I took a few quizzes and personality tests today to try and learn smarter, not harder
It’s self-awareness, not effort, that determines our productivity
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also known as MBTI or 16 Personalities Test. You’ll get a four-letter type based on your dominating tendency towards introversion or extroversion, sensing or using your intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. You can take the official quiz here.
I’m a Virtuoso Personality ISTP-A / ISTP-T
- Optimistic and Energetic – Virtuosos are usually up to their elbows in some project or other. Cheerful and good-natured, people with the Virtuoso personality type (especially Assertive ones) rarely get stressed out, preferring to go with the flow.
- Creative and Practical – Virtuosos are very imaginative when it comes to practical things, mechanics, and crafts. Novel ideas come easily, and they love using their hands to put them into action.
- Spontaneous and Rational – Combining spontaneity with logic, Virtuosos can switch mindsets to fit new situations with little effort, making them flexible and versatile individuals.
- Know-How to Prioritize – This flexibility comes with some unpredictability, but Virtuoso personalities are able to store their spontaneity for a rainy day, releasing their energy just when it’s needed most.
- Great in a Crisis – With all this hands-on creativity and spontaneity, it’s no wonder that Virtuosos are naturals in crisis situations. People with this personality type usually enjoy a little physical risk, and they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when the situation calls for it.
- Relaxed – Through all this, Virtuosos are able to stay quite relaxed. They live in the moment and go with the flow, refusing to worry too much about the future.
- Stubborn – As easily as Virtuosos go with the flow, they can also ignore it entirely, and usually move in another direction with little apology or sensitivity. If someone tries to change Virtuosos’ habits, lifestyle, or ideas through criticism, they can become quite blunt in their irritation.
- Insensitive – Virtuosos use logic, and even when they try to meet others halfway with empathy and emotional sensitivity, it rarely seems to quite come out right, if anything is even said at all.
- Private and Reserved – Virtuoso personalities are notoriously difficult to get to know. They are true introverts, keeping their personal matters to themselves, and often just prefer silence to small talk.
- Easily Bored – Virtuosos enjoy novelty, which makes them excellent tinkerers, but much less reliable when it comes to focusing on things long-term. Once something is understood, Virtuosos tend to simply move on to something new and more interesting.
- Dislike Commitment – Long-term commitments are particularly onerous for Virtuosos. They prefer to take things day-by-day, and the feeling of being locked into something for a long time is downright oppressive. This can be a particular challenge in Virtuosos’ romantic relationships.
- Risky Behavior – This stubbornness, difficulty with others’ emotions, focus on the moment, and easy boredom can lead to unnecessary and unhelpful boundary-pushing, just for fun. Virtuosos have been known to escalate conflict and danger just to see where it goes, something that can have disastrous consequences for everyone around if they lose control of the situation.
That’s what the test says and it’s pretty close to the real thing. Self-judgement gets in my way and I need to learn to let go of my past self-image where I’ve been lazy and unhealthy, looking forward isn’t one of my strong points, and looking at the results of the Enneagram quiz which is spot on as well I struggle with inner expectations and need accountability in the form of outer expectations.
The Enneagram. Like the MBTI, this is not scientifically verified, but it assigns you one of nine roles based on your basic fears and desires. It can also give you an idea of your worst temptations and biggest goals. Find out your type here.
My primary type is a Nine
Type 9 is also called The Peacemaker. Nines like to keep a low profile and let the people around them set the agenda.
The 9 Types of the Enneagram
Each of the nine types of the Enneagram has its own driving force, which is centered around a particular emotion. Some types experience strong emotions, while other types aim to avoid emotions in one form or another. However, whether running from emotions or diving into them, each type describes some aspect of emotional experience.
Here, we’ll look at a brief description of each of the nine types, as well as my scores for each of them.
93% MATCH: Type 2 can be described as The Giver. Twos want to be liked and find ways that they can be helpful to others so that they can be loved and belong.
75% MATCH: Type 3 is also known as The Achiever. Threes want to be successful and admired by other people and are very conscious of their public image.
61% MATCH: Type 4 is known as The Individualist. Fours want to be unique and to live life authentically and are highly attuned to their emotional experience.
77% MATCH: Type 5 is described as The Investigator. Fives seek understanding and knowledge and are more comfortable with data than people.
88% MATCH: Type 6 is also known as The Skeptic. Sixes are preoccupied with security, seek safety, and like to be prepared for problems.
80% MATCH: Type 7 is described as The Enthusiast. Sevens want to have as much fun and adventure as possible and are easily bored.
42% MATCH: Type 8 is also known as The Challenger. Eights see themselves as strong and powerful and seek to stand up for what they believe in.
98% MATCH: Type 9 is also called The Peacemaker. Nines like to keep a low profile and let the people around them set the agenda.
92% MATCH: Type 1 can be thought of as The Perfectionist. Ones place a lot of emphasis on following the rules and doing things correctly.
I can unlock a full report for the Enneagram if I like and at some point in the future, I think I will. I have enough to be getting on with at the moment and now I’ll use the information to set some tasks that will be more likely to work. An accountability partner would help too and I’ll get that from an app where I’ll check-in every day. If we weren’t all in lockdown things would be a lot easier as I’d make some friends at the gym and do it that way.
Another test I did was called:
The Four Tendencies. This framework is based on Gretchen Rubin’s book of the same name. Based on how you respond to external and internal expectations, you’ll be assigned one of four types: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or Rebel. This is extremely helpful to know when trying to form new habits and break old ones. Take the quiz here.
Gretchin charges a lot of money for the full course but you can get a good idea of things just by doing the quiz. I’m an Obliger in this test, where I meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations. “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.” hence the need for an Accountability partner. Most people are obligers.
So what does it mean to be an Obliger?
Obligers meet outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations. They’re motivated
by external accountability; they wake up and think, “What must I do today?”
Obligers excel at meeting external demands and deadlines and go to great lengths to meet their
responsibilities, so they make terrific colleagues, leaders, family members, and friends.
Others rely on them, but because Obligers resist inner expectations, it can be difficult for them
to meet their aims for themselves, in the absence of external accountability—to work on a Ph.D.
thesis, to attend networking events, to get their car serviced.
Obligers depend on external accountability, with consequences such as deadlines, late fees, or the
fear of letting other people down.
In fact, Obligers need external accountability even for activities that they want to do. If you want
to read more, join a book group.
When a person says, “I give 110% to my patients, so of course, it’s impossible for me to exercise”
or “Because I’m so busy meeting other people’s needs, I have no time for self-care” or “I’m always
on the road managing five remote teams so all I can eat is fast food,” that’s an Obliger.
Behaviour that Obligers sometimes attribute to self-sacrifice or lack of self-esteem—“Why do
I always make time for other people’s priorities at the expense of my own?”—is often better
explained as the need for accountability.
The weight of outer expectations can make Obligers susceptible to burnout because they often
have trouble setting limits or telling people “no.” They may, in fact, reach the point of “Obligerrebellion,”
a striking pattern in which they abruptly refuse to meet an expectation. Obligerrebellion
may take a form that’s small and symbolic, like deliberately being late to work. Or
Obliger-rebellion may be dramatic and far-reaching, like abruptly quitting a job, getting a
divorce, or ending a long friendship, with the feeling, “I’ve had it. This is over. You’re dead to me.”
The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act.