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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Passion: It’s Not Just For Flamenco Dancers (with Sir Ken Robinson)

July 10, 2013, 1:30 PM

For many career seekers, “follow your passion” can be a terrifying piece of advice, mainly because the word passion conjures up images of intense, frenzied activity better suited to an Antonio Banderas movie than to most people’s real lives. This is a misunderstanding, says Sir Ken Robinson. The activities you are passionate about are those that make time vanish, as opposed to the tasks that seem to take an eon to slog through. While a script about flower arranging might not make it past the mailroom in Hollywood, flower arranging may be exactly what you were born to do.

Passion, as Robinson describes it, is an undefinable affinity – a natural attraction that makes a given activity seem like second-nature. “It’s like people, isn’t it?”, he says, “I mean, you know, you see some people coming towards you and your whole energy lifts. You’re exhilarated. Oh great, they’re here. And then you see somebody else coming toward you and you think, really? Now? You know, can we reschedule? Because it’s not that they’re bad people, but the energy is all wrong. It just doesn’t jive with you in the same sort of way.”

In part 5 of How to Find Your Element, his new workshop for Big Think Mentor, Robinson focuses on techniques for figuring out where your real passions lie – an essential step toward building a life you can live with.

Video: Discovering Your Passions, 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.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com



Passion: It’s Not Just For...

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