Recently, I saw an interview with Sir Ken Robinson discussing creativity and innovation and “how finding your passion changes everything.” If you don’t know him, check him out here or here. You will NOT be disappointed.

Sir Ken has a wonderful way of communicating, and his comments have had me thinking ever since. He says that in order to be in your “Element,” it’s not enough to be good at something; you must also be passionate about it. A lot of people are good at things they care nothing about.

For instance, I know individuals who have terrific voices, but couldn’t care less about singing. Others are naturally gifted at engaging with others, but would rather dig ditches than go into sales. I would submit that the key to being happy with where you are and what you are doing has more to do with courage than ability. It has more to do with your potential to learn and grow and go places that might seem a bit scary than it does with where you are and the capacity you think you have to get better. I’ve used this example before, but I think that finding your element is like looking at the life of a cup.

Here’s what I mean:
If a cup is filled half way, has it reached its potential? Of course not. If it’s 3/4 full, has it reached its potential? Not at all. What about if we take the cup and we fill it to the point that it is overflowing and spilling over the sides… Has the cup reached its potential?

The answer is no.

A cup that is overflowing has only reached its capacity. The potential of that cup could be to serve the greatest cup of coffee the world has ever known; it could be used to serve wine to the Queen; or to give a dying man a crucial drink of water.

When we take the perspective of living out our potential – not just our capacity – it’s easier to welcome tomorrow with warm hearts, open arms and eager minds. That’s when our lives go from just living out every day to actively seeking out our potential to succeed.

Are you in your element?