Your personality: figuring ourselves out is a life-long journey. It can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable, and it can have its moments of pain. Understanding the human mind is itself a young science, much less adding layers and layers of individual experience, programming and creative thought. Often it’s just easier to let the mind do its thing and hope everything will be all right. This sentiment can be echoed in one of our favorite Homer Simpson quotes: “All right, Brain. You don’t like me and I don’t like you. But let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.”
The idea that you may not have a thorough understanding of your personality feels counter-intuitive. After all, you use your personality all the time. That seems obvious. But let me ask you this – have you ever freaked out and had absolutely no idea why? Have you ever experienced a new situation and reacted in a way that feels “not like me?” When apologizing, have you ever used the phrase, “I just wasn’t myself?” Did you expect the other person to assume you intentionally swapped personalities for the moment, but you still shouldn’t be held accountable for the resulting actions? Of course not. When we make the statement “I wasn’t myself” we seriously hope the other person ‘gets’ that our behavior was just as much a mystery to us as it was to them. And we bank on them sympathizing with us because they’ve had a similar experience. To one extent or another, we all have.
So. Do you have a personality, or does your personality have you?
When you consider the implications, it dawns on you just how important it is to know yourself inside and out. How do personality models tie in? All models are created to help people understand something far more complex. Personality models are no different. While we are all unique and individual, we all sprang from the same origin. We’re human, and we share the same characteristics that make up all humans. We use pattern recognition all the time to understand the simplest things about each other. Language and aesthetic taste are two examples of patterns we recognize in other people to find commonality. Personality models help us with patterns that are more complicated to recognize on the surface. You know how you run into someone that feels so familiar it’s almost like you’ve been friends for ages? They just ‘get’ how you think. Is that because you were separated at birth? You just happen to have mirrored life experiences? Or, does their mind follow the same developmental patterns that yours does? Which seems the most likely?
Personality models aren’t arbitrary. They’re based upon countless hours of research from people who realize how important it is to understand these patterns. Knowing how your mind works is the basis for knowing yourself, and ‘knowing yourself’ is the basis for every great, deliberate act ever taken in history. You cannot accomplish greatness if you 1) don’t know the tool set with which you’re working, and 2) if you can’t control, utilize, and maximize that tool set. It’s not necessarily easy. As we mentioned before, most people choose to not think about it and hope ‘everything’s okay’. If you know nothing about cars, you may get your oil changed when the little sticker in the corner of the window say’s it’s time and take it to the mechanic if it starts making weird noises, but you’re never going to enter the Indy 500 or drive on the Audubon. For most of us, using a car is just a way to get from here to there, and optimization isn’t really the goal.
If you want to use your personality as a basic way to ‘get from here to there’ you absolutely have that option. But if you want to use your personality to do great, amazing, life-changing things you’re going to have to get under the hood, and you’re going to have to start learning how it all works. Some mechanics have a natural talent for machinery, and the moment they lift the hood they understand a lot of what’s happening on their own. Most mechanics, however, have someone to teach them what they’re working with. Even the most naturally talented mechanics seek expertise when they get beyond ‘what is’ and enter the world of ‘what if’. That’s where we come in. You can try to figure out all the personality patterns on your own, and you may have a natural talent for it. (If so – that’s awesome. We love natural talent, and our goal is to help everyone find theirs.) Coming from personal experience, though, that’s a long road and there are lots of missteps along the way.
Our mission is to help each and every person learn as much about themselves as they desire, and to give them the benefit of our years of study. So they can learn, grow and change fast and easy. Let’s for a moment consider never having to use the phrase, “I just wasn’t myself” as an apology ever again. Imagine owning every action you make, knowing it was made deliberately and with understanding of your authentic self. To break that down: imagine always saying, doing, acting and playing in the best way possible for you. Not based on someone else. It’s your personality. Tailoring your life to live as you. Got that? Good, now supercharge it. Sound good? We think so, too.
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