I strongly recommend re-reading this book, highlighting especially relevant material along the way and then reviewing that material from time to time. I also suggest keeping a notebook near at hand in which to record personal thoughts, feelings, experiences, concerns, and other professional as well as personal issues.
As quoted earlier, Robinson views "finding your Element is a quest to find yourself...it is a two-way journey: an inward journey to explore what lies within you and an outward journey to explore opportunities in the world around you." This is a never-ending process because each of us and our circumstances change and adjustments must be made to accommodate them.
This is what Ken Robinson has in mind, when concluding: "Like the rest of nature, human talents and passions are tremendously diverse and they take many forms. As individuals, we're all motivated by different dreams and we thrive -- and we wilt too -- in very different circumstances. Recognizing your own dreams and the conditions you need to fulfill them are essential to becoming who you can be. Finding your own Element won't guarantee that you'll spend the rest of your life in a constant, unbroken state of pleasure and delight. It will give you a deeper sense of who you really are and of the life you could and maybe should live."
The challenge is that this process is messy, long and not necessarily successful. It's trial and error. Hopefully you'll stumble on your element. But this book did nothing to facilitate this.
Most of the examples involve people finding their passion in the arts. What about all the other professions-medical, scientific, engineering, teaching, service, etc? Lots of passionate people work in these fields and contribute much to society.
The chapter on testing is thin but that is just as well. After all, who do you know who's found their passion through testing?
I'm not saying this is bad advice, or that the commonsense wisdom, spoken through the silver-tongued mouth of Sir Ken Robinson, won't inspire some to get off their butts and take action. But the majority of the book contains disappointingly obvious cliches backed up by real-life accounts of people who have followed this obvious advice, and, unsurprisingly, had positive results. *It worked for Sally-Jo... It can work for you, too!*
For me, the book never digs deep enough into the gritty, challenging areas of helping people transition to a meaningful career. Rarely if ever, for example, does the text address the fact that we live in a techno-industrial civilization that is specifically designed to prevent most people from fulfilling their individual creative potential, and to enslave us in a monolithic, hierarchical corporate economy. "You always have choices," Sir Ken boasts confidently. Well, in today's world of neoliberal domination, choices are becoming narrower and narrower for the vast majority of the population.
The book feels somewhat out of touch with the struggles of everyday people. It's very genial throughout, and the tone is avuncular, as if a rich old uncle is talking to his young rich nephew about whether or not he should be a horse jockey or continue in the family silver business. It's not easy to find my element when I can barely stay afloat in the economy, and it's a tragedy that Finding Your Element is such a luxury in contemporary society, where there's more than enough wealth for everyone to share, were it more equally distributed.
I'm fighting desperately to find my element, but sometimes I feel it's a losing battle because of the intense pressure the system puts on my back to conform and become a wage slave so I can survive.
Criticisms aside, if you're looking for a basic book to give you a few ideas about how to expand your world, you could do worse. Some bits of wisdom that genuinely resonated:
• Finding your element is about discovering what lies within you and, in doing so, transforming what lies before you.
• Being in your element gives you energy. Not being in it takes it from you.
• Many of the opportunities you have in your life are generated by the energy you create around you.
• The search for your element is a two-way journey: an inward journey to explore what lies within you and an outward journey to explore opportunities in the world around you.
• Do all you can to explore new avenues of possibilities in yourself and in the world around you.
• You may be better than you think at what you love. You may underestimate your talent because you set unreasonably high standards for yourself. Having high standards is good, provided you're not immobilized by self-criticism.
• Connecting with people who share your Element can have tremendous benefits for you and them.
• The most common regret: Not having the courage to live a life true to yourself.