Stability

Stability comes from detachment of outcomes.  To do our work with focus, and to let the results go where they may.  To love and let people be as they are.

When we do not expect, then inside we are unified.  We have accepted the dark and the light, we have accepted what is in the environment.  With a level head, we can commit our hands to doing a good job, our backs labor in peace.  We sleep.  We rise up to whatever comes our way.  People can be inspired in times of instability when they see equilibrium.

Time:

We have our time to mourn, our time to put our hand to the plow.  We pay our dues.  There are injustices, discomfort, and things fall apart.  We are moved to tears by beauty and loss, but there is no resistance to the emotion or resistance to what life doles.  We accept it as it is, and stability restores everything to its original condition.  Courage, honesty, and dedication step in to broker a better world and a safer reality, and cooperation feeds the soul.

The alternative is to control, and to be bound to everything in the external – validation, wealth, pleasure – but we are tossed around accordingly.  The only true things come from inside, and they give constancy and ballast.   They orient us toward all that we were made for, so that there are no elaborate plans.

In the holiday, may you be in the moment with your family, with your tasks, with your conversation, with your dress.  May you never focus on lack or what you want to get to, but live and realize what each moment offers.

Balance:

To move quickly is to miss the beauty of patience and interiority.  To get lost is to miss the ballast built from detail and hard work.

When I stand too close, the earth appears flat; but with distance from my own biases, everything gets clearer.

Peace In Earth

I really recommend seeing Coco if you haven’t.  It’s a cartoon that touches on life and death, legacy, justice, cooperation, and accepting and understanding differing points of view, life as it is.

Peace is a subject that fascinates me more than any other subject because, without peace, the pleasure of a thing expires as quickly as it presents.  The absence of peace affects every dream, observation, and even accomplishment.

I used to read into things negatively, because I didn’t trust in life in general.  I trusted only my abilities, and so I lost many moments.  But a man divided against himself can’t stand, and my own mistrust generated an us vs them mentality on many subjects.  To be at war inside, is to be in defense mode, which is to generate an us vs them.

But the more that I lived in the future, or that I locked myself in my mind, the more peace I lost. Each experience acquired provided little benefit, and I was back to wanting before my body even returned back home. The lessons were few and far between, as was the joy; it was all there, but I was not.

But when I let go of expectations and resentment, there was unparalleled clarity and focus.  All the things that eluded were inside of me.  Abundance was in every moment, in every class.  New lessons, new chances.  It takes a lot to trust yourself, but a country at war cannot focus on other pursuits.  It consumes all of the taxes, all of the news cycle, all of the thoughts and literature.  So if we cannot find peace in ourselves, all other pursuits get overrun by the negativity we project and experience.

There is no chasing in peace.  Internal protocol matters, values matter, but excess does not.  What you have to live with inside for the rest of your life matters far more than what you have to live with outside.  Stability comes from the inside, because protocol grants consistency.

If I could have one thing, I would want no thing.  No expectations, no changes.  To do my work diligently, with precision and focus, to complete my work, and to take part in sharing with others.  Being at peace equips me best to take on and experience anything that comes my way.

All the things we go after — being loved for who we are, pleasure, security, capability, harmony, and depth of experience — we focus on all the things that hold these affairs back.  But if peace envelops, then we can see that all the things we were made for, come naturally once our mind accepts the moment as it is.  We were built for the things we long for.  They are inside of us, and we search for it outside.  But the fact that we orient for something shows us who we are, and that we don’t have to search anymore.

Black Friday: Shopping

Black Friday is a day like most others, though with more excitement, spending, and anxiety for most people.  The holidays in general can wear some down for a myriad of reasons, but there is something to learn and to accept in every season.

In the US, it is the biggest shopping day, the most important day for many businesses, and an adventure for many shoppers – this is Black Friday in its best light.  In its worst, we see people trampled, rampant greed, and disregard for thought or consideration.

It is important to stray from an us vs them mentality.  It is important that we are aware of this trend in ourselves or in society because there is nothing more dangerous and corrosive.  To view people as an other starts with a divide in ourselves, in perfectionism or fear.  But if we come to peace with ourselves, we can be at peace with others.  Shine your light, but let others have their virtues.

