The Element. How finding your passion changes everything

An elementary school teacher was giving a drawing class to a group of 6-year-old children. At the back of the classroom, sat a little girl who normally didn’t pay much attention in school. In the drawing class she did. For more than twenty minutes, the girl sat with her arms curled around the paper, totally absorbed in what she was doing. The teacher found this fascinating. Eventually she asked the girl what she was drawing. Without looking up, the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God”. Surprised, the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like”. The girls said, “They will in a minute”.

I love this story because it reminds us that young children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations. Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up. Ask a class of first graders which of them thinks they’re creative and they’ll all put their hands up. Ask a group of college seniors this same question and most of them won’t. I believe passionately that we are all born with tremendous natural capacities, and that we lose touch with many of them as we spend more time in the world. Ironically, one of the main reasons this happens is education. The result is that too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don’t know what they’re really capable of achieving.

In that sense, they don’t know who they really are.

Ken Robinson

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