Our personality traits go a long way in shaping what we are and what we become.
Success in what we do can be measured in several ways-both quantitative and qualitative.
However to my mind the main criteria is amount of satisfaction that you derive from what you accomplish.
The satisfaction bit is also a fall out of how passionate am I about my endeavours or is it a mechanical exercise where I go about my work like a machine.
Our personality traits play a large role in defining our approach to our endeavours.
What’s Your Personality?
It’s one thing to have a passion for multiple things for example but it’s a completely different thing to be good at all of them.
This is the category of people known at “multipotentialite”.
A multipotentialite is someone who can attain high level of competency in multiple subjects
They are curious, can think on their feet, carry out and enjoy challenging tasks and work independently.
Where does this train come from?
Paul Costa and Rob McCrae through their research discovered that most human character traits can be described using five dimensions as listed below:
- openness to experience– measures cheerfulness, initiative and communicativeness.
- Conscientiousness– measures a person’s degree of organization
- Extraversion– People with high scores here love novelty and are generally creative.
- Agreeableness– describes how we deal with others
- Neuroticism– measures emotional stability
Multipotentialites are perhaps a mixture of openness to experiences and extraversion.
This is important to appreciate.
The Good & the Bad
Each of these traits have their up & downsides.
Passion is the lead to learning.
Learning requires a certain kind of openness to experiences and people that helps you derive the maximum from whatever you undertake.
Fortunate are the people with resources and freedom to experience.
Believe you me it’s a luxury, however, then they encounter the hurdle of their own personalities that stops them from taking advantage of the resources at your disposable.
Someone who is very conscientious but not very open to experience or extroverted may come across as having a dry personality.
If you don’t show a lot of emotion, don’t find many things funny, and are particular about the way things should be done, you might have a dry personality.
These are hurdles to learning that often people don’t appreciate enough.
50% of who we are is driven by our genetics but the balance 50% is our environment that’s something we can shape.
Often you see people from less privileged background breaking new ground while those with all the resources struggling.
Believe you me it is not genetics at play here, instead it is what the privileged environment does to you that can be at play.
Openness to experience need humility and often humility is the first casualty of a privilege background.
If you get used to demanding instead of doing, learning will get restricted.
Is there a Solution?
You are your solution.
- Things are going fine, I don’t need anything else.
Well you will never know your limits unless you challenge the status quo.
- Accept who you are. Whether you have a mediocre background or a privileged one, your desire to excel is important and not your background.
Background makes it easier as you get resources but it can’t give you passion
- Be humble, it is not necessary that only those above you in status or a consultant will provide you the learning or experiences, even those below you often have the ability to teach you things.
- Review your standards of excellence. Excellence has no parent, institution or class, it comes from passion that is individual
- Be Open and communicate
- Be Interested in people. Talk to people not just and below/above but humans
Of-course there could be several other things that you could do but the key is to get more involved and patient and see the results.
I come across so many people who want to
- know about the world but don’t want to read
- learn to play a sport but won’t go to the stadium
- learn to invest but haven’t even tried starting
The idea is not just to listen but even to do.
And doing requires work.