Habits are not inherently bad of themselves, but they are warped and twisted through desire or lack of awareness, but honesty is our saving grace.

Questions:

The root of excess in shopping, like any addiction, is important to examine.  What do we derive from this habit?  When does it go past the point of benefit for us?   What drives our compulsion, what triggers?

Here are some ideas of what could drive negative shopping patterns:

1. Self-esteem. 

If you have a low view of yourself, but higher view of others, you may go after careers or novelty with determination, but none of things resolve what is inside or make you feel worthy.  None of those things matter after a while either, because the soul of man isn’t found in searching.  The further we get away from things that make us feel well, the less at peace we feel, and the more likely we are to keep searching.  We can shop and live with intentionality and with a focus on the pragmatic.

2. Image.

Image is important to most people.  This is because it takes effort to look past the surface, and we live in a visual culture.  Also, the surface is easier to alter than engrained patterns.  But a generous increase in beauty or packaging will not increase the quality of what truly matters in life, not even in relationships.  If that were so, supermodels would never divorce.   People are who they are.  It is a fallacy to equate beauty to quality, but rather, beauty is attached to opportunity, like education or any other societal focus.  But without peace inside, more opportunity means likely more mistakes — and with peace inside, there is nothing to prove.

3. Security.

If we have more of something, then for sure we will never lack and for sure we are less likely to hurt.  People will always need us more than we need them.  There are so many places to put fears, but nothing resolves fear except courage. The courage to be honest and objective, the courage to accept limitation.  Equanimity is the answer to setback; fear weakens our strength and misguides our aim.

4. Contentment.

A chasing of novelty, a feeling, or certain look, to maintain or control moods, has its root in discontent with how the moment is.  Our thoughts, technology, and fantasies move faster than life.  Combine that need for pace with an unstable childhood, then you get fluctuations of discontent and low self-esteem, ripe for marketing.  There is no extra human value in possessions or beauty, just attention.  Superficialities do not improve self-worth; it only improves the image guarding it.  You don’t have to prove or be anything, to warrant consideration or value.  You have value now.  How few can listen, be present, how few can care or practice humility.   There are so many things of great value to society that doesn’t require spending.  There are so many activities and pastimes to take part in, that don’t require a dollar.

5.  Dopamine.

To search and to find a prize is the part that serves.  The validation from having possessions or a certain look were addressed above, but the good feeling associated with finding is real.  It can be found in many other ways.  For me, being around green plants, getting sun, seeing a favorite clear item in my house, petting Pat, sitting on the table working on a new project, walking outdoors, encouraging others — there are so many ways to feel good, that we can afford to give up some of the habits that weigh on our health.  Peace of mind is greater.

Ultimately, a shopping dependency is an internal problem, and it can be resolved through being present, showing gratitude/meditating, building habits in line with internal values, and focusing on others.  When we get outside ourselves, we find ourselves.

Courage

There is something beautiful about patience. It is a newer protocol to me. I am generally aggressive or impatient, and so it was for me to sit with others and trust that they will get to where they need to and know what is best for them.

There is great anger in perfectionism.  It disguises itself as passive aggressiveness or impatience, and that is why I had never detected it in me. We can focus on the pros – the organized life and clarity. However, honesty illuminated reality. Do we accept ourselves, the bad and the good?  How can we see others as a whole entity, if we do not?

A natural part of my personality will always wants to get back to the center, and I genuinely believe that the laws of reality favor truth. Good always prevails in the end.

Peace:

We can get distracted with the current divisiveness in politics, but this is only a mark in time.  There is the greatest simplicity in perspective.  Twenty years from now we will be focused on another matter, and we will rise to it. I want to understand others and to have the courage to stand up for another. I don’t see myself as an outsider nor as an arbiter of truth; elitism and self-indulgence comes in where “we” ends.

To be whole with myself enables me to not lose myself in the whole. There are still individuals within a we; when people have united internal resistance, when people are whole, they can allow imperfection also in others, so that each individual can breathe and trust their own judgment.  For all the wars I’ve raged inside, guilt or random indulgence placated.  But desire and need come back to require their due, mistakes and burdens are a part of the price we pay.  To err is human; to forgive our enemies will include forgiving ourselves as well.

