Though I don’t ascribe to much eastern theology or mysticism, I have always been kind of facinated about the whole concept of Ying and Yang- one thing with both a light side and a dark side kind of swirling around together. Somehow I knew Yoda was right! There IS a light side and dark side of the Force!!! I always realized I was that way- with both a good side and bad- strengths and weaknesses. I realized life was like that, too- I had good things and bad things happen- Birth and death, summer and winter, love and heartache. But I could never put my finger on it. What’s that have to do with personality research and tests? I’ll get there… hang with me.
In the last few years I’ve learned a lot about why I was made to do personality tests in the past by employers, teachers, camp counselors, friends… Once the light turns on, everything gets really clear. It didn’t for many years for me, but it has now. One thing that was missing was that nobody ever really talked to me about why I was doing the personality tests… So here goes my attempt to see if we can get from A to B a litle quicker.
See, we all have a personality. We have strengths and weaknesses. When you are simply aware of them, it makes it easier to see why you respond the way you do, determine what will cause you more stress and drama, and helps you make better decisions about the course you take for things. Last year I read this amazing book on an ancient personality test called the enneagram. It was so incredibly revolutionary to me to see some things in myself that I had always kind of known but couldn’t explain. Ever feel that way? It was like it put words to my hunches.
In the enneagram, your “personality” (which is really not the best word for this, but I’ll use it because it’s convenient) is more like a core motivator- what makes you tick. It can take a few times to really find your true orientation, but when you do it’s incredibly helpful. See- I’ve always had this theory that your strengths are also your weaknesses- I believe now more than ever that it’s totally true. It’s ying and yang. It’s the enneagram. It’s the internal conflict that all of us feel. And it’s a good thing.
You simply are built in a certain way. I’m not going to get into how that “thing” gets there, but it’s there. Nature vs nurture? Who really cares? It’s there- so let’s figure out how to best use it to make the most good. The thing I liked most about the enneagram versus other personality profile tools was that it focused more closely on a particular “Motivator” rather than just the personality type. It’s like the engine that pushes the personality, the tool that carves your life out of the universe. And like every engine or tool, it can be used for good or bad. With a knife I can hurt someone or rescue them. With an engine, I can get to new amazing places in my car or I can be reckless and kill someone in an accident. Ying and yang again, right??? I want you to find out what kind of engine drives you, what kind of tool you were given to work with, and then learn to use it right.
This is something I want you to take seriously. Find out about yourself. Find what motivates you. Like yesterday, this can help you make better decisions about what you do with your life- in careers, relationships, at school, for hobbies. What’s great about learning more about yourself and what makes you tick is that you can better pinpoint what frustrates you and work around it. You can also find out that there aren’t people or methods that are better or worse than yours- everyone has a ying and yang. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a motivator, and they have a strength that can be used if they’re working in the right way. And they, like you, will be frustrated and discouraged (and probably not very effective) if they are doing things that go against the grain of who they are.
Screwdrivers are great unless you need a hammer, and you can’t turn a screw with a knife. All tools have a purpose and work excellent when used as they’re designed. So do people. Find your purpose- and learn what things are best for you NOT to push so hard toward!
You are simply AMAZING at something- everyone is. But you need to be doing that something, working in that way to find it. Let’s look together.
Find it here: