Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Why Smart People Do Dumb Things"

This is the title of an article I read today, and much to my surprise, it was more about the thinking process of cognitive misers VS logical thinkers than explaining exactly why seemingly smart people do dumb things.

It's an interesting read if you've got a couple minutes, and can be found here.

A lot has been swirling through my brain over the last few weeks. It would appear that I have the mind of a jackrabbit, not a turtle. I've been thinking a lot about personality types, specifically A-type VS B-type. I always considered myself a B-type fellow: go-with-the-flow, laid-back, easy to get along with... until I took an online quiz. The result was surprising, because it read,

You Have A Type A- Personality
You are one of the most balanced people around. Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want. You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you. When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back whether it's hanging out with friends
or doing something you love! You live life to the fullest - incorporating the best of both worlds.

It can be found here, if you'd care to give it a whirl.

Is that not the description of a B-type personality? When I looked up typical traits of A-type folks I found entries like,
"high strung"

Sure, I can be all those things, but I don't think of them as dominant in MY personality. I took a moment to test the quiz by entering blindingly obvious Type-B answers. Indeed, the result was "You have a Type-B" personality.

Years ago I took the Myers/Briggs personality profile test as part of a career training/placement seminar at SAIT. I'm what they call an ENFP - Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Perception. It all fits, but not with what I've typically thought of as an A-type personality.

Why all this hub-bub with personality types? I guess I'm looking for some answers, to be honest. My brain seems to be pulled in many directions these days. There's part of me that simply wants to chill and "be", but part of me wants to be energized, motivated and driven. In reality, I've discovered, I cannot be entirely either one of these, I'm either "turtle" to the point of not accomplishing anything or I'm prone to burn-out.

It's a strange phenomenon, methinks, to experience the conflict of:

<1> being drawn to those who seem to be "on" all the time, and I REALLY want to be that guy who accomplishes everything he sets his mind to.


<2> Craving the calmness of mind that comes with letting things "be", taking things as they come and generally slowing the pace of life.

The biggest question for me right now is,

"Where does "challenge yourself" cross the line to overdoing it?

One of the characteristics of an A-type personality is the need for a clear-cut answer.

Maybe there isn't one.


Janice said...

I found a personality test and took it. It seems I'm a type "B" personality.

Which is kind of nice to know.


Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for. I envy your portion of the result that noted "balance" and I envy your relaxed way of handling life.

I take Blood pressure medication every day and have a job responsible for a number of headaches (though not treated with a prescription like the blood pressure)

I've taken Myers Briggs and no longer remember the result. My "Colour" was Yellow/Red; My ??? test was "Driver/Expressive"

This test my results are:

You are hyper and energetic - your mind is always active
You tend to succeed at everything you attempt
And if you don't succeed at first, you quickly climb your way to the top!

You could be called a workaholic, but you also make time for fun
As long as something is competitive, you're interested
You have the perfect personality for success in business and athletics

- On my way for a short lifespan before my "Cardiac Event" (though the athletics thing isn't my bag)

- ML

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.