We are both our greatest friend and enemy, and one cannot discard the other, only accept things as they come.  No man can ever be only bright.  Light and dark reference; the heart that beats goes up and down – it neither flatlines nor refuses blood.  We must allow things to flow through.

Courage:

Taking a stand is important mainly because it is a symbol in time that marks the way for me. If I don’t write something down or decide, it is not conscious reasoning. It gives me a way to justify all things.  Standing risks hypocrisy, but let our stances be for the right motivations: for the good of the whole, not for our pride.  Let us stand for simplicity in existence.

I have learned that the worst thing I can do is to want or expect people to act like me. Every man finds his own path and needs things at different times, and if I trust myself, I can trust others.

The mind races analytically and imagination soars so that the present can seem dull in comparison. But the more that I am within the present and within myself, the more the mind and imagination penetrate reality and rest in it.  There is courage in participation and being present.

Presence:

The dark goes with the light.  There are stories of heroism amidst adversity. There are stories of redemption amid genocide, where a man slaughtered a family, convinced he was doing what he had to.  The surviving daughter forgave and even befriended.  If we could see inside of people, the burdens they carry that came long before they, the dark and light inside us all, we would see.  When we forgive others, we can forgive ourselves.

Within the present, there is minimal clutter in thought.  There is peace in being grounded and light this holiday season.

When people are allowed to be real, there will always be imperfection.  A stone perfectly pure is rarely genuine.  There is an amber glow in good will and in differences.

Having principles is a light that guides my way, but let my first principle be love.

Connection

I know enough about politics, but my passion has never been on the collective over the individual. There are many with a passion for the social realms, but the fascination for me has always been at the micro level, the interior.

With the social media age and declining birth rates due to birth control, there is more time for existential crises and despair, more ways to compare and distract from the priorities or problems at hand. Social media’s repercussions aren’t as apparent as the benefits.  Social media feels good and is a part of culture, whether it agrees with you or not. One could argue it connects people, but it also encourages antisocial behavior and the other three Cluster B personality disorders, so it would be hard to say it’s improved quality of connection completely.

Role Models:

Celebrities and musicians are largely self-centered. To say that we shouldn’t be so easily influenced doesn’t do much. It ignores biology and psychology; humans are social, and to be social is to get along, to mirror, to be in the know, and to be agreeable. “Who we surround ourselves with affect us.”

Most humans are solipsistic, but certainly popular people tend to encourage self-love and focusing on the self the most. Extremes are always attractive as countermeasures. Deficient childhoods ask for self-indulgence. The collective looks to individuals. Those with measurable talent like musicians are less likely to be self-centered, statistically, than a reality TV star, for instance. So perhaps the lesson is that, if we get outside ourselves in passion and having standards, we can find ourselves, and benefit others.

Fear and Naivete:

We shouldn’t blame people, because there is no point. You can’t project values onto others. Compassion is great to live by, until you start expecting it of others: Other people are in their own narratives, with their own priorities and personality.  Blaming poor or rich people, Baby Boomers or millennials, parents or abusers for problems — there could be truth to all arguments, but I want change and effectiveness more than accuracy.  Focusing on blame or revenge or replaying hurtful memories, does not help us on the individual level. What we focus on, we start to resemble. So we can’t stare too long.

The problem with blame is that we are unable to see the other person as a separate protagonist, a person with their own reasons and lessons taught. Maybe no man is his antagonist, but his mind could be. There is no compassion in blame. “Don’t attribute to malice what you could to ignorance.” If there is benefit of doubt that could be given reasonably, we choose it.
Love is a choice. If we can no longer love without anguish, put those things away, bury what has passed with dignity.

Many counterculture people blame culture and the leaders can seem antagonistic. While it is their right to be so, we have to ask ourselves if we’re feeling good from living by sustainable things, or if we are taking pleasure where we can. Aggression and feeling self-righteous feels good, but are these things we want to exemplify and further? Focusing on only the end, the externalities, and not the means, which make up most of life, is too much of a sacrifice to make.

