What’s Your Type

Man walks into a bar. Sees a woman he’d like to know better. Goes to her, “What’s your sign?”

In the “old” days, everyone knew their sun sign. “I’m a Virgo.” “I’m a Capricorn.” And so on. It was supposed to tell you something about your personality based on when you were born.

I’m a Scorpio. My wife is Aquarius. It is the worst possible match in the Zodiac, so I read once. We’ve been married 48 years. Hard to tell how good it would have been if we had compatible signs.

I’ve been part of two teams where we were studied on our interactions based on the Myers-Briggs Types Indicator. You know, the one with four letters. I’m ENTP. But I really like being alone (I, not E). But I can get energy from being with people (E, not I). <sigh>

Oh, I never found out if the researchers came to a conclusion. A dysfunctional team is a dysfunctional team.

Now all the cool kids (and I always wanted to be one of the cool kids but never made it) ask, “What’s your number?” It’s the Enneagram. I’ve taken the tests. I’m a 9; except I’m a 5; but wait, I’m really a 4.

What good is it to know a description of your personality?

None.

As Robert Pirsig noted introducing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, “the real motorcycle you’re working on is yourself.”

Many people stop at knowing a little bit. The point is really to use that information to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can go to work to shore up your weaknesses and assure that your strengths don’t go too far.

Ancient wisdom up to the present is about knowing yourself so that you can improve yourself.

And God knows, we all could use some improvement.

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