“We’re being brought up with this idea that life is linear.
This idea is perpetuated when you come to write your CV. You set out your life, in a series of dates and achievements. In a linear way, as if your whole existence has progressed in an ordered, structured way, to bring you to this current interview that you’re having in the moment. It all gives the impression that we’re in control of what we’re doing. And that our lives were not the random series of chaotic events that you don’t want to present to a prospective employer.
My life was a mess until right now, frankly.
You don’t plan things like that, do you. You take opportunities, and you respond to them.
But you take them more willingly if they correspond to your own aptitudes and sensibilities.
Being in your element doesn’t necessarily entail financial riches. But it does offer you a much surer guarantee of some sort of spiritual fulfilment. I use the word ‘spiritual’ advisedly. What I mean by ‘spirit’ is that sense of what animates your life. We use this term all the time: we talk about being in high spirits, or low spirits. Being lifted up or down.
If you’re in your element, doing whatever it is that you love to do, then at the end of the day, or the week, you can be physically exhausted by it, but spiritually uplifted.
But if you’re doing things you don’t care for, at the end of the day, you can feel physically fine, but down. And you need to lift yourself up again.
And in the end, it’s about energy. That’s all life is, isn’t it. It’s about energy. It’s what stirs your energy, what encourages it, what fuels it, and what takes it from you.
And I find that if you’re doing things that you love to do, if you’re in your element, if you’re following a passion of some sort, you get energy from it. Some activities take it from you, they drain you, but when I see people doing something they love to do, their energy levels have risen, because they take energy from the activity. It doesn’t drain their energy.
And since life is essentially about energy, I think it seems to me that it’s rather important that we pursue those things for ourselves that energise us.”
– Sir Ken Robinson