A New Normal:

I’m the last person for extremism, the last person against what is inevitable.  Convenience feels good, and that there are enough pros to justify a few cons.  I would rather consider improvements.  If you have had a childhood of aggression or neglect, then you need to create a new normal; we learned young to follow only ourselves, and it has a cost to others. A true revolution is in thinking broadly. The lack of consideration is what hurts others, the detachment from values. So consideration and courage are the revolution.

Humans feel by:
drugs, alcohol
extremes
attention, feelings of superiority, self-righteousness
competition
confrontation, proving themselves
aggression, passive and overt, control: greed of money or affection
revenge, planning
self-indulgence (shopping, music, browsing, work, anything in excess)
sugar, saturated fats
impulsivity, risky acts

Here are other ways to feel good (improving dopamine):
exercise
Vitamin D and magnesium, sunshine, nature
having some order to environment
meditation, focusing on the good
conviction
giving freely – through creativity, time, money
physical touch
having courage
food: green leafy vegetables, beans, avocado, beets, bananas, apples, watermelon (green smoothies and taco bowls incorporate many of these)

Pumpkin Festival

Leaves alternate colors and let go.  Fall is in the air.  I headed downtown and ran into a pumpkin festival.  There is something highly enjoyable about a crowd, street food, little kids with cold pink noses, dog enthusiasts, and the creative people selling their wares.  People share tables.  Conversations and jokes are had with the vendors.  Photos taken to preserve and share the memory.

I picked up a few pumpkins for myself and carved them, which is something I’ve never done before.  I don’t think I’ve seen a pumpkin carving in Hawaii.  I used to avoid tradition, but I see the point of festivals, pumpkins, and cinnamon: They mark the way.  They add joy, inspiration, and embellishment to life.  I am open to trying almost everything at least once.  So this weekend, I’ll heat cinnamon sticks and orange peels to perfume the house.  Something small, but something to mark the way.

I’ve wondered if a man can change who he is, the way a mind works.  I don’t know how much.  Isn’t it worth a try to test limits?  It’s worth a try for me.

I’ve mapped out some habits I’ve always wanted for myself a year ago, but I got stuck in the planning phase.  Last-minute concerns, other pressing matters. But this month is the end of waiting.  My downfall has been over-planning, but now I will do and enjoy the moment.  One leaf falling, one shop class, one simple pumpkin carving.  I won’t hesitate or talk myself out of things as much; I will go in and then rise to the occasion.  I will wait and watch.  I will sip and indulge. There is no point to wondering if I’m being who I should be or who I really am, or if anything is worth it in the end.  Why torture yourself so?  There are no more questions for the living.  It is time to create and explore, to trust what you know and gather more from experience.

The joy is in working with your hands and using your mind, not letting it bother you at inopportune times.  There are questions to ask, but most of them aren’t relevant to the task or situation that we’ve prioritized.  So we’ll procrastinate on what we should have been putting off all this time: doubt, not our ideals.

Silence

Detachment comes in waves for me.  It usually is intertwined with flavors of melancholy.  Like Inside Out, a half blue and half purple feeling.  It is odd, melancholy or detachment, because they feel right.  Familiarity feels like home.   Few can hold on to the highest highs, but that’s something I try to work around, through extending moods.

Sirens:

Detachment is not monotony.  Detachment is a solid, safe feeling.   You can’t fall very far from the first rung of a ladder. There is an element of control to detachment that is not present in monotony. Monotony is relying on little highs or victories, accepting reality in its entirety, risk of stultifying, but detachment is to place aside all feeling; there, in the black hole, is solace and a numbing, which is welcome relief after crashing.  Crashes feel like an eternity.  They’re over so quickly, yet they seem five times longer than they were.  The first responders arrive, but the waiting felt like a lifetime.

I don’t think anger (passive or aggressive) actually bring control or self-esteem, nor irritation, power, but it feels that way.  The feeling is the part that is hard not to find enjoyable.  Somewhere between crashing and detachment, there is a rainbow of humanity, albeit brief – elements of anger and fear, which can be terrifying.  Losing control is always terrifying.  Detachment and melancholy come to ameliorate.  

Hope:

I have been old enough for a while to know that hope is usually a mirage.  Melancholy or detachment lose impact.  Eventually monotony, loneliness, and benevolence appear to complete the cycle. There on the horizon, a pool in the desert presents itself. Whenever I find a new hope, I try to delay the journey.  I want to stall to discover for the first time, drag my feet so that I can hold hope longer.  A high is more hope than water – not substantial for those who aren’t oriented as well.  For those oriented toward passion, there is a price to pay.  You pay a price either way, dying slowly in monotony or dying quickly in passion – and society looks up to those who can sustain either for longer than normal.

As a kid, I enjoyed the scenes of protagonists in prison.  They achieved so much, and gained clarity.  They emerged better, well-rounded individuals, made the best of a hopeless situation.  I longed to be free as an adult to go and do and say, but in the meantime, I had places to go inside.  There is hope in the dark, but the bright’s hope is returning back home.  There is a lot of beauty in returning inside to build something from nothing.  These are the primary functions of pain: to recalibrate, to know how not to treat others, and to help others feel less alone.

Count of Monte Cristo, learning in prison:  

Joseph, managing and assisting in prison:


Anakin, tinkering in slavery:

 

America

I know I’m one of many humans on this planet, but I wanted to tell you what America means to me.

Diversity:

I love the variety in the states.  I hope you will visit, if you haven’t, and try as many activities, food, and topographies as you can while here.  You can get exactly what you’re looking for – temperature, career, possession, lifestyle.  It is the thing I miss the most when I’m abroad.  I guess the downside to getting exactly what you want, is that it could be easily discontent when things don’t go well or are hard to find.  Growing up in welfare in Hawaii, we had air conditioning, an automatic car, an apartment with a view.  As a 20-year-old, we already had 2-day shipping and we could order our restaurant food from a tablet.  Efficiency is nice.  You get both diversity and efficiency in the city.

Tenacity:

I remember opening my watercolor paint stand as a little girl in Hawaii.  My dad took me to a man who made a living off his incredible scenic oil paintings in his garage — picturesque waterfalls and every green for his meadows.  He looked as you’d imagine.  A skinny man with gray hair and some facial hair.  The man generously gave me paints and brushes to start my own business.   I can’t tell you what all that meant to me – starting my own business young, meeting a successful artist, having the support of my dad.  This kind of generosity and friendliness can be found easily abroad, and it’s especially common in the United States.

Single-mindedness toward one goal lends toward efficiency.  The problem with focused aggression is that we can be more self-centered or fearful.   The more that you have, there is more fear of loss.  Anyone who has loved and lost, knows fear.  It becomes almost unbearable, until you go through it and realize we as Americans have lost our health, houses, and neighbors before and have emerged with a new clarity and dream.  Sometimes we forget what we’re even fighting for, and sometimes we forget that other people don’t care about what we do or don’t see things the way we do.

Beauty:

America at her best recognizes the beauty of many, that more ideas not less is what makes societies thrive.  America, at her best, does not let emotion or fear control.  Many resort to hostility to defend those that are getting run over, lowering themselves to the same plain as the fearful – they fear losing diversity, others fear losing more.  But if those that are emotional dial it back just a little and put down their guitars, their dogma, and become a little more realistic, and if those that are hard-nosed stop trying to show love only in the way they recognize – through being tough – and truly listened to learn, we could meet in the middle toward harmony and greater efficiency and joy.

I have been at many potlucks with mostly conservatives.  I’ve watched their kids play in their Sunday attire, and I’ve listened to their parents’ values.  I’ve been to many farmers markets with mostly liberals, and I’ve listened to their values.  There is so much disdain for each other online, for each other’s voices out of fear.  The other makes the world a less safe or beautiful place, but the disdain makes the world a less safe and beautiful place more than the particulars of either side.  I want to hear the fears of each, not the values.  Values are a way for us to justify ourselves, but I want to hear what makes us human.

The Daydreamer:

I have seen artists in Nashville, the difficulty of the neurotic.  We have all heard the stories, of the bands who who were more than sticks in the mud if they found a certain color of M&M’s in their bowl.  They had their excuses for being difficult, but nothing justifies giving others a hard time unnecessarily.  It is not sustainable to live in a perpetual dreamlike and feelings-based state, it is not sustainable to be unable to see something from another’s perspective because you’re more creative or knowledgeable than they.  If those gifts are excuses more than a benefit to society, then they are liabilities holding you back, like drugs that make the abuser feel good, leaving them ineffectual.  If those of us who are more idealistic could just try harder to be grounded, to make it easier for those who live primarily in externalities.  There are so many things those that are sensitive let themselves get away with, that they’d never let another get away with.  I speak as someone who is highly idealistic, and so from experience.  Self-indulgence and clinging to moods and shock value is our crime.

