ARE YOU LIVING YOUR LIFE?
I felt many emotions whilst reading Finding Your Element; enthusiasm due to the brilliant resources contained and often sadness. I wasn’t sad for myself but for the many people who don’t get the opportunity to read this powerful message; gifts of wisdom, schools of thought and practical advice.
Too many people in our world are “too busy” or too lazy to contemplate what they can grasp and learn from reading what another person has taken so much time to prepare and share.
I feel humbled that a colleague and friend loaned me, The Element (last week’s read) and Finding Your Element which I’m sharing my views on now. How lucky am I to learn, and be reminded of useful ideas, techniques, activities and research to add richness to what I do in my business – which is very similar to the purpose of this book.
Ken Robinson, author, TED Talker and now a ‘Sir’ has followed through with responding to ‘how do you find your element that you told us about in your book?’ Again, another really easy read, however you might get lost in time if you answer the multitude of questions and delve into the many activities.
I’d be really surprised to meet anyone (here in Victoria, Australia) who took the time to complete the activities. They’re not difficult, but what concerns me the most is that people fear what they will discover about their life. I suspect many people will realise that they are living someone else’s life.
My tip is to read the book first and then go back to the beginning and respond to the questions and complete the activities. Like many self-help books, it’s hard work!
So here are a few gems which I think would entice you to read Finding Your Element … here goes:
In a nutshell, finding your element boils down to being self-aware of your aptitudes, attitude, personality etc – having an honest audit of yourself allows you to slot yourself into future opportunities which you will want to create.
Essentially, Ken wants you to lead a life (the dash between the years of your life) filled with passion and purpose which means you need to articulate what you’re good at, what you love doing and essentially, what makes you happy. Do you know the answers to these questions?
Reading people’s element stories was heart-warming – courageous acts of change that sometimes sounded almost unbelievable. I felt like a plodder (is that a term?) compared to some people whose pursuit involved using all their funds, selling family homes, returning to study and leaving their technical expertise. Taking risks because they knew that their ‘true north’ was yet to be discovered.
Amongst the many exercises which Ken provides, one is extremely useful - determining what you’re good at. We generally get caught looking for, talking about and thinking of ‘what we’re not good at’ (especially women) – the activity enables you through its step by step explanation, to differentiate your aptitudes and abilities. This exercise encourages you to explore aptitudes at a depth concealed, latent and waiting to be discovered.
And finally, amongst the many questions, the five which I found would help many consider what their element might be:
· What do you know of that you’re not good at and would like to improve?
· Do you have any talents that you haven’t developed that you wished that you had?
· What sorts of activities lift your spirits and feed your energy?
· If you couldn’t fail, what would you most like to achieve?
· When do you feel at your happiest?
If you don’t see the need to read this book for yourself, then consider your role in life. If you’re a team leader, you’ll appreciate this as a resource – providing quality questions to add to your repertoire. Applying the questions in regular conversations will enable you to coach your people to self-develop and help them locate their element or other elements (we’re not limited to one).
I am a self-help book junkie. To say that I enjoyed Finding Your Element, is an understatement. I hope that some of you will be influenced to read it too and feel the emotion of joy that it brought me.
I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!