Talent isn’t everything. In fact, some of the most robust findings to come out of developmental psychology over the past decades have identified self-control – the ability to harness, train, and apply your aptitudes over time – as the most important factor in adult success. Furthermore, says Sir Ken Robinson, turning a talent into a livelihood is a recipe for a happy life only if you love what you’re doing. In other words, talent and passion don’t always go hand in hand.
Still, identifying your talents or aptitudes is an important factor in what Robinson calls “finding your element” – that admixture of innate ability and passion that will motivate you to achieve your fullest potential while feeling like you haven’t worked a day in your life. And according to Robinson, a surprising number of us go through life completely unaware of what our real aptitudes are. A world-renowned expert on education, Robinson assigns the lion’s share of blame to public school systems that focus narrowly on IQ and standardized testing as the sole measures of ability. Many people, says Robinson, are trained to view their real aptitudes as worthless or irrelevant.
In How to Find Your Element, his new workshop for Big Think Mentor, Robinson offers advice and exercises for identifying your aptitudes, as an essential first step toward building a meaningful life and career.
Video: Discovering Your Talents, with Sir Ken Robinson – full video available with paid subscription to Big Think Mentor
In How to Find Your Element, his 7-session workshop for Big Think Mentor, creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson tackles the epidemic of dissatisfaction with work and life. He offers practical exercises and tips for discovering your “element” – the environment and set of activities that will activate your unique abilities, sustain your happiness, and enable you to live your best possible life.
In this workshop, you’ll learn to:
- Understand the concept and the value of “finding your element”
- Recognize the perils and promise of the two-fold (internal and external) path to finding your element.
- Discover your specific talents
- Identify your passions (which may differ from your talents)
- Take steps to ensure that your attitude and beliefs are steering you toward (rather than away from) your element.