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Be who you are...

Pic credit: Stuart Miles

Pic credit: Stuart Miles

everyone else is already taken.

- Oscar Wilde

and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter. 

- Bernard Baruch, also often attributed to Dr. Seuss

not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.

- Henry David Thoreau

What's holding you back?

You'll never please everyone all the time anyway. 

Does being who you are give you carte blanche to do whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want it? 

I don't think so.

The Bhagavad Gita says, 

All living creatures, even wise sages, behave in accordance with their own nature. Everyone's behavior is rooted in the thoughts and tendencies that predominate them. The answer is not to restrain your nature, but to progressively improve your nature. You have to live by your inner truth rather than your selfish desires.

I invite you this week to pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors as they shape your interpersonal interactions. For example, you could set a timer on your handy-dandy smartphone to remind you two or three times throughout the day to stop and think about what you were thinking, doing, and the last person you interacted with beforehand.

If you don't want to set a clock, you can also set an intention to reflect about it every time you eat or drink something. This exercise will increase your awareness of thoughts and tendencies that make up your nature bit by bit. As we can all hopefully agree, awareness is the first step.  

See if you can also take the point of view of those you interact with; what might be motivating, aggravating, inspiring, or saddening them? This would not only exercise your empathy muscle, it will also help understand the part you play in every interaction you have. If there's a conflict, can you soften your tone? Ease up on your way of inquiry? If there's a misunderstanding, can you explain yourself more fully using different words or gestures? Modify your facial expression? This might go a ways in identifying how and where you might "progressively improve" your nature. As a bonus side-effect, your relationships will blossom. 

Let us know how it goes in the comments? Thanks! :-) 




What makes you You?

Philosophers have been debating the question of the Self for centuries, as have religions. There still are debates about self and ego. According to Jung, we cannot find our "true selves", because they contain unconscious parts, which by definition we will not become aware of.

Just as conscious as well as unconscious phenomena are to be met with in practice, the self as psychic totality also has a conscious as well as an unconscious aspect.

We are more than what we seem. We are complex.

So, who are you? Are you the sum of your experiences and choices? Can you be defined by a four-letter type? A job description? Gender?

I don't think so.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.35.18 AMGeert Hofstede differentiated 3 levels of human understanding in the early 80s in the form of this pyramid. I think it's a good start. Yes, all of us have DNA and a biological make-up that is comparable. We all have feelings (except sociopaths), we all bleed, need to eat, want to procreate - human nature. We all grow up in different circumstances (Culture/Nurture) and show different behaviors (Personality).

I think we have to be careful with the vocabulary, because there are so many different interpretations of the words. In the Jungian Type sense, personality would probably be seen as part of the human nature foundation, because all humans come into the world with certain predispositions for brain patters that will reflect in personality type preferences. So the Hofstede personality is probably meant more like a social style or behavior.

When I present on Type and Culture, Nature and Nurture, I try to make sure we honor everything that goes into our individual differences and unique experiences. As a start, at least in Type circles, I like to introduce myself as a German ENFJ to better reflect my preferences and how they might show up and be expressed.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.35.35 AM


Which petals would you add to this flower?


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Nature and Nurture

Where Personality Type and Culture frameworks meet!

I am so honored to give a presentation to my local Association for Psychological Type chapter about the two topics closest to my heart: how our brains are wired (type) and how our environment influences our behavior (culture). If you're in Dallas on July 17th, why not come by? Please go to the Linked In Event page to register.

What do you think of the invitation video?

And what would have to happen for you to attend and love the presentation? What content would you expect, which questions would you want to have answered?

Since there has been interest expressed from Europe and New Zealand (hiya! :-)) I'll be preparing a webinar for those who can't attend in person. Let me know what you'd like to see covered, ok? That would really help my extraverted Feeling's aim to please. ;-)

Thanks so much and be well,


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