It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
My fifth grade math teacher was a plump, energetic man. He burst into the classroom about two weeks into the term, obviously pleased with himself.
“Who wants to have some fun today?”
We responded excitedly.
“Here it is,” he said, “your first pop quiz!”
Although he always approached these occasions with the same question, it only worked once. After that it generated nothing but groans.
Well, I’m going to offer you some fun – and a deeper knowledge of yourself.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ― Lao Tzu
This fun is fun. Yes, it’s tests, but there are no right or wrong answers. Each test I’m including yields valuable insights into yourself. All of these indicate differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions, as well as how they are seen.
1/12th of 7 Billion
What do 1/12th of the world’s population of billions have in common? Zodiac signs. I worked (part-time) as a practicing astrologer for a few years; I found natal charts surprisingly accurate, everything else open to vastly differing interpretations. (By the way, if you want a free chart – in colour – with a few interpretations, you can get the best at Astrolabe: https://alabe.com/freechart/default.asp)
The problem for me is predicting what a given day holds – Can you really tell what kind of day (all of) 580,000,000 people are going to have? Astrology is folk wisdom, and maybe my problem with it is sample size – natal charts have a wider sample to draw norms from.
Whether you’re looking for Spiritual insight or a prediction for tomorrow, the point of these systems is to give you a way to know yourself better through them. It’s back to Plato and Socrates: Know Thyself.
I find better results from a couple of tests that put people in 16 categories. They are true insights into your temperament. And they don’t divide evenly – my classification is shared by only one percent of the population.
They provide a clear image of how you interact with the world.
The first two are pretty well equivalent, take your pick (and they’re free). Both are based on the gold-standard personality test the Myers-Briggs, which in turn is based on the work of psychologist C. G. Jung.
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter
The first is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. As described on the web, it explains what the test is doing: “There are four temperament types. Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, Rational. Keirsey transforms your understanding of people. We provide you with a unique perspective that brings clarity on who you are, what you do, who you love, and what difference you make.”
I’ve recommend this test to many people and they’ve all been grateful for the experience. My friend Luba, a large woman of a certain age, was classified as Guardian. It couldn’t be more apt. She is highly critical, contrasting what is happening to The Rules, such as no white after October. She disapproves of “other” religions, including Christian denominations, and swears by her Orthodox upbringing. She is a Guardian of the Old Ways – the Right Ways.
“The closer you come to knowing that you alone create the world of your experience, the more vital it becomes for you to discover just who is doing the creating.” ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal
The Keirsey takes about ten minutes. Find it at: https://profile.keirsey.com/#/b2c/assessment/start
The result is a four letter code, based on things like Extraversion and Judgmentalism. This is where Jung comes in.
He speculated that humans experience the world using four principal psychological functions: Sensation, Intuition, Feeling and Thinking, and that one of these four functions is dominant for a person most of the time.
Another choice, which has a more modern graphic profile, is 16 Personalities, which has identical results to the Keirsey. You can find it at: https://www.16personalities.com/
I also once had a part-time job at a Personality and Vocational Testing centre, so I know something about tests. There is one caveat: these are not absolutely right, there may well be flaws, like the cultural bias built in to I.Q. tests.
And these are certainly not like the “Sign in with Facebook” posts that show up from time to time.
The 16 Personalities test has 125 million users. That’s a massive base in survey terms, and as I suggested with Astrology, the results of all have been in the cauldron of truth for many years, and sample size matters.
“No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself. No man is free who cannot command himself.” ― Pythagoras
Yet another I recommend does not follow the Myers-Briggs categories. It provides more of a breakdown of potentials; the qualities it measures both surprised me and confirmed some driving forces in my life. They have a whole system built on their test, and I have not followed that so I can’t speak to it.
The Enneagram refers to nine different types or styles, with each representing a worldview and archetype that resonates with the way people think, feel and act in relation to the world, others and themselves. Categories include Adventurer, Lover, Security Seeker, Leader, Creative Individualist – I turned out to have Peacemaker at double the next closest characteristic. Looking back on my life from that perspective showed me that I had acted – yet never considered it – in keeping with this observation.
Once again, it’s free. This is the “fast” version, five minutes, yet I bet you’ll find it stunningly revealing. Find it at: https://enneagramtest.net/
As I said, I’ve recommended these tests for years – many years – and a lot of people just don’t do them, missing the value and insights they can offer.
“Self-awareness is not self-centeredness, and spirituality is not narcissism. ‘Know thyself’ is not a narcissistic pursuit.” — Marianne Williamson
Go ahead and “have some fun” with these. In half an hour you can see your results from the most telling, insightful and widely used tests in the world.
The Most Important in the World
It’s all part of taking advantage of resources to realize the best you can be. They are a part of the ancient Greek aphorism, “Know thyself”. Because the most important person in the world is you – you can think about it but it’s true – so why not know who you really are? These easy tests deliver invaluable information whether you are on a Spiritual or Mundane path.
(Fact is, of course, that you are doing both.)
What might be holding you back? Could it be what you might find? (Very human.)
“Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe