November 3, 2013

Finding your element By Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica

Finding your element By Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica
How to discover your talents and passions and transform your life.

The book comes with lots of useful exercises and I am noting down few.

1 - Meditation
If you can sit comfortably with your back and shoulders straight but relaxed. Close your eyes

Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and slowly let it out

As you do, try to focus your attention on the flow of your breath. Repeat this slowly four to five times

Then breathe normally for a few min and try to keep focused on the feelings of your breathing

As random thoughts come into mind and they inevitably will 0 don’t try to stop them. Keep your focus on your breathe, relax and just be

After five min to so - even it you can manage it - open your eyes and relax and relax quietly for another couple of minutes.

Change your perspective -
Here are three techniques that you may find esp. helpful.

1. Mind Mapping
2. Vision board
3. Automatic writing

2- What are you doing?
On a large sheet of paper, make a list of keywords or collect some images of all the things you do in a typical week. They might include meetings, emails, cleaning, shopping, socializing, commuting, studying, surfing the internet, listening to music, gardening, watching movies, paying bills, working out, babysitting. Everyone’s life is different. So, what’s yours?

Using different colors, highlight activities that you would naturally group together. That categories might include, for example, pad work, unpaid work, recreation, socializing, hobbies, keeping fit,. Use whatever categories make the most sense to you

On a second piece of paper, draw separate circles for each of these broad categories. make the circles roughly equal to how much time you spend on each of them each week. If you work three times more than you relax, the work circle should be three times as big. Put in each of the circles all the keywords or images that category

Now think about how you feel about all of these things that you do. Do you love your work but not working out? Do you love socializing but not studying? Using three different colors, highlight each item according to whether
a. you like it
b. don’t mind it
c. don’t like it

On a new sheet of paper, draw one large circle and dived it roughly into three segments to show how much time you spend on what you like, don’t mind or dislike doing. How’s it looking? How would the pie slice for a month or a year?

Three element principle
1.Your life is unique
2. You create your own life
3.Life is organic

True North:
Basic problem is that most education system are not based on the three element principles. Vivek Wadhwa is a professor at the Pratt school of engineering at Duke University. He concludes in his studies that there is no link between what you study in college and how successful or otherwise you are later in your life.

Exercise three:

Look through a range of magazines. Cut out images, headlines or words that appeal to you for whatever reason.

Select from these images any that capture some aspect of your current life. Using images that capture the activities you engage in and whether you enjoy them or just get through them

Arrange them in a pattern in any way that captures for you the character and feel of your current life

Feel free to write and doodle on the images. Customize them any wya that feels right to capture the mood of what you are expressing

If you have the technology and inclination, you could also add your own soundtrack

Ask yourself how well this representation of your life expresses your feelings and experiences. Which areas do you feel happiest with and which ones do you want to focus on changing or improving as you look for your element.

Other exercises:
What are you good at?
How do you know?
Branching out
What do you enjoy
What draws you in?
How happy are you?
Circle of well-being
How do you see things?
Where are you now?
Imagine your tribe
Your initial action plan

Bronnie Ware is a writer who worked for many years in palliative care. Her patients suffered from incurable conditions and knew they were dying. She took care of them during the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot, she says, when they are faced with their own mortality. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed, though, every one of them.

When she asked her patients whether they had any regrets in their lives or if they would have done anything differently, a number of themes came up again and again. These are the most common ones:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life try to myself, not the life others expected of me. (Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made or not made”)

I wish I hadn’t worked so hard (All of the men deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of work)

I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings (Many developed illness relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result)

I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends (There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying”)

I wish that I had left myself be happier (many people didn’t realize until the end that happiness is a choice)

Terminal patients suggest some principle but important lessons for those with much of their lives still ahead of them.

Here are some of them:

Honor your dreams
Reduce the burden
Value your own life and feelings
Value those you love
Book ends with a beautiful metaphor poem, called risk.

And then the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to blossom

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