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Sir Ken Robinson Quotes

Sir Kenneth Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson quotes: regarding rethinking education, understanding creativity, feeling accomplished, and more.

“Make the most of whatever it is that floats your boat.”

“Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play.”

“Some dreams truly are ‘impossible dreams.’ However, many aren’t. Knowing the difference is often one of the first steps to finding your element, because if you can see the chances of making a dream come true, you can also likely see the necessary next steps you need to take toward achieving it.”

“What you’re doing now, or have done in the past, need not determine what you can do next and in the future.”

“You create your life, and you can recreate it, too. In times of economic downturn and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look deep inside yourself to fathom the sort of life you really want to lead and the talents and passions that can make that possible.”

“As soon as we have the power to release our minds from the immediate here and now, in a sense we are free. We are free to revisit the past, free to reframe the present, and free to anticipate a whole range of possible futures.”

“We are all born with extraordinary powers of imagination, intelligence, feeling, intuition, spirituality, and of physical and sensory awareness. For the most part, we use only a fraction of these powers, and some not at all.”

“Finding the medium that excites your imagination, that you love to play with and work in, is an important step to freeing your creative energies.”

“If you’re doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you’re doing something that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour.”

“Too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don’t know what they are capable of achieving. Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.”

“Whether or not you discover your talents and passions is partly a matter of opportunity. If you’ve never been sailing, or picked up an instrument, or tried to teach or to write fiction, how would you know if you had a talent for these things?”

“One way of opening ourselves up to new opportunities is to make conscious efforts to look differently at our ordinary situations. Doing so allows a person to see the world as one rife with possibility and to take advantage of some of those possibilities if they seem worth pursuing.”

“It’s not what happens to us that makes the difference in our lives. What makes the difference is our attitude towards what happens. The idea of luck is a powerful way of illustrating the importance of our basic attitudes in affecting whether or not we find our element.”

“Lucky people tend to maximize chance opportunities.”

“One of the strongest signs of being in the zone is a sense of freedom and of authenticity. When we are doing something that we love and are naturally good at, we are much more likely to feel centered in our true sense of self—to be who we feel we truly are. When we are in our element, we feel we are doing what we are meant to be doing and being who we’re meant to be.”

“Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do… tapping into your natural energy and your most authentic self.”

“Passion is the driver of achievement in all fields. Some people love doing things they don’t feel they’re good at. That may be because they underestimate their talents or haven’t yet put the work in to develop them.”

“If you are considering earning your living from your element, it’s important to bear in mind that you not only have to love what you do; you should also enjoy the culture and the tribes that go with it.”

“Most people didn’t pursue their passions simply because of the promise of a paycheck. They pursued them because they couldn’t imagine doing anything else with their lives.”

“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.”

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’re not prepared to be original.”

“Being wrong doesn’t mean being creative, but if you’re afraid of being wrong, you can’t be creative.”

“Imagination is the source of all human achievement.”

“To realize our true creative potential—in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities—we need to think differently about ourselves and towards each other. We must learn to be creative.”

“In a world where lifelong employment in the same job is a thing of the past, creativity is not a luxury. It is essential for personal security and fulfillment.”

“All of our existing ideas have creative possibilities.”

“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.”

“Through imagination, we can visit the past, contemplate the present, and anticipate the future. We can also do something else of profound and unique significance. We can create.”

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

“The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their creative potential and to nurture the confidence to try.”

“You cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do is, like a farmer, create the conditions under which it will begin to flourish.”

“You can’t be a creative thinker if you’re not stimulating your mind, just as you can’t be an Olympic athlete if you don’t train regularly.”

“Being creative is at the heart of being human and of all cultural progress.”

“The combination of creative energies and the need to perform at the highest level to keep up with peers leads to an otherwise unattainable commitment to excellence.”

“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.”

“Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth.”

“The second role of a mentor is encouragement. Mentors lead us to believe that we can achieve something that seemed improbable or impossible to us before we met them. They don’t allow us to succumb to self-doubt for too long, or the notion that our dreams are too large for us. They stand by to remind us of the skills we already possess and what we can achieve if we continue to work hard.”

“Although mindfulness does not remove the ups and downs of life, it changes how experiences like losing a job, getting a divorce, struggling at home or at school, births, marriages, illnesses, death and dying influence you and how you influence the experience. In other words, mindfulness changes your relationship to life.”

“If you’re 50, exercise your mind and body regularly, eat well, and have a general zest for life. You’re likely younger—in very real, physical terms—than your neighbor who is 44, works in a dead-end job, eats chicken wings twice a day, considers thinking too strenuous, and looks at lifting a beer glass as a reasonable daily workout.”

“To improve our schools, we have to humanize them and make education personal to every student and teacher in the system. Education is always about relationships. Great teachers are not just instructors and test administrators, they are mentors, coaches, motivators, and lifelong sources of inspiration to their students.”

“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed; it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”

“Teaching is a creative profession, not a delivery system. Great teachers do pass on information, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.”

“Teaching for creativity involves teaching creatively. There are three related tasks in teaching for creativity: encouraging, identifying and fostering.”

“Our task is to educate students’ whole being so they can face the future. We may not see the future, but they will and our job is to help them make something of it.”

“I heard a great story recently—I love telling it—of a little girl who was in a drawing lesson. She was six and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this little girl hardly paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated and she went over to her and she said, ‘What are you drawing?’ and the girl said, ‘I’m drawing a picture of God.’ And the teacher said, ‘But nobody knows what God looks like.’ And the girl said, ‘They will in a minute.'”

“Nobody else can make anybody else learn anything. You cannot make them. Anymore than if you are a gardener you can make flowers grow, you don’t make the flowers grow. The gardener does not make a plant grow. The job of a gardener is to create optimal conditions for growth. You don’t sit there and stick the petals on and put the leaves on and paint it. You don’t do that. The flower grows itself. Your job (if you are any good at it) is to provide the optimum conditions for it to do that, to allow it to grow itself.”

“Children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations. Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up.”

“One size does not fit all. Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do—and who they really were—until they’d left school and recovered from their education.”

“It is difficult to feel accomplished when you’re not accomplishing something that matters to you. Doing something ‘for your own good’ is rarely for your own good if it causes you to be less than who you really are.”

“What you do for yourself dies with you when you leave this world. What you do for others lives on forever.”

“The more alive we feel, the more we can contribute to the lives of others.”

“Every single one of the 100 billion lives who have walked the face of this earth is unique and unrepeatable. To be born at all is a miracle, so what are you going to do with your life?”

“For most of us, the problem isn’t that we aim too high and fail—it’s just the opposite: we aim too low and succeed.”

“Perhaps the most important attitude for cultivating good fortune is a strong sense of perseverance.”

“You create your own life by how you see the world and your place in it.”

“What we think of ourselves and of the world makes us who we are and what we can be.”

“Change what you are doing; change your world. And if enough people do that, we can change the world.”

Related: Tim Ferriss quotes.

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