The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by Ken Robinson

If you’ve ever wondered why certain people excel, what it means to be “in the zone” and how to go about finding your element, then this book is for you.

I enjoyed the essay approach in The Element; it was very anecdotal but there were studies back it up. It’s nice to read about how our left-brain world is starting to recognize what is intuitive to right-brain perception; there is some kind of magic that happens when you combine natural ability, passion, inspiration and support.

This is an oversimplification that doesn’t do the author’s research justice, but it does seem puzzling that highly successful and/or highly skilled people all seem find their niche. Some of these seem obscure, or even, so obvious that you wonder how they worked it out.

I first heard of this book through a blog I enjoy,, in Tsh’s book recommendations and I was intrigued. I too, wondered about my Element. What was this space where my skills and my interests intersected to give me this sense of purpose?

So I went to the library to get my hands on a copy!

Book Review: The Element, by Ken Robinson

This isn’t a guide book to discovering your own element; it’s framework for you to explore within yourself and throughout your life what lights you up. It gives you the basic structure of an element. With that, you could extrapolate to the makings of your own element, though the book doesn’t pretend to provide steps.

There isn’t a list of elements or a finite number of boxes in which you could fit.  It was a bit disappointing that this book did not include exercises to help the reader in their self-discovery, but if one’s curious enough to wonder, one might also be willing to persevere and discover…

If you’d like to read (and re-read, and highlight and annotate) The Element, grab a copy here.


Have you ever asked yourself how you could use your natural abilities, while surrounding yourself with your passion? Are your challenges in doing so personal, social or cultural?