Do You Know Yourself?

Do you know what motivates you?

Do you know what triggers you to numb out?

Do you know how to work with yourself?

There are countless personality tests out there, but very few help you understand how to work with your personality. This is a shame, because if we don’t understand our personality then it becomes much more difficult to improve our lives.

The one that was most familiar to me, was the Myers & Briggs test, which is actually building on the work of Carl Jung. That’s the one that labels you with the 4-letter code. I’m an INTP. It helps you put terms to your personality, but for most of what I’ve seen, it ends up being a label or a diagnosis more than a usable tool to improve your life.

The next one that I found, that actually was helpful, is the Enneagram. That one is very nuanced, but helps you see who you are, and also who you can become.

Another one that I was introduced to, is the Four Tendencies quiz by Gretchen Rubin. ( I think it’s a quiz that would be helpful for everyone, because it tells you about how you handle expectations/obligations. This can be particularly helpful for “getting healthier” because you can set yourself up for success by understanding what situation will make you more likely to stick with it. Trying to do the home gym approach probably won’t work if you do best with outside accountability, but joining a CrossFit gym probably won’t work for the person who resents external obligations.

Beyond that, though, are you a list person? Does marking something off a list motivate you? It certainly doesn’t motivate me – it just keeps me on-task.

Are you a ritual person, or a talisman person? Do you find focus through certain repeated actions, or do you attach meaning to objects? I tend towards being a talisman person. When I was at my sickest, I bought a shirt from Warrior Soul Agoge because the story of what Chris Albert was able to overcome gave me hope for getting better.

Are you discouraged or motivated by being weaker/slower than everyone else?

Can you be the odd person out?

Do you do better with audio/video, or written material?

So, again – do you know yourself? Because if you don’t, you will probably spend all your energy following the wrong advice.

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