The Curt:

For those that are extremely grounded and pragmatic, if we could give more patience to those who drag their feet and who speak in terms of dreams and ideas.  Maybe we have missed a really good idea.  Imagine a world without all the creative, persnickety, lazy, geeky types.  They give us so much of what we do on our off time, the time we relish.  Most of all inventions, fashion, novels, paintings, and music come from those who barely have it together – the overly shy geeks, the arrogant, and the difficult.   This is not to excuse their behavior, but to try to see them for all that they are, the good and the bad.  It’s easy to just recognize all the problems being caused by neuroticism and low energy, instead of where we benefit from those who expend so much in their internal landscape.   Overt control and anger are the crimes of the tough.

No Fear, Remember:

What America could be, to me — and we see this, after every tragedy — is a land who remembers that the possessions and feel-good food and drink never mattered that much to us; those were never really our goal.  America remembers her track record:  We’ve made it out alive, always.  We’ve lived to dream another day.  We’ve made it through disasters and had kids in looming futures before.  I know it is hard to remember that we’ll be all right, when fear hits.  But fear only causes us to hurt others, it rarely protects us.  Count the times.  Fear is reactionary, so there’s nothing useful for us.  Conscientiousness is being deliberate.   With common sense, there is no need for fear.

If we combine our entrepreneurial tenacity with an open mind and a listening ear, then we’re on our way.  More can thrive.  We should never lose what makes us what we are – our aggression, we benefit from in many ways – all we need is to make room for balance, to make room for others, starting with each other.

Idealism

I love to hear dreams.  I was not born a realist, but I was born to realists.  I never saw the problem with tweaking what needed adjustment.  It depends where you are.  The better your life gets, the more independence you have, the easier it is to stop dreaming.  Many people settle into responsibility or become disillusioned, and it’s hard to blame them.  No society is exactly looking to be told what could be improved.

On the Myers-Briggs, intuitives make up 25% of the population, and many of them get run over by the realities of life.  So I am making this post for those that have an optimistic orientation and for those who care about them.

Two Idealists:

There are two idealists in this world: the ones who are fueled by compassion and the ones that are not.  As a teenager, I had big dreams, but they weren’t grounded in any sort of reality.  Reality is important as a tool, useless to an idealist as a guide.  Without running your theories and dreams against reality, they morph into far-gone, warped, or impossible theories – up to and including murder or suicide.  As a teenager, this idealism only produced high expectations and a prison of my own choosing.  Idealism doesn’t have a point without reality.

Overthinking and hypersensitivity are a result of being pulled inward.  To break things down to their components to an extreme takes the wonder and magic out of everything.

Aim:

The TV will not go onto the wall straight once you’ve measured wrong.  Direction is far more important than the bulk of the work.  We focus on the effort in life because it takes more of our time, but our orientation matters far more.

Dreams:

Reality is essential, like idealism.  Who wants to live in an uninspired reality — a reality without beauty, vulnerability, or compassion?   Who wants to live in a world where everyone dreams continually and nothing ever gets done?  A wasting away.  Dreams descend into nightmares.  Extremes, either way, require a cost too high for society.

The way I used idealism as a teenager, I fueled it with angst, instead of focus.  My idealism became more frustration than inspiration.   Too much time spent internally produces great discontent and a suffering all its own, as humans are social.  There is a point of diminishing returns.  Too much of a good thing brings it down.  Because man is social, some semblance of an outward orientation – and by extension, some semblance of morality – are essential to well-being of societies and individuals.  Without any order, nothing results, only devolution.

We need measurable, small things to aim at.  We need things to agree upon.  Nihilism or chaos are not ideals.  Broad thinking is broad enough for even the details.

