Book Review: The Element

This was a brilliant book. One of the best I’ve read in a long time.  The subtitle of the book is “How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”. It’s study of people that followed their passions and ended up being some of the most successful people in the world. It also talks about how our approach to education is killing people’s creativity and limiting people everywhere.

This book taught me that it’s ok for me to be me and to pursue the passions of my heart, and that my education does not have to define my future.

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. A must read for sure!  Buy it here!

I first heard of Ken Robinson, the author, through TED.com. I watch his talks on a pretty consistent basis to keep me focused on pursuing what’s on my heart and being the person God created me to be. I’d highly recommend watching them. They’re posted below!

Highlights:

  • Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. This turns possible underachievers into happy warriors.
  • ”if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.
  • Many of the people you’ll meet in this book didn’t pursue their passions simply because of the promise of a paycheck. They pursued them because they couldn’t imagine doing anything else with their lives.
  • Then I said that I’d love to be able to play keyboards that well. “No, you wouldn’t,” he responded. Taken aback, I insisted that I really would. “No,” he said. “You mean you like the idea of playing keyboards. If you’d love to play them, you’d be doing it.”
  • “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind. . . . If you change your mind, you can change your life.”
  • If left to my own devices—if I didn’t have to worry about making a living or what others thought of me—what am I most drawn to doing?
  • When people close to you discourage you from taking a particular path, they usually believe they are doing it for your own good. There are some with less noble reasons, but most believe they know what’s best.
  • it is difficult to feel accomplished when you’re not accomplishing something that matters to you. Doing something “for your own good” is rarely for your own good if it causes you to be less than who you really are.
  • Ultimately, the question is always going to be, “What price are you willing to pay?” The rewards of the Element are considerable, but reaping these rewards may mean pushing back against some stiff opposition.
  • We can take ourselves in fresh directions at nearly any point in our lives.
  • I believe if we begin with ourselves and do the things that we need to do and become the best person we can be, we have a much better chance of changing the world for the better.”
  • “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” For all our futures, we need to aim high and be determined to succeed.
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