The Element by Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

In keeping with the theme of self-help that I seem to be entrenched in, I wanted to highlight a new addition to our library.

I just want to say that I was completely taken back by how much I enjoyed this book and how easy it was to read.  Usually self-help type books take me months (or in the case of Osho a few years) to read. This happens for one of two reasons:

  1. I get incredibly bored by what I’m reading because it’s all common sense and I’ve already read/seen this exact same message (literally just paraphrasing of some unknown guru that only self-help authors are aware of) in several other books.
  2. I have a hard time believing that if I stay away from unlucky number groupings and wear my “cardinal” colours that my life will improve with little effort from me personally.

The Element didn’t put me to sleep or make me think that the author needed to see a psychiatrist.  Ken Robinson portrayed his concept of creativity, self-discovery and education by using well known people as examples of what can happen when people throw off expectations and just do what they want to do with their lives (hopefully that was somewhat coherent).  To me, this book seems less like a self-help book and more like a motivational “go get ’em tiger!” book.  Ken doesn’t claim to have any secret formulas to improve our lives.  Instead, he makes us accountable for our own success. Throughout the book, Ken gives us the tools to recognize and understand aspects of our lives that can lead to our Element; the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.  From there, it is up to us to decide how to proceed.

Of course, following the guidelines that I outlined in the previous post, I did some research on Ken and his sources.  What I found is that Ken is an internationally recognized leader in creativity development and human resources.  For a decade he was a professor at the University of Warwick in the Education department and has received numerous honorary degrees from universities in the UK and the US.  In 2005 he was knighted for his work in the arts.  He has attended the TED talks twice to talk about creativity and education, and how the current education system needs a revolution.

TED Talk from 2006

TED Talk from 2010

For more information on Ken Robinson click here



Filed under Non-Fiction Reviews

3 responses to “The Element by Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

  1. It was certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that site soon. BTW, rather good design your site has, but don’t you think it should be changed from time to time?

    Nicky Watcerson

  2. dtharm

    Sorry for not addressing you by name but can’t seem to find it. Are you “Mr Morris”?
    I’ve just recently read this book and feel really inspired by it.
    Do you have similar recommendations or perhaps books on “personalised learning” or creativity?

    Keep up the good work!


    • Hello dtharm,
      I am not the one who wrote the original post but have done the same reading as she. I would also add Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind” and Howard Gardner’s “Creating Minds” to a list of great books on thinking and creativity. Dan Pink’s “Drive,” while not specifically about creativity (it addresses motivation) has an outstanding recommended reading section that would have other titles that might interest you.

      Marc Crompton

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