Chasing Safety:

Many idealists as they grow up guard their idealism by hiding, else they get torn apart by human nature and other frailties.  This idealism is fueled by fear.  Instead of using idealism as a means to get by, we should try to use it to change the world, even if it’s just our world.  The guarding of ourselves against reality is more sabotage, as dreams leave us with the guilt of having had them without the follow-through.  Without testing against reality, we cannot refine dreams to have utility for ourselves and others.  There are downsides to idealism – greater loneliness, discontent, criticism – and it is up to us to make the price worth it.

Be:

To take gifts and hide them away is to burn inside, but to give away is to truly be.  There is no fear in giving, there is no fear in accepting.  The seeker goes inside and cannot find what is missing, but those who let go of fear find what they’ve been missing and effect improvements in the world for realists and idealists alike.

Myers-Briggs

The Myers-Briggs is a test used by universities and corporations, to determine likely strengths and weaknesses and to aid in communication.  Keep in mind, there is no normal, only a more probable.  The MBTI and Enneagram cover the probable.

The Myers-Briggs is divided into four categories in a specific order: introverts and extroverts, sensors and intuitives, thinkers and feelers, judgers and perceivers.  The MBTI is one of the most popular psychology tests, and people give these traits credence because they rely on observation alone.  Once you become acquainted with them, they are easy to spot. MBTI is considerably easier to identify than Enneagram without a test.

Full disclosure, I am an INTJ: Introverted Intuitive Thinker Judger. 

These traits need to be layered on to the Enneagram for a more holistic view, but generally speaking:

Extroversion and Introversion

Extroverts use their energy externally and so have more energy to expend in the visible world, which is attractive:  Outward energy and a well-kept appearance add a youthful orientation.  Introverts expend their energy internally and spend time alone; they are more likely to have depression and anxiety, and most of the ideas come from introverts because of their inward orientation. 

Sensing and Intuition

Sensors live in the here and now, getting things done, and rely on the past for maximum efficiency.  Intuitives live in the future and live in a world of possibilities internally.  Thus, sensors are more competent day to day, as they are in the present physically and mentally, and the world is not open-ended nearly as much to a sensor, allowing them to focus.  Intuitives are considered visionaries because they live in the realm of possibilities, in the future; however, the ability to see the room for improvement applies to everything, including relationships and careers, which causes more discontent.  Intuitives live in the realm of possibilities, so live inside of themselves more than outside, which can hinder progress or awareness of the external world.

Thinking and Feeling

Feelers and thinkers communicate differently.  Thinkers care less about what people think of them, so they often are less attractive than feelers.  This is not due to not caring, but also due to a lack of awareness – a thinker’s focus is on efficiency.  Thinkers are more likely to be insensitive.  There is less warmth in a thinker’s presence.  What thinkers have is that they value objectivity more than a feeler, and they aren’t easily moved by emotion, which means more stability.  Feelings take a lot longer to sort through than thought, so thinkers are more efficient, like sensors.  Also, feelings are subjective, so they are not as settled as thought; so they are easy to go back to and over.  Therefore, feelers are more inward-oriented, like introverts and intuitives.

Perceivers and Judgers

Perceivers are open-ended like intuitives, which means they are less efficient and less likely to stick to things, whether relationships or deadlines.  Judgers generally get a lot more done because they enjoy things to be concluded, like sensors, and have higher standards to be happy for their environment.  Because judgers have a problem function without organization or lack of conclusion/categories, this gives them incentive to get things done – to go towards milestones.  Judgers get pleasure from getting things done.  Because of this, however, judgers often generalize and are more confident even if they’re less accurate – judgers will review a lot less information than a perceiver would, because efficiency and conclusion is more important to them.  In the same way that a sensor would not see as much information as an intuitive, a judger will not review as much as a perceiver, all things be equal, because productivity matters more.  However, perceivers are considerably less happy statistically because they are less likely to get to things they’d like to and they usually have to give up some autonomy for their open-ended orientation, as sensors and judgers usually are in charge of societies because both value efficiency.

What is the point of the MBTI?

To understand what we are likely to do, so that (1) we are aware of our biases, (2) so that we can be aware of our weaknesses, (3) so that we can develop our strengths, and (4) so that we can communicate better by seeing other people’s point of view.

Here is the most accurate free test for the MBTI.  However, be sure to verify the results by understanding the four categories and yourself.