Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Element

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson is an amazing book, so much so I had a hard time just reading it and letting it go. The point of the book is that when we are in our "Element" we are at our bests. You can read the review and find out more by clicking the link, but first let me digress...

I have been actively using Twitter for the last year and have become almost addicted to it and only justifying my time on it reasoning that: I have actually booked 2 speaking gigs through connections; have kept in touch with Laurie (my agent) and other writers; and have made some amazing business connections too.

How does this apply to the book? Well there are two twenty-something gals (Jessica & Carolyn) who I have been tweeting with and I have found myself in awe of the fact they are so young and have created so much for themselves. They annoyingly will say, oh it's not a huge deal what we've done... to which I say bullshit! If I could have written my first book or started a business when I was their age, I would have been in heaven. When I was just out of college no one started their own thing, closest you got was taking over your family owned business. I didn't get to explore my creative side until I was mid-thirties and though I wouldn't have changed a thing now (ok, I would've but then again I wouldn't be the 2009-wise-Joy-that-I-am if I had) I am so excited for them. Sometimes I think I am more proud of them they they are of themselves because they don't seem to grasp how amazingly brave, bold & slightly fool-hearty it is to go off and follow their passions. Do they have it all figured out, no... but they are so ahead of the curve it's breathtaking.

How does this apply to the book? Well if we weren't so set on squashing all the creativity out of kids going through our school system, or so concerned as parents that our kids "fit in", then maybe everyone would find their Element by 20. But many of us need to wait way longer or tragically never even get to discover ours and die without sharing our unique gift with the world. Dammit, I think this is something that needs to change. Sir Ken even lays out the theory that if we don't our very existence as a planet might be in peril (really, he makes a good scare-the-shit-out-of-you case for it too).

So not only did I write a heart-felt review of the book, but I also came up with an idea for a show based on it that would be perfect for Oprah's new network OWN (read more in review). Bottom line: we all need to be in our Element to thrive and I am so grateful that I am well on my way to ripening. If you haven't found yours, what the hell are you waiting for?


Jess Constable said...

My goodness! What a kind thing to say! I really appreciate your words. I think for me, my career (jewelry making) began at such a young age (15) that it was a quiet evolution with ten years of trial and error.
And I will also say I got huge applause, encouragement, and support from my family and friends with the business in high school and college.
... Launching it full-time after college, I will admit, many people had hesitations. But I was determined to write my eventual book, MakeunderYourLife (the inspiration for my blog, and felt being self-employed was the best way to control my time and focus for the book writing.
It was not until I started this blog in January that I really hit my stride in terms of career and purpose. I am so grateful for the blogging community and can't wait to see where it leads in the future!
And yes, I agree 100% with everything you said about Carolyn- we are the same age and I'm still floored by everything she has done!

Carolyn said...

Wow, Joy - THANK YOU! I am in awe of your me-mapping concept and just came to your blog (and read this post first - and then saw my name!). I know - strange :)! I love this post and am definitely going to order "The Element" to read. It sounds incredible. I was so amazed by Jess that I had to connect with her and am thrilled that we launched Spring together.

Accomplishing so much at such a young age definitely has its pros and cons. When you're young, anything you do is "exceptional" so you are given so much more room to dream big and fail big - but no one sees the failures, just the dreams that became a reality. I became typecast as "perfect," which limited me in so many ways when I entered the "real world." I was scared to fail or dream big. It took awhile for me to realize that perfection is not my goal and to let others down.

And I could go on, but I think the most important lesson I learned was how to live. And that is the major pro. I live according to my passion and can't imagine any other way - that is the greatest gift.

Thank you again, Joy!
Best wishes,

Joy said...

there you go again, proving how awesome you both are :)