Sunday, March 18, 2012

Personality Test

This weekend I had the opportunity to take the Myers-Briggs personality test.  I love stuff like this.  I have always been fascinated with understanding how myself and others are wired.  I was also curious to see what my results would be.  You see I have not taken a personality test since I left my teaching career to become a full-time mom.  That was nine years ago and believe me, much has changed in my world and in me in those nine years.  I was fairly certain the test would tell me that I am a completely different human than when I last took it.

For example, nine years ago me had many absolutes in her world.  Things were very black and white.  My patience was short and my tolerance low.  I made decisions based on the big picture and had very little grace for individual situations.  I was not mean but my determination to reach a goal often left a trail of hurt feelings and my innate response was not compassion.  I was a great person to have on your team because I would pursue excellence at all costs.  Every personality test I took during my career pointed out the pros and cons of my internal make up and I worked at toning down the bad and refining the good.  It was a nice and tidy process.

Wow.  I have not seen that person in so long I am not even sure that I could muster her up.  No longer can I do a 5 second analysis to determine if an issue is black or white.  I need the information behind the scenario and I want to know the projected future outcome.  My patience is deep and my tolerance high.  I find myself being compassionate towards people who have not earned it and I not only want to reach goals but I also want to help others reach theirs.  I am a great person to have on your team because I will pursue excellence even if it costs me more than I thought I could give.  I understand that life is not a tidy process and that sometimes you have to take an alternative route that you never planned. I see that I am flawed and that grace is a wonderful gift I can choose to give.

Yup, I was positive that the Meyers-Briggs would tell me that I am no longer the me that I was, but that was not the case.  What was interesting about the results is that I am still the exact same personality that I was nine years ago.  The difference is that I am a much more well balanced reflection of that personality.  In the past my numbers were very extreme and far away from the middle ground. This time when I took the test my results landed within the same boundaries as before but they did not go to the extreme sides of the spectrum.

Hmmm.  Interesting.  What does this mean?  I will tell you what I think it means.  It means that being Mama Jenni has made me a better me.  Just like being a mama should make you a better you.  Every generation should be better than the one before.  Our children should accomplish things that we never will, they should solve problems that are currently mysteries, and they should have a love for humanity that ends global atrocities. The best part is what comes next.  They will then turn around and teach their children to out do all that they did.

We will all leave a legacy.  It is our choice as to whether or not it is one worth following.  I want my kids to have witnessed a mom who was willing to embrace her personality but who also has the courage to admit it needs to be directed in the right direction and make changes accordingly.  The phrase, "That's just the way I am," will not be an accepted excuse in our home.  Change is always an option and growth a choice. 

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