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The Element by Mind Map: The Element
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The Element


The core principles of the element are rooted in a wider, organic conception of human growth and development

Current view is mechanistic

Human organisations are more organic

Climate crisis

The other climate crisis

Self inflicted physical illness from bad nutrition and eating disorders

Over medication


Growth of cities

Aiming high

Death Valley, Flowers, Rain

Michaelangelo - "The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it"


TED Talk


Think differently

Mick Fleetwood, "my parents saw that the light in this funny little creature certainly wasn't academics"

Taking it all for granted, Key element, We need to challenge what we take for granted about our abilities and the abilities of other people, Senses, An enemy of creativity and innovation is common sense, 5 regular, Touch, Taste, Sight, Smell, Hearing, Intuition, Balance, Temperature, Pain, Vestibular sense, balance and acceleration, Kinesthetic, Athletes, Gymnasts

How intelligent are you?, 1-10 scale, Survey of hands, Common sense view, Fixed intelligence, At the heart of the education system, Underpins testing industry, Dominates college entrance exams, Foundation of IQ concept, Back to greece, Logic and reason highest, Feeling and emotion lowest, History of IQ, Binet, Terman, Limited extremely narrow view of human capacity, Segregate by race, Stanford, Stanford-Binet test, IQ matter of life and death, Death Row, Standardised tests, SATs, Carl Brigham, Eugenics, Criticisms, Only measures a certain kind of intelligence, impersonal, attempts to make common assumptions about the college potential of a hugely varied group in one size fits all fashion, Hundreds of hours wasted, John Katzman, "what makes the SAT bad is that has nothing to do with what kids learn in High School. As a result it creates a sort of shadow curriculum that furthers the goals of neither educator of students...The SAT has been sold as snake oil; it measured intelligence, verified high school GPA, and predicted college grades. In fact its never done the first two at all, nor a particularly good job at the third"

How are you intelligent, The right question, There are a variety of ways to express intelligence and no one scale could ever measure this, Three features of human intelligence, It is extraordinarily diverse, It is tremendously dynamic, Einstein, It is entirely distinctive, Unique, Discovering the element is about allowing yourself access to all of the ways in which you experience the world and discovering where your own true strengths lie, Just don't take them for granted


beyond imagining

Faith Ringgold

The promise of creativity, Creativity, Intelligence

Most people have a narrow view of intelligence, Academic only

Myths, Only special people are creative, Creativity is like literacy, Needs to be trained, Creativity is about special activities, Anything that involves your intelligence is creative, People are either creative or not, First critical step, Realise

It's all in your imagination, Mental images, Ex: Driving

Does size matter?, Bertrand Russell, "Is man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water crawling impotently on a small and unimportant planet", Solar system, Encouragements, Perspective, Part 1 is true, But we can conceive our insignificance

The power of creativity, Imagination is not the same as creativity, Creativity takes the process of imagination to another level, Definition, "the process of having original ideas that have value", To be creative you have to actually do something, make something new, come up with new solutions, think of new problems, new questions, Applied imagination, Music, George Harrison, 1988, This is Love, No B-side, Dylan, Orbison, Petty, Lynne, Collaboration, Travelling Wilburys, dance, math, science, Richard Feynman, plates, electrons, business, relationships, Creative dynamics, Personal creativity, How it works, A process, Generating new ideas, Imagining different possibilities, Considering alternate options, Tools, Feel, Uses media to develop ideas, Taps into various talents, People who work creatively usually have something in common, They love the media they with, Play, The recognition of your element is an epiphany, To develop our creative abilities we also need to develop our practical skills in the media we want to use, Open your mind, Involves more of the mind, Non linear, Divergent, Lateral, Creativity uses much more than our brains, Creative work also reaches deep into our intuitive and unconscious minds and into our hearts and feelings, Like letting a cork out of a bottle, Requires effort, Getting it together, We don't just see the world as it is, we interpret it through the particular ideas and beliefs that have shaped our own cultures and our personal outlook, William JAmes "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.... If you change your mind you can change your life


In the zone

Ewa Laurance, Billiards, Geometry

To be in the zone is to be deep in the heart of the element, Aaron Sorkin, Not an actor, Not in the zone, Studied acting, Messed around with a typewriter when bored on a Fri night, Writer

Are we there yet?, One of the strongest signs of being in the zone is the sense of freedom and authenticity, When we are in our Element we feel we are doing what we are meant to be doing and being who we are meant to be, Time feels different, Meta state, Where ideas come more quickly, Jochen Rindt, "you ignore everything and just concentrate. You forget about the rest of the world and become part of the car and track. It's a very special feeling. You're completely out of this world and completely into it. There's nothing like it", Eric Clapton, "in harmony with time, it's a great feeling", Wilbur Wright, "When you know, after the first few minutes, that the whole mechanism is working perfectly, the sensation is so keenly delightful as to be almost beyond description. More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination", Flow

