The Book review is a section I have recently added to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning where I share with my readers reviews of books I read. The last Three books I have reviewed here were :
- Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
- 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times
- The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age .
Today I an sharing with you " The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything "
If you are a faithful reader of this section you will definitely notice that last month I have been reading just works of Sir Ken Robinson. I really love his books simply because they tackle a very important topic which is that of creativity. " The Element ", which is the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion, is a great inspiring book where Sir Robinson touched upon those most often ignored facts and the conventional falsifications permeated in our society regarding the nature of intelligence, creativity and the individual's potential. He has proven with evidence how finding your passion changes your life. I also like the idea he argued for in that all human beings are born with great creative potential and it is up to them to discover and develop these abilities to make their lives happy.
In the 19th century, Wiliam James became one of the founding thinkers of modern psychology. By then it was becoming more widely undersytood that our ideas and ways of thinking could imprison or liberate us. James put it this way: " The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.....If you change your mind you can change your life." ( Page 82 )
Upon reading " The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything " you will get to know how many people who were disgraced in some period of their life they turned later on to be great leaders because they found their element and used their creative powers as should be.
As a teacher I would love that you share some of the ideas included in " The Element " with your students and let them know that there is no student with less intelligence than the others, they are all equally intelligent but just how they look at their intelligence that counts.
I have selected one story Sir Ken Robinson mentioned in " The Element " of how finding your passion and tapping into your creative potential can change your whole life.
The story of Matt Groening ( The creator of The Simpsons )
When Matt was a kid at school, he used to feel tremendously bored and in order to keep himslef amused he resorted to drawing during classes. He would draw constantly for long hours, he would even draw without looking so that his teachers would think he was paying attention.As his drawing skills started to develop, he became more focused on stories and jokes.
Matt's teachers and his parents tried to encourage him to do something else with his life. They suggested that he go to a college and find a more solid profession. In fact, until he got to college, he'd found only one teacher who truly inspired him. " my first grade teacher saved paintings I did in class. She actually saved them, I mean, for years. I was touched because there's like, you know hundreds of kids going through her. Her name is Elizabeth Hoover, I named a character on The Simpsons after her."
Inspite of his parents objections, Matt knew deep inside him that this is what he will be doing for the rest of his life. He said " I understood the series of stages I was supposed to go through, you go to high school, you go to college, you get a credential, and then you go out and get a good job. I knew it was not gonna work for me. I knew I was gonna be drawing cartoons forever ".
After Matt made his irrevocable decision that he was going to live by his wits, he moved to L.A and he started submitting his comic strips to some papers there such as L.A Weekly and quickly enough he started to build his name until he was recruited by Fox Broadcasting Company where he invented the Simpsons, a half-hour show that has been running on Fox every Sunday for more than 20 years and is still on many other channels until this day.
" The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything " features several similar stories as the one of Matt Groening. Stories of normal people turned into huge names by simply clinging to their passions such as :
- The story of Elvis Presly
- The story of Gillian Lynne ( one of the most choreographer of our time )
- The story of Dr Paul Samuelson ( the first American to win the noble prize in Economics )
- The story of Paul McCartney ( of of the founders of Beatles )
All the above stories and many more have one common message: that each individual in them have found high levels of achievements and personal satisfaction upon discovering the thing that they naturally do well and that also ignites their passion.
" Ken Robinson presents the theme of creativity and innovation in a way that makes you want to go out and make your dreams a reality.In his wonderfully easy-to-read and entertaining style he presents the stories of many who have done just that....It is a book that lightens and lifts the minds and hearts of all who read it " Susan Jeffers,PH.D,bestselling author of Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway and Life is Huge!: Laughing, Loving and Learning From It All.
I am actually reading Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice and as soon as I finish it I will brief you here on its key ideas.
You can also check this list of my favourite books