With 2020 in the rearview mirror, I began focusing on the road that lay ahead. The problem is the road is ill-defined and even with my glasses on I cannot see the next turn clearly. Needless to say, the appropriate and safe course of action is to stomp on the brakes. Some might throw caution to the wind, but I am a more prudent traveler.

In order to make a change, a change a see in my future, I need to discover the true direction to start heading. In the process of reading, The Self-Driven Child, I discovered a book written by none other than Sir Ken Robinson. Since I knew I enjoyed his talks about the reform needed in education and his blunt-to-the-point conversational tone, I figured I would learn from his writing.

I found the book, The Element. But in the course of discovering one book, I found another – Finding Your Element. This seemed like a practical place to start.

I dove it. Parked on the cliff and ready to jump I read the chapters quickly. I poured myself into the exercises with deep thought and honesty. Yes, I have to say the honesty piece is hugely important! I tried my best to answer the chapter questions. Although I know in the earlier stages I was still hesitant to the direction the road would curve, I was confident the gravel and pavement would begin to show themselves before the vehicle of life.

What I discovered was a most unexpected answer. I am not ready nor in a completely secure position to begin truly driving forward. But a big part of my being is ready to get out and walk the gravel. By walking I’m beginning the journey at a measured pace that I know will lead forward to a passion in life.

For those of you who don’t want to get to the end of your life and look back with wonder on all the things (or maybe just one or two) you wished you had done. This book is a great way to get your mind thinking.

The stories of others’ lives and their successes, at first, were more annoying than they were helpful. But I changed my focus in reading them. Instead of looking at them as stories and confronting the opportunities, I don’t have, I focused on the small steps I can take with the resources I do have.

The goal of the book is not to tell you your element. And frankly, for some, you might not discover it when you finish the last word. But the way of looking at opportunities and allowing your mind to explore different possibilities is opened by reading the pages.

Definitely, to read Finding Your Element, you have to be in a place where you are dissatisfied with aspects of your life, looking for a change, and know there is something different for you out there. You might find, as I did, stories that resonate and ideas that provoke your inner aptitudes, abilities, and passions.

I know the road will be long and winding, but I feel after taking this pause I have more tools to help me move forward. I know how to explore the areas I’m passionate about, start with one small step and keep moving forward, reach out to individuals, groups, communities. I feel I’ve got the skills and the power to make my life what I want it to be without the fear of what others might think or what society/cultural pressures might try to force upon me.

If you feel like you are a square peg being pushed through a round hole then I would recommend you stop and read this book. If for no other reason than to help you refocus on your goals, dreams, desires.

Sometimes the scenic route is worth the drive.

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Winter Reading Review: Finding Your Element

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