As a father of four, I have grown to cherish the way children learn and grow. My daughter has recently figured out how to snap and whistle. The pride on her face and in her eyes is priceless. “Daddy, watch this!” she’ll exclaim as she rubs her fingers together, resulting in the softest snap you’ve ever heard.
Self-discovery is just like that. To learn something new about yourself, how you’re wired, and what you can do is invigorating, isn’t it? Last year I took the Myers-Briggs test in order to determine my personality type. What a revelation! I felt like a baby that’s discovers his hand for the first time and just stares at it continuously, studying every bit of the new treasure. As I processed this new information, many “ah-ha” moments sprang up. I could see why I do the things I do and think the way I think. The realization also made me wonder how well I really know myself.
S.I. Hayakawa, academic and politician from the 1900s, said that “it is the individual who knows how little they know about themselves who stands the most reasonable chance of finding out something about themselves before they die.” Our pride can get in the way of self-discovery because we tend to think we know everything there is to know about ourselves. But the truth is we really know so little. And even the tidbits we do know we will forget as we get caught up in daily life. One aspect I understand about myself is that I will feel things very deeply internally and, therefore, can become controlled by how I perceive outside circumstances affect me. Because of that, I can easily assume the worst in any situation. If a friend does not call me back, I blame myself and say that I must have done something to offend him. I am quick to own up to wrongs, even those I may not be responsible for. And that is consistent with my wiring.
There are a few resources I have used to help me formulate my personality profile. The Myers-Briggs Index, as I already mentioned, is a fantastic test that will unravel the mystery of you using a four letter code. For example, I am an INFP, which means I am an Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving individual. That is how I process and interact with the world around me and inside me. The MBI lists 16 possible personality types. You can learn more about the Myers-Briggs Index here.
Strengths Finder is another beneficial tool. The philosophy with SF is that we spend too much time trying to improve upon our weaknesses and not enough time living out of our strengths. If someone isn’t detail-oriented, they should delegate to one that is. This allows both individuals to work out of the areas they are most effective. With SF, you can take a test and receive a report showing your top five strengths. Armed with this information, I would then encourage you to read about each strength and begin living out of them. You can learn more about Strength Finders here.
These are two valuable resources that have helped me immensely. There are others, such as DISC, but I haven’t stepped into that world yet. The bottom line is that, just like my daughter, we all can discover new things about ourselves and then merrily snap and whistle through life, therefore making a deeper impact on the world around us.