Reaching out, When we connect with our own energy, we're more open to the energy of other people, The more alive we feel, the more we can contribute to the lives of others

Being yourself, When people are in the zone they align naturally with a way of thinking that works best for them., Using a thinking style completely natural to them everything comes more easily

Getting out of the box, MBTI, Issues, Myers nor briggs had any qualifications, Nobody fits squarely in a box, Repeat test gives a different result, Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument

Do the math, Terence Tao, Self taught reading, Mozart of math

Questions we need to ask, What did their parents do?, Left to their own devices what are they drawn to doing?, What kinds of activities do they tend to engage in voluntarily?, What sorts of aptitudes do they suggest?, What absorbs them most?, What type of points do they make?, What sort of questions do they ask?

We need to understand what puts people in the zone

We need to determine what implications this has for the rest of our lives


Finding your tribe

For most people a primary component of being in their element is connecting with other people who share their passion and a desire to make the most of themselves through it

Meg Ryan, Stage fright, Hung out with actors, Found element, Peggy Fury, Classes, Sean Penn, Anjelica Houston, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nicholas Cage

A plan to discover yourself, Tribe members can be collaborators or competitors

Domains and fields, Domain is the sorts of activities and disciplines that people are engaged in, Acting, Rock music, business, Ballet, physics, rap, Field refers to the other people who are engaged in it

It's not just me, Debbie Allen, Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms that you are not alone, Some people are most in their Element when they are working alone, Mathematicians, Poets, Painters, Athletes, Interaction with a field, "if you don't kick things about with people you you are out of it" John Wheeler, Michael Polanyi, Argues against state control of science

How do they do that, Find your scene, Bob Dylan in NYC, Discovered the journey of Woody Guthrie

Circles of influence

The alchemy of synergy, Kind of Blue, Creative teams, Diverse, Dynamic, Distinct

Lost in the crowd, Fan behaviour, BIRGing, deindivdulation

Look, listen, learn, Some are skilled critics, Billy Connolly, Watched Chick Murray on TV, Turning point, Found his tribe


What will they think

This time it's personal, Chuck Close, Candoco

Fear is perhaps the most common obstacle to finding your Element, Susan Jeffers, Techniques, Social: It's for your own good, Fear of disapproval, The decision to play it safe, to take the path of least resistance, can see irresistible, particularly if you have your own doubts and fears about the alternatives, Pull away from your families, Groupthink, Jay-Z, "When I left the block, everyone was saying I was crazy", Irving Janis "a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action", Prevailing belief is that the group knows best, Dulls individual judgement, A single ant can't ruin a picnic, You can't be yourself in a swarm, Encourages uniformity of thought and behaviour, Culture right and thong, Contagious behaviour, The cultures in which we are raised do not only affect our values and outlook, Language, Western, A tiger, Asian, A jungle with a tiger in it, A tiger in a jungle, Asian art, Less emphasis on the individual and more on the collective, Swimming against the tide, Countercultural


Do you feel lucky?

The element is also a matter of attitude

It's not what happens to us that determines our lives-it's what we make of what happens

Attitude and aptitude, Luck, All the people have taken an active role in "getting lucky", Luck Factor, One way of opening ourselves up to new opportunities is to make conscious efforts to look differently at out ordinary situations, Ability to reframe, Vidal Sassoon, Blowdrying, Brad Zdanivsky


Somebody help me


The life-changing connection

Mentors, Roles, 1, Recognition, 2, Encouragement, 3, Facilitating, 4, Stretching, More than heros, They show us the next steps and encourage us to take them


Is it too late?

Susan Jeffers, Floating hospital, Wrote book

Paul Potts

Extra middle age, 35-50

One of the most basic reasons for thinking that it's too late to be who you are truly capable of being is the belief that life is linear, Ridley Scott, Commercials, TV, Cinema

Human lives are organic and cyclical, Multiple opportunities for new growth and development, Benjamin Franklin developed bifocals at 78

Look after yourself physically, exercise, nutrition

Keeping things plastic, Multiple languages, Keep your brain active, Insight arrives with age

Engaged forever, Grace Living Centres, Kindergarten, Outperforms schools in district, Book buddies, Home, Medication levels are down, Western idea of keeping generations apart is a failure

There's time


For love or money

For the love of it, Amateur, Not necessarily amateurish, To be in your element it isn't necessicary to drop everything else and do it all day, every day, Time, Life stage, Commitment, The Pro-Am revolution, Linux, Arthur C. Clarke, Clarke Orbit, Susan Hendrickson, T-Rex, The amateurs, Professional, Transformation, If we're not in our element at work it becomes even more important to discover that element somewhere else, Finding the Element is essential to a balanced and fulfilled life, The kite runner, Khaled Hosseini, Doctor, Room to read, Beyond leisure, Leisure is a break, Recreation, more active, literally rebuilding, Scientific study of happiness, "Happy individuals seem to have a whole lot more fun than the rest of us ever do", "They have many more activities they enjoy doing for fun, and they spend much more of their time, on a given day or week doing fun, exciting and enjoyable activities", The element won't make you rich


Making the grade

Too many think they are not good at anything


Finding our element is essential for us as individuals and for the well being of our communities

Education should be one of the processes to take us towards the Element

Too often it serves the opposite function

What are we going to do about this?

This looked-down-upon thing, Rails against, Hierarchy of disciplines, Conformity has a higher value than diversity, Conformity or creativity, Public education puts relentless pressure on students to conform, Created in the image of industrialism, Factory culture, Standard units, Bells, Batched by age, Standardised tests, Benefits and successes, Great for conventional academics, Moderate literacy, Able to make change for 20, Drawbacks, Dropouts, Dissatisfaction, Parents, Students, Teachers, Decline in the value of a degree, No guarantee of a job in your field, The rise of the graduate, 1, Increase in 'head work" over manual work, 2, More people in the world, Competition is more intense, More people graduating than ever, Cram schools, Reforming education, Current efforts going completely the wrong direction, Reasons, How to educate their people to find work and create wealth in a world that is changing faster than ever, Communities want to take advantage of globalisation but keep identity, The mistake many policymakers make is to believe that in education the best way to face the future is by improving what they did in the past., Most reforms focus on the curriculum and the assessment, Three major processes in education, Curriculum, Specify exactly what students should learn, Reinforce hierarchy, Marginalise students outside it, Pedagogy, The most powerful method of improving education is to invest in the improvement of teaching and the status of great teachers, Education needs transformation not reform, The key is to embrace the core principles of the Element, Assessment, Greater emphasis on assessment, Not a bad thing, Bad thing is the method, Standardised tests, Principle effect is to discourage innovation and creativity, Kills morale, Teachers, Students, Penalise "failing schools", Problem not the test, Its the be-all and end-all approach thats bad, Standardised tests in medicine work, Untitled, Transforming education, Drama, Invigorates imagination, Promotes collaboration, self esteem, community, Reasons for school success, Inspirational head teacher, Hired staff members who were passionate and connected with children, Inspiring models, Reggio Emilia, Arts focussed, Multiple "symbolic languages", Week long short projects, Year long projects, Awards, LEGO prize, Hans Christian Andersen prize, Kohl Foundation, A+, Oklahoma, Elemental education, Its not the teachers, Its a systemic problem in the nature of our education system, The real challenge will only be met by empowering passionate and creative teachers and by firing up the imagination and motivations of students, The curriculum must be transformed radically, Need to eliminate the existing hierarchy of subjects, Question the entire idea of 'subjects", Curriculum should be personalised, Teaching, Too many reforms are designed to make education teacher proof, The most successful systems take the opposite approach, They invest in teachers, Mentoring and coaching are the vital pulse of a living system of education, Assessment, Education is strangled by standardised testing culture, Catering, Fast food, Specified standard, Michelin guide, Creative standard, Choice, Or, Ride transformation into the future, Be overwhelmed and sink back into the past

The element

People find high levels of achievement and personal satisfaction upon discovering the things they naturally do well and that also ignites their passions

Examples, Matt Groening, Paul Samuelson, Gillian Lynne

One size does not fit all

Three features of formal education, Preoccupation with certain sorts of academic ability, Hierarchy of subjects, Growing reliance on particular types of assessment

Result, Narrow view of intelligence and capacity, Overvalue of particular sorts of talents and ability, Neglect of important skills, Marginalisation

Dance and drama not taught

Basic flaw, Back to basics, myth that standardised testing makes a country more competitive, Severe underestimation of human capacity


Not back to basics enough, Concentrates on

The pace of change

Children retiring today will retire in 2070

Technology lightening change

Population growth

Future predictions are almost impossible

BRIC countries will play increasing role

The only way to prepare for the future is to make the most out of ourselves on the assumption that doing so will make us as flexible and productive as possible

Most people set aside their passions to pursue things they don't care about in the name of financial security

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different

We need to think very differently about human resources and about how we develop them if we are to face the challenges

What is the element?

The meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion

Time passes differently, more alive, more centred, more vibrant

The element is different for everyone

How do we find it?

Not limited to one

Features, Aptitude, Passion

Conditions, Attitude, Opportunity

Sequence, I get it, I love it, I want it, Where is it?