Sorry to steal Biggie Small’s line, but I thought it fit this blog post very well. As you may have gathered from some of my other blogs, I am a self improvement nerd of sorts. I am always looking for ways to learn, grow, improve and do things differently to level up. There is a lot of material out there these days to help with this, and much of it is free. However, I spent ten bucks on something that I thought would be interesting, and was not disappointed.
I have heard Jordan B. Peterson talking about his self-authoring program several times. From what I gather, it is meant to be a guide for figuring out who you are and what you would be best suit for in terms of a career. But in a recent podcast his was on he mentioned a new thing I was not aware of, and I decided to check it out. I went to understandmyself.com and I did the Big Five Aspects test. It was an easy 100 questions to go through, and the analysis and description of traits that the results shared was very interesting. I wouldn’t say anything really caught me by surprise, other than to what degree some of my traits compare to the masses.
I knew I was an extrovert, no surprise there. I have been that way all my life, and as I have said before, it is good I wasn’t famous at an early age. I am sure I would have not handled it well, and could have easily slipped into any or all of the pitfalls that go along with a high dollar, high exposure lifestyle. What I didn’t expect to see was that I tested in the 99th percentile of this category. That means that if there are 100 people in a room, likely there is only ONE person who is more of an extrovert than I am! That was a surprise to me. Guess which professions I am best suited for: Sales and Public Speaking! It would seem as though I am on the right track…
The test also revealed that I am very high in Assertiveness, Enthusiasm, and Industriousness, and moderately high in a few other categories as well. I tested low in Politeness, which I wasn’t sure was accurate at first, and Neuroticism. But when I read the definition tied to the Politeness, it was spot on. It basically said that I am more than happy to give people respect that I feel deserve it, and am more than happy to push back against people who I feel don’t deserve it. Yeah, that’s me for sure. It is a short list, but there are a few people that I have cut out of my life completely because of my disdain for them. I literally find it difficult to be in the same room with them, and I don’t want any interaction with them whatsoever. I drew a line in the sand with each and once it was crossed there is no coming back.
So you may be asking at this point, why did I do this? If I wasn’t really surprised at the results, or gain a ton out of learning where within the percentiles I fall compared to my fellow humans, what did I gain? This wasn’t revolutionary information, or make me want to switch careers, but maybe for others it might. One takeaway for me was that based on my profile, I probably would have been a great HR Manager. This is not something I would ever have thought about doing, but when I read through the traits and how that aligned with that profession, it is clear that I have glossed over something that I may have found a rewarding career.
For those of you who may have taken the “typical” path in life, this might be a really valuable tool in figuring out what you could be doing. If you are struggling to find what your path should be, this may also helpful to point you in the general direction of a new path. Maybe you are more compassionate than you realized (compared to others) and that occasional itch you have to do something for your community is more real than you think. Maybe you are higher in assertiveness than you are aware and should apply for that manager position at work, as you are better suited for it than you thought.
This was 15 minutes of my time, and a ten dollar investment that I got a lot out of it. So much so, that later today I will be working on a new talk as part of my talks that I offer for Management and Leadership. For many who are new to those roles, there is much to be gained from an introspective look as part of that journey. It will show you the things you need to work on, your strengths, and shed light on other traits that you probably haven’t given much thought to previously. As a self-confessed nerd about this kind of stuff, I maybe more excited about it than most, but I do believe that this is a worthwhile exercise for people to do. The DISC Profile, Myers-Briggs, and many other tests have all been designed for this same purpose, and that purpose is to understand yourself better, capitalize on your strengths and at least be aware of your weaknesses. If you want to make strides instead of baby steps in your life, one of the keys is to make sure you understand yourself, and know what areas need improvement. Self awareness is crucial.
Life is a journey, and you only get out of it what you work for. I don’t want to be a billionaire badly enough to put in the work to get there, and I am perfectly fine with that. When I was in my teens I chose to put all of my efforts into excelling at a sport instead of school. I knew my sport of choice was not going to make me rich, but I didn’t care. I knew I needed to answer that age-old question that I didn’t want to look back on. I never wanted to ask “What if I had….” I did try, I did achieve, and I grew immensely because of it. My life revolved around racquetball until I was age 30, and then I got a “real job”. My path was different than some, but all my own. It is a large part of the me of today, and for that I am grateful. If I had taken this assessment in my teens, would I have taken a different path? Probably not, but I may have gotten into public speaking much sooner. My journey now is much different than I thought it would be when I was 25,but I guess that is to be expected. None of us know what really lies ahead, and life has many twists and turns to it. That alone makes it difficult to see too far down the road, which is probably a good thing in the grand scheme of things.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.