Finding your element to flourish in today's society – Part I
Every year, high school students are asked what they would like to major in or what career path they would like to embark on. In fact, I suggest to all parents to help their kids to try to answer the above questions as early as possible. In today’s article, I would like to focus on an important topic – helping kids’ find their element in order to innovate and strive in today’s society. For the first part, we will first look into the why and how.
‘Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life’ is a new book written bythe most-watched speaker on TED.com, Sir Ken Robinson. He is an author, educator and creativity expert, who advocates for diversity in curriculums, local input into education strategies and moving successful aspects of “alternative” education programs into the mainstream program. In his report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment– All Our Future : Creativity, culture and Education, Ken emphasizes that to prepare successfully for the twenty-first century, literacy and numeracy skills alone are not sufficient. What is needed is a broad, flexible and motivating education that recognizes and unlocks the talents of all children and delivers excellence for every young person.
The reason why you need to find your element is for survival purposes. It has been predicted that 65 % of jobs of the future are still non-existent and will be created by this young student generation. M type society and 99% versus 1% Wall Street movement both predict that 99% of young kids without rich parents have to strive to survive in the future. This survival is not simply about financially independent but also about psychological and social stability and happiness.
Finding your element is a personal journey of self-discovery. As parents, how can you find your children’s element?
The first step is by eating dinner together as a family. One book summarizes it very clearly where Jewish parents give many tips about properly communicating with kids. When kids come home from school, most Asian parents ask if they had had any tests or what their marks were. On the other hand, Jewish parents ask their kids if they had asked any good questions in class that day. Caring about their kids’ feeling in school is much more important than asking about their academic performance. Each life is unique and we must treat it as so by making it more dynamic and organic, stimulated by one’s imagination and capabilities.
The second step to finding your children’s element is let them experiment and explore with different activities whether it be joining after school sporting events, music class or volunteering in different organizations. When parents arrange many extra-curricular activities for kids, they are forced to learn the importance of time management and to balance their schedule. Besides finding their interests, student can also learn punctuality, perseverance, and commitment.
“Finding your element is about doing something that feels so completely natural to you, that resonates so strongly with you, that you feel that this is who you really are. Finding your element is finding your passion, your calling, work that truly fulfills you. It is vital to understanding yourself and your capabilities.” Ken Robinson said.
The third step is get comments and feedback from trusted friends, co-workers, parents or classmates to do a personal SWOT analysis (360 degree evaluation method).
The final step is writing a to-do list in order of priority as an Initial Action Plan. Write it in simple, executable and realistic terms. Some important questions to ask are the following:
Where have I come from and where am I going?
What is my goal and why amI passionate about this?
Who can help me or who can I talk to?
How and when will I achieve my goal?
Afterward, you can naturally discover and produce new ideas. Then, by testing and experimenting with them, you will be able to refine them which may help you to flourish in today’s society.
What do you think will happen if you find your element to late?