“Nobody has ever lived your life. Everybody’s life is completely unique and distinct. It’s unrepeatable and unprecedented.”
That’s not to say others haven’t lived lives similar.
“But nobody’s had your life. Nobody’s been born with a mixture of your unique talents, interests and attitudes, abilities or had your biography.”
Mix these God-given gifts with passion, and Sir Ken Robinson believes anyone can find what he calls the “element” that is self-fulfillment.
“My contention is that we are born with immense natural talents. Some people discover them and some don’t. In my experience the great many people don’t discover them. The second big principle to me is that life is inherently created to be a human being is to be a creative being. That, unlike most other creatures, we consciously live the lives that we lead and we can recreate them. The life that you lead has a lot to do with how you’re educated and what’s released in you and what’s made available to you. And the third is that life is not linear it is organic, it evolves. It’s a kind of conversation between your circumstances and your talents and your dispositions.
In his new book, Finding Your Element, asks how to discover the talent you’re most passionate about. Bottom line: Discovering your true aptitudes.
“One of my issues with a lot of education, why I campaign so much around education, is there are education systems, for the most part, are preoccupied with a certain type of aptitude. And it’s very important, we call it academic ability. It’s what universities were built to celebrate and promote. And I’m not here to criticize it, I worked in universities all my life, you know, and I have had an academic life. But there’s much more to human intelligence than academic ability. We’ve come to conflate the two, have we not? I mean academic ability is for a capacity for a certain type of deductive reasoning. A certain type of propositional knowledge and it’s very important. But if all we had was the capacity for academic work most of human culture would have never had happen, would it? If all you had was academic ability you couldn’t have gotten out of bed this morning. In fact, there wouldn’t have been a bed for you to get out of because nobody could have made one.”
To that end, Dr. Robinson insists the education system based on standardized testing must be replaced by one that embraces and cultivates the talents of each student.
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