The Element – How finding your passion changes everything.

Sir Ken Robinson

This extraordinary man – polio crippled child with a spark that was spotted – to the world’s highest paid public speaker, specialising in education – believes we educate creativity out of children and that our educational system is mad. We have no idea what the world in 2040 will be like yet we’ve decided with utter certainty what the CEOs of 2040 need to be taught.

Who’s to say maths is more important than painting or acting?

This book is about spotting and nurturing the spark and getting people to identify and follow their passion.

  1. What God looks like from a child’s point of view.

    “I’m drawing God” – “But no one knows what God looks like, John” – “They will in a minute!” or how a child played the second king in the Nativity Play – “Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh”…. what the hell is that second one? Child at Nativity play announces (having worked it out)… “Frank sent this.” Children have the conviction of innocence and ignorance – 30 years later look at them….what went wrong?

  2. Gillian Lynne and the need to dance (before ADS was discovered)

    Gillian as a child couldn’t sit still or concentrate – she could only think when she danced – smart psychologist sussed this – GT $multi millionaire choreographer now.

  3. Your boring job will go anyway

    Jobs get off-shored, out-sourced, rendered redundant by technology. Why do we hang on the equivalent of intellectual coal-mining when we could try and follow our passion?

  4. The path of achievement


    From ”can I do?” to “do I want to?” to “do I burn to do?” to “where can I do?”

  5. How many more senses are there?

    Five? How about vestibular (sense of balance and acceleration); kinaesthetic (our sense of where parts of our bodies are in relation to each other part); sense of pain; sense of temperature; commonsense – gut feeling (we have a secondary brain in our stomach); synesthaethia (the merging of senses – hearing sights, seeing colours etc.) Eleven and counting…

  6. Scoring intelligence

    Alfred Binet invented IQ tests to determine kids with special needs…never meant as a test of high intelligence. Yet (as mistakenly) we put a premium on measuring intelligence in old fashioned exams and imposing a curriculum based on Victorian principles…completely mad.

  7. Self assessing intelligence and creativity

    Ask a random group to self assess intelligence with 0-10 scores and you’ll get a bell curve 5-9; ask them to self assess creativity and you’ll get a much comma curve – from 2 -7. People do not think they are creative.

  8. Let’s put us and this planet in perspective

    Earth > Jupiter > Sun > Arcurus > Antares

  9. Three levels of smartness

    Intelligence > creativity > imagination

  10. The bubble; the zone – what is it?

    “When I’m playing my best I’m in the zone. Once you think about being in the zone you are immediately out of it.” (Monica Seles).

  11. Why Briggs Myers sucks

    Mother and daughter, B & M, actually not trained in psychometric testing –and just 16 types of personality? Oh really. Prefers the Herman Brain Dominance Instrument. Which of four types do you veer to: analytic; organising; ideas; big pictures.

  12. What is your tribe?

    Actors; Singers; Artists; PRs; Designers; Ad men; Media; Politicians etc. – which inspires your best thinking and happiness. When Bob Dylan heard/met Woody Guthrie….the rest is history.

  13. How we look at pictures

    In the west we look at the foreground and focus; Asians look at the thing as a whole. We see a tiger…they see a tiger in a jungle with a waterfall and a parrot.

  14. Lucky people make their luck

    The £5 left on the floor game – those deemed “unlucky” tend to miss it. (The Wiseman experiment). Are you more observant, listen to your gut, positive minded and are able to turn bad into good? You are much more likely to be lucky.

  15. Mentors skills

    Four things: recognition of talent; encouragement of it; facilitation on how to improve; the challenge to stretch and reach new levels. Everyone needs a mentor. Mentors can help transform.

  16. Our brain “thinks”

    A child blind from birth because eye covered after op. early brain development arrested – brain thought eye not required.

  17. Train the brain

    Previously thought brains declined – new view they can get more useful. Old inventions – Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal lens @ 78; Grandma Moses did her best work at 84; James Lovelock into his 80s; Rolling Stones etc. Strong evidence that grandparents may be best teachers of the young (eg. Grace Living Centre Oaklahoma – Old people’s home teaching nearby primary school kids to read.)

  18. How to change the world

    “If you want to change the world who do you begin with, yourself or others? I believe if we begin with ourselves and do the things 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”. (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn).

  19. Why do prisons get bigger budgets than universities

    In California $9.9billion plays $3.5 billion. ( Not quite so bad in the UK – Universities being cut to $4.2billion by 2014 and Prisons currently £4 billion.) Punishment more satisfying than brainpower?

  20. Death Valley like our creativity merely sleeps

    An aberrational 7 inches of rain fell there 2004 -5. The following Spring the whole valley was alive with vibrant Spring flowers. When Spring was over they died back – waiting for the next aberration. Are we like Death Valley?

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