I was recently re-reading one of the most informative books on finding the right fit in your career and in life choices – The Element: How finding your passion changes everything by Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D. Sir Ken Robinson is most famous for his Ted Talk about education and the need for reformation.
But what is the element and better yet, how do I find it? Sir Robinson states that the Element is the point in time when your natural gifts, personality and passion meet and become aligned. People who have found their Element find themselves doing things that they love and when doing them they feel they are their most authentic self. This is exactly how we are hardwired! He goes further to say “Being in their Element, they connect with something fundamental to their sense of identity, purpose and well-being.” It is about doing what they are really supposed to be doing with their life.
However, the million dollar question is how do I find that? I want the Element for myself. The good news is that you can find it for yourself and so can anyone else. Sir Robinson says that there are two features and 2 conditions for being in the Element. The features are aptitude and passion and the conditions are attitude and opportunity. At an early stage in life it is hard to identify passion, but aptitude is definitely there. Do you like to read? Do you love solving problems? Would you debate a question regardless of the topic just for the challenge? These all point to aptitude.
Attitude and opportunity are conditions that you create for yourself. Don’t be a victim. “I can’t pick a career because I am not interested in anything.” I challenge you to reframe that statement to “I can explore different careers so that I can find one that interests me and is a good fit.” You can create your own opportunities and once you start that journey I am willing to bet your attitude will follow you along with expectant delight. There is no one way to find your Element that is better than another. The best way to start is to pick up the phone and call a friend right now and tell them you are looking for your Element and sk if they could help you get started.