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05.04.09

Find Your Tribe. Find Your Passion.

The Element
Ken Robinson calls the place where the things we love to do and the things we are good at come together, the Element. Illustrated by stories, many based on exclusive interviews, of celebrities, entrepreneurs, scientists, and other highly accomplished people who have found the Element, Robinson’s book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything is an engaging and motivating resource.

Connecting with people who share our same passions and commitment helps in developing our Element. This is our tribe. “Often we need other people to help us recognize our real talents. Often we can help other people to discover theirs.”

Robinson says that for many people, finding your tribe is essential in helping you to find your Element. “Finding your tribe can have transformative effects on your sense of identity and purpose. This is because of three powerful tribal dynamics: validation, inspiration, and what we’ll call here the ‘alchemy of synergy.’”

Validation: It’s not just me. Although you may be most in your element when you are working alone, “there’s a tacit awareness of a field – the other writers, other painters, other mathematicians, other players, who enrich the domain and challenge their sense of possibility.” Physicist John wheeler said, “If you don’t kick things around with people, you are out of it. Nobody, I always say, can be anybody without somebody being around.”

Inspiration: How do they do that? “Members of a passionate community tend to drive each other to explore the real extent of their talents…. Tribes are circles of influence, and they can take many forms…. When tribes gather in the same place, the opportunities for mutual inspiration can become intense.”

Alchemy of synergy: The power of tribes is exemplified in the synergy created when groups of people with similar interests come together and create something much greater than any one of them could create individually. Robinson attributes this to the fact that creative teams are diverse, dynamic and distinct or purposeful.

Robinson says that tribe membership “helps people become more themselves, leading them toward a greater sense of personal identity.”

Finding your Element is not always easy. Fear is the most common obstacle standing between you and your passion. “These fears include the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of being found wanting, the fear of disapproval, the fear of poverty, and the fear of the unknown. You may also find that your background has never given you the opportunity to discover or explore your Element in the first place. You also have to face the impact of the image and expectations that other have of you have of you that put pressure on you to pursue a different path.

If you are looking to find or develop your passion – your Element – Robinson’s book is a carefully reasoned and practical guide to help you find the best in you. At the very least, it will make you think differently about yourself.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:26 PM
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