Finding your Element – with Sir Ken Robinson (creativity expert and educationalist)

I recently watched an inspiring TED speech with Sir Ken Robinson, a well-known international figure in education and creativity. He is speaking about Finding Your Element and why is essential to personal fulfillment. Discovering who you are and what you are capable of, the things that make you feel you are most authentic.

Who is Sir Ken Robinson?

  • British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies
  • Acclaimed by Fast Company as one of “the world”s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation
  • Director of the Arts in Schools Project (1985–89) – an initiative to develop the arts education throughout England and Wales. The project worked with over 2,000 teachers, artists and administrators in a network of over 300 initiatives.
  • Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001)
  • In 2001, Robinson was appointed senior advisor for education and creativity at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which lasted at least until 2005
  • In 2003 – Appointed Knight Bachelor by her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II for the services to the arts.
  • Honorary degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, the Open University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, Birmingham City University and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
  • Peabody Medal for contributions to the arts and culture in the United State
  • LEGO Prize for international achievement in education, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Royal Society of Arts for contributions to cultural relations between the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • credited with creating a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, publishing Unlocking Creativity, a plan implemented across the region and mentoring to the Oklahoma Creativity Project
  • Robinson gave three TED talks on the importance of creativity in education, viewed over 80 million times (2017)

Valuable takeaways from Finding Your Element TED Speech

  • I meet some people who feel they don’t have any real talents but I also meet people who absolutely love what they do. If you say “Why don’t you stop doing this?” , they wouldn’t know what you are talking about. They would answer: “This is what I do, this is who I am”
  • We all have natural talents. They are all different but many people never discover them.
  • Natural talent is like natural resources in the Earth. Is often buried beneath the surface. There have to be conditions to bring it up.
  • The people who we think are highly talented are those who found their particular talents.
  • The people who don’t think they are special talented is often because they simply don’t know what lies inside them. They didn’t have the opportunitiy to find that yet.
  • You can be good at something but not like it. Being good at something isn’t good enough reason to spend your life doing it.
  • If you love something you are good at, you never work again.
  • Finding your element is essentialy to personal fullfillment is discovering who you are and what you are capable of, the things that make you feel you are most authentic.
  • Everyone is entitled to discover their purpose and meaning. If they do there’s a different character and quality to the lives we lead not only individualy but also colectively.
  • We all live in 2 worlds. There’s a world that exist whether you not exist. A world that came into being before you did and will be there when you’re gone. But there is a world that exists only because you exist. A world that came into being when you did and will end when you end. A world of your consciousness, a world that is you. The world of you private being.
  • The reasons people don’t know their talents is because they don’t know themselves very well.
  • If you live a closed life with repetitve experiences it’s unlikely you have those new experiences that may trigger discovering yourself. You need to be bold to try new things you didn’t tried before to put yourself to different sorts of tests.
  • Every single life is unique. Nobody has ever lived you life. Nobody else will ever will.
  • Life is CREATIVE. You create your own life by the opportunities you see around you and the talents you find within you.
  • Life is Organic and it’s not linear. You compose it as you go.
  • Finding your element is an Inward Journey and Outward Journey.
  • Inward Journey is knowing yourself better.
  • One important thing about finding your element is having a bigger conception about aptitude. In schools we tend to confuse all of our intelectual abilities with IQ or academic ability.
  • Passsion means things you love to do, that fullfill you, things that give you a sense of deep reward. Those activities that feed your spirit that lift you up, that energize you.
  • If you do something you love you might be phisically exhausted at the end of the week but on a high spirtually in terms your energy. If you do things you don’t care, you might be phisically fine but depressed.
  • If you do something that resonates with your spirit your whole sense of time shifts. It’s like you are surfing on a energy that’s lifting you up.
  • The Inward Journey is also about that. To find things that resonates with your spirit.
  • Happines is not a material state is a spiritual state.
  • What you actually do to what is at your disposal? Internally and externally.
  • Discover your talents and passions to find your element. Is one of the sources of well being, of spiritual fullfillment.
  • If you apply yourself to certain opportunities, if you look inside yourself properly, opportunities will appear that were simply not available to you before. Doors were open even you didn’t realized that.
  • You don’t have to sail around the world to be in your element. It can’t be working with children in school, it can be working with animals. It can be anything that makes you alive.
  • It’s not like winning a Global Prize is the Prize of your life back and having that life.
  • All you can do is to open yourself to the world around you and to the world within you and see your opportunities arise.
  • You don’t have to win an olimpic medal, you don’t have to go the fastest person in the world. You have to live the life the is most authentic to you whaever what direction takes in. It’s a quest. The outcome is different for everybody.

You can find more about Sir Ken Robinson international work on his official website

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