Personality type is far more than just the way someone looks.
According to Britannica.com, it’s a distinctive way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. It comprises moods, attitudes, and opinions expressed while interacting with one’s environment. Think in terms of a person nurtured to share emotions or the opposite. Another example is a person’s perspective towards others being inherent or gained. Inherent, meaning it’s simply a part of who that person is. Acquired or gain, meaning they learn to share their emotions. Why is personality so important? Because we live in a world that seems to change at a pace never seen or imagined and we understand that change is inevitable. As famously said by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus:
Change is the only constant.
External Factors and Personality
We cannot cope with every changing moment, but what we can be sure of is our behavior towards the external changes that we experience daily.
Let’s put it this way: humans love certainty and comfort. We need people whom we can trust and rely upon. We need constant assurance of our innate definition of security, but it can be an unrealistic expectation. In order to feel secure and at ease within our society, we look for certain common traits or behaviors from our peers. For example, we are friends with people who are there for us when we need them. We prefer partners (personal and business) who are reliable. We like those who are kind, instead of those who are inconsiderate and bitter. This subconscious choice makes us mindful of others and their traits and characteristics.
Is it uncommon to look for certain traits in people around us? No, because of the factors involved in shaping our personality. There are many factors to consider. Here are the two most common ones:
Genetics & Personality
Our genetic makeup has a lot to do with our inherent nature. It’s passed onto us by our ancestors (hereditary). For example, the color of our hair, the shape of our nose, height, eye color, etc. Also, keep in mind that our inherent nature isn’t just physical, but psychological, behavioral traits that’s passed on as well. For instance, in a family, there are those who have a bad temper than other family members. Think of that person in your family that is always compared to another relative, whether it a mother, an aunt or an uncle. Another perfect example would be how we often try to guess the nationalities of those we meet because of their appearances and how they behave. Finally, let conclude by stating an obvious point. Inherent nature isn’t a definite. With genes, there are exceptions. Genetics is not the only factor.
Related: Is personality Genetic?
Genetics and the Environment
Another consideration is genetics and environmental factor. This is referring to the overall character of a person. A person’s character is as important as their interaction with others. Their thoughts, habits, and perspective towardseverything around them. As Lao Tzu famously says it:
Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
His word are prophetic because our thoughts consume us more than the time we spend with those around us. Whether it’s a spouse, friends, colleagues, or family members. Because of the dominant nature of our thought, it’s so important to pay attention to what we think about. An example: Two people with the same circumstances, yet their response to external conditions can be the polar opposite. One may have a positive outlook, while the other only sees the negatives in life.
Over the decades, various scientists have studied specific personality types and how it affects certain aspects of our lives. One study to consider: How does one’s personality shapes their success in life? The link to the study is below.
Personality and SuccessWe know how our personality shapes us during our lifetime, but what about if it defines a level of success?
How we define success is singular by nature. Some may view it with material gains, others with power, and others as tangible gains. Still, as subjective as it may be, there are a few criteria that most would agree unanimously, are what we all want to achieve. As an example, we all want good health, financial stability, security. Yet in the end, it’s our thoughts that dictate the outcome. Consider the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
Using a person’s career as an example. A study published in The Psychological Science in 2020 shares that personality has a definite effect on career outