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On Reading “The Element” – Part 1

December 9, 2009

I got an email from my local library yesterday. It was the best kind of news: “The book you have requested is available for pick-up.” I work half-a-block from the library, so I couldn’t wait to go into work today.

I got three books, Master and Commander, Getting Things Done, and The Element.

I have been on a big “find my purpose” non-fiction kick recently. This I “blame” partly on Trent over at The Simple Dollar because he always reviews such interesting books, and partly on Shelfari . com for making it really easy to keep track of what books I want to read. 😀

In any case, I started reading The Element during my lunch break, and I’m excited about it. It’s going to be a good, fun, read.

Right now (page 22?), the author is going through an explanation of what The Element actually is:

“The Element has two main features, and there are two conditions for being in it. The features are aptitude and passion. The conditions are attitude and opportunity. The sequence goes something like this: I get it; I love it; I want it; Where is it?”

And then he goes on to explain each of those four parts of the sequence in greater depth.

So I’m reading through this book, really excited because he’s talking about how education systems need to improve in this new century, which is something that those who know me know I’m fascinated about, and how helping people find their passion is our best bet going forward.

I’m reading about all of these people who’ve had these epiphanies about what they really should be doing, and it’s really exciting.

And then a thought hits me: What if I never find my Element?

What if I never can figure out where that junction between what I have aptitude for meets up with what I’m passionate about? What if I missed the boat on that moment of opportunity because of a class I didn’t take in college, or an event I didn’t attend?

What a depressing thought.

I am normally a pretty upbeat, optimistic person, so I’m not going to succumb to the despair of the thought that I might never figure out where aptitude meets passion. I mean, I’m only 26, so there’s still time, at least in theory. But we have only so much time on this planet, and I feel like it’s slipping away.

Cheerful thoughts for a snowy evening. *wry*


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