Last year I happened to run into Sir Ken Robinson in a bar in the Caribbean. I was speaking at a small conference, taking a break and suffering in the warm sun on a perfect beach (this rarely happens in my life. I live in Portland, Oregon remember. I deserved this) It began to rain and a few of us ran for shelter in the beach-side bar where I struck up a conversation with a fascinating, distinguished woman who lived in L.A. She was a novelists and was wrapping up another book and we talked about our writing process.
An hour or more later, her husband joined us and a couple hours after that I realized I was having drinks with Sir Ken Robinson and his wife, more proof that I am the Forest Gump of spiritual writers.
For those of you who don’t know who Ken Robinson is, he is attempting to reform the education system in the west. And he is as bright and witty in person as he is in his TED Talks (He’s the most watched TED speaker of all time) and has twice the charm. In fact, he’s so fascinated with people it was difficult to get him to stop asking me questions and to talk about his work.
Sir Robinson’s book is called The Element and it’s about finding your passion, finding that thing that fuels your creativity and drives your engagement. He believes our current education system was designed to produce workers for the industrial revolution and is ill equipped to help people find and cultivate their inner genius. He is well stocked with examples of dancers, painters, singers and novelists who nearly failed out of school and yet went on to create works of genius. He also believes most of us have a genius we haven’t discovered and may never discover without some help.
I knew even as we were talking I’d found my element in life. I like to write, make movies, and help people find their passions and organize their creative and personal lives.
Ken believes that each of us have an element, as in “she’s really in her element when she’s interacting with clients in the field” and when we find it, our work is fueled by our inner passion.
You can watch Ken’s TED Talk below, or pick up his book here (non-sponsored link.) I do hope you find your element. There’s nothing like waking up and doing what you love. It may take some sacrifice, but it’s worth it.
Some question that might help you discover your element are:
- What do you spend your time daydreaming about?
- What’s a project you’ve worked on in which you lost track of time because you were so consumed by the work?
- If money weren’t a hindrance, what work would you do?
Do you believe you have an inner genius? Do you believe the education you received helped you tap into that genius? What would it take to move you over to a field of work that would most align with your passions?