About ten years ago (circa 2002), I took the time to analyze my personality. So much in life can be determined just by knowing more about yourself, who you are, and how you think. At the time, I wanted to see how I could apply that knowledge to my future goals. I wanted to see what my unique personality said about me as a person, as well as the creative individual that was setting his foot into the professional world.
I decided to take a few tests that emulated the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(MBTI). The official MBTI, which costs money to take, is a psychological questionnaire designed to measure preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Each test result is assigned a four-letter code that summarizes the test-taker's personality results in the categories of Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perception. I compared my results from these tests, and they place me into the category of an INFP personality.
Here's a simple definition of an INFP personality:
- I -- Introversion (preferred over extraversion): INFPs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintences, and they expend energy in social situations (as opposed to extraverts who gain energy).
- N -- Intuition (preferred over sensing): INFPs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
- F -- Feeling (preferred over thinking): INFPs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
- P -- Perception (preferred over judgement): INFPs tend to withhold judgement and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.
"Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they will strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back, unless a strong-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people." (personalitypage.com)
Here's a more detailed description of an INFP personality
, also categorized as "The Dreamer".
Earlier this week, I took those tests again, compared the results, and discovered that over the last ten years, my personality has changed. I am now an INTJ personality.
Here's the simple definition of an INTJ
- I -- Introversion (preferred over extraversion): INTJs tend to be
quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close
friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintences, and they expend
energy in social situations (as opposed to extraverts who gain energy).
-- Intuition (preferred over sensing): INTJs tend to be more abstract
than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than
the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate
- T -- Thinking (preferred over feeling): INTJs tend to
value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic then to social considerations.
- J -- Judging (preferred over perception): INTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability, which to perceptive types may seem limiting.
"Independent, original, analytical, and determined. Have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action. Highly value knowledge, competence, and structure. Driven to derive meaning from their visions. Long-range thinkers. Have very high standards for their performance, and the performance of others. Natural leaders, but will follow if they trust existing leaders." (personalitypage.com)
Here's a more detailed analysis of an INTJ personality
, a "free-thinking mastermind".
As a result of this extensive retest, I've found that, over the last ten years, I have remained an overall introvert. I'm still idealistic, loyal, laid-back. I still enjoy interacting with close friends more than I do large groups of people, and I've kept my interest in seeking out abstract ideas and looking at long-term possibilities.
I have, however, changed in the last two categories. I used to focus on personal considerations to things in the world around me, and then I'd considered the social implications of those things, thoughts or ideas. Now it's the opposite. I've become far more objective, and logic holds higher value to me than social considerations. Things have to make sense to be of value. Facts are key.
Ten years ago I also preferred to delay important decisions so that I could keep my options open if things around me changed. Today, I plan my activities and I make major decisions sooner than later. I enjoy the control that comes with predictability. I'm fiercely independent, and I pursue projects that conform to my creative vision for how certain things should be.
When I graduated from college and entered the professional world in 2002, my passion for the arts had no limits. I was going to act.... draw.... create.... dream. The world was my canvas. My artistic interests would shape lives.... It would be something people would look at and appreciate.
Over the last ten years, I've polished those passions into a drive to be entrepreneurial. I've organized my passions into a strong desire to create and tell unique stories (either as an actor or a writer), and I've become far more of a director of those stories than I ever imagined. And in contradiction to my personality ten years ago, I actually enjoy that kind of leadership. I also don't have that same post-college desire to become a gallery-exhibited fine artist; instead, I now enjoy the control that comes with designing my own line of commercial products. I like sharing my creativity.... but I also prefer to do so while blazing my own trail.
It's fascinating how ten years can change your perspective on things. I'm still the same kid who graduated college with big dreams and bigger passions. Only now, I'm a business owner, a CEO, and an entrepreneur as well. The world is still my canvas, but now it has a more ordered meaning to it. And I'm still loving what I do, I'm just doing something a little more constructive.
My parents were right when they advised me, "do what you love, success will follow." Today I'm a successful INTJ, and I'm proud of that personality! I'm grateful for the many opportunities that have brought me here, and I'm humbled by the Heavenly influence that guided me through the tough times along the way. Life has taken me down many roads, but each road has shaped me into the passionate, creative, leader that I am today. If I had the chance, I wouldn't change a thing.
So.... what's your story? What personality are you