Sunday, March 30, 2008

Changing our "self"

I've been bummed out for too long, trying to outrun the confines of my "predicted personality."

While I do feel like there is some credibility to that Meyers - Brigg test, I'm understanding that it doesn't take into account the transforming power of God. I believe that throughout those personality quizzes, if you were to replace every instance of "personality" with "tendency," it would yield a more accurate and encouraging result.

You see, because tendencies are changeable. They are "fluid" as my bro Travis says. Tendencies do not give you a road map of your inevitable destination, rather they give you a sort of prognosis as to where you "would" go, providing no changes were made.

Provided that you choose not to change.

So yeah, according to my Meyers-Brigg "tendency" scale, I have the natural inclination towards melancholy, and provided I never changed or perhaps even indulged my God-given tendencies, I would end up happiest working as a teacher, or a counselor or in management.

But God is bigger than any constraint. He's stronger than our self-fulfilling prophesies and with time, effort and God, we can truly become who we want.

And, with God helping, we'll become who He wants, which is the biggest we'll ever be.

God help us.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Apparently, this getting to know yourself thing is pretty hard.

Earlier this week I was given the results of my Meyers-Brigg personality test, it's a fairly long, complex psychological analysis tool aimed at reducing all of your quirks, intricacies, and tendencies into a compact, understandable four letter acronym. There's four categories and in each category there can only be one of two available results, with varying degrees.

My "MBTI" Meyers Brigg Test Indicator is: INFP

At first, knowing what it meant to me was great, it meant understanding that I am "Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving" this was great. All good things.

My experience got even better when I started reading the typical descriptions of what the characteristics of an INFP might be. Knowing that only about 1% of the population is made up of INFP's was great consolation. Affirmation that my feelings of being misunderstood and alone were founded on truth, I am misunderstood and semi-alone, just due to the fact that 99% of people aren't wired the same way.

Soon though, as I began to acquire more knowledge about what makes an INFP, I'm beginning to understand that the brooding melancholy note that plagues me, seems to define me. That is, most of what I'm reading tells me that I'm passionate while misunderstood, and deeply devoted though easily hurt.

The descriptions are starting to become discouraging; ranging from a list of occupations that I don't want, to understanding that I'll probably always be lost in my head and unhappy within most social settings. I hate that it's so accurate, as it just leads me to believe that even their prognosis is correct.

What if I am relegated to teaching? What if I am meant to live a life of encouragement, rather than participation? All of these things are starting to wear on me and I almost wish as if I hadn't taken the test, so maybe I would understand that my life is going to be a constant work in progress, that I'm always going to toil against my nature, but in doing so, I would grow and stretch and learn to love my diverse personality.

Should I learn to just accept myself? Or be frustrated that a test just told me that I'm very similar to a million lives I don't want?