Sir Ken Robinson on ‘Passion’

“Very many people spend their entire life doing things they don’t really care for, they just get through the week. One way or another they endure that lives and wait for the weekend, with no sense of fulfilment. Kinda general sense of tolerance for it, or not? I think of this as the ‘other’ climate crisis…. Most people have no idea of what they are capable of, no real sense of their talents or their abilities. and very many people therefore conclude they don’t have any – there’s nothing special about them. And my conviction is contrary – we are all born with deep talents and abilities.

If you have a dog, they don’t change much are they culturally? With human being as though we are something new, we are always on to something because we have not just the power of imagination , but what flows it, which is the power of creativity , the ability to produce things, to make things, to make new things. and we are all born with that. Like we are born with power language, and the power of thought it comes with a kit. But some discover the unique ability, some don’t. And those who don’t often conclude they don’t have any.

I also meet people who actually have found what they think their natural place, their natural talents. And they love what they do, and the life’s that flows from it. they are in their element. To be in the element is two things, one of them is you are doing something for which you have a natural capacity – that you get it.

One of the ways you know that you are in your element is that your sense of time changes. If you are doing things you don’t like, 5 minutes feels like an hour. if you are doing things you love to do, an hour feels like 5 minutes.

Its not enough to be good at something, to be in your element. I know a lots of people to be doing something they are good at, they don’t like, they are just good at it. We are being brought up that life is linear, haven’t we?
This is an idea perpetuated when you write your CV, you set out your life in series of dates and achievements. In a linear way, as if your whole existence is progress and ordered, structured way to bring you to this current individual at the moment, It all give an impression that we are in control of our life, that our life is not a random chaotic events, that you don’t want to present to a prospective employer, do you? That my life was in a mess right until now,frankly.

I look at my CV, I think I didn’t planned this. You don’t plan things like that do you? You take opportunities and you respond to them. But you take more willingly if they co-respond to your own aptitude and sensibility.

Narrates a story about how a Concert Pianist became a book Editor.

At the end of her concert, she went off for a dinner with the conductor and the conductor said “You were brilliant tonight – but you didn’t enjoy it – the performance?”

She said “No, not so especially”

He said Why do you do it then?”

She said: “I suppose, I’m good at it”

And he said, “Being good at something isn’t a good enough reason doing it,not to spend your life with it.”

And she realized that, being born into musical family, she shown a talent, she takes all exams, she gone into musically based school, but nobody stopped and ask me if I wanted to do it.

She said, “I didn’t ask myself, I just took it for granted that’s what my life’s going to be. Its only when he ask me, I realize I didn’t like it – my whole life – the things that I love to do – books. I love reading books, I love writers, I love being with writers, I love the literary culture. I crammed whenever I could but I never thought that was an available life for me.

And Ive decided then on that’s the thing I wanted to do – at the end. I closed the piano lid – and I’ve lived in the world I wanted to be in. Ive been working on books, Ive never been happier. Never poorer but never happier. ”

And that’s the thing, being in the element doesn’t necessarily entails financial riches, but it does offer much guarantee of some sort spiritual fulfilment. Spirituality – sense of what animates your life, we talk about being high spirit or low spirit, if you’re in your element in whatever it is you love to do. Then at the end of the day or week, you can be physically exhausted by it, but spiritually uplifted. But if you are doing things you don’t care for, at the end of the day, you can feel physically fine, but down and leading to lift yourself up again.

And in the end its about energy, thats all life is, isn’t it? Its about energy, its what stirs your energy, what encourages it, what fuels it, and what it takes from you. And I find, if you are doing things you love to do, you get energy from it. Some activities takes it from you, you spend your life doing something – you feel it drains you. But I see people doing things they love to do, and their energy level have risen because of it. Because they take energy from their activity, it doesn’t drain their energy. And since life is essentially ‘energy’, it seems rather important that we try to pursue those things for ourselves.

So many people have denied that possibility.I know a lot of people have stumbled upon the things they love to do and taking the opportunity – other times, they are being helped by other people that have seen their talent before they saw it. In almost every case there are mentors, somebody out there who support and help you.

Life is not linear, when you follow your own interest, you connect with your own energy, your life takes a different path. New people come into it, new opportunities comes in, you effect their life, and they effect your life. If you do that, opportunities open up, that weren’t there before – that other people wouldn’t had, because this is your life opening up.

The reason is, we create our own life, we create it for ourselves, its the gift of human life that you are committed to a single course. You can change course, you can create and you can re-create your life and you are more likely to do that if you tap into the things you find motivating and fulfilling than not. Because in the end, its simply that, its about ‘energy’.

Our education system is based on a linear mode of production, its I believe why there is many people feeling detach in their own talent. Being in education system the priority is certain type of talent, marginalize the vast majority of the other ones. And if you are not good at something like mathematics you are assume to not to be good generally.

And for me its why we have to argue for a transformation education – not just that – in our work places. But it begins with transforming ourselves – you have to be at peace with yourselves – at least at peace with your own possibilities.

And as Gandhi says, you have to be the change you want to see in the world. You can’t promote things to which you aren’t sensitive.That’s why there’s so many teachers have problem promoting creativity because they themselves aren’t in touch with their own possibilities. That’s why we have declined.

But in the end, it comes back to what Carl Jung have said,
“I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become”

As a human being, you are born with a lot of choices, and I think for our own fulfilment, we should – explore and make the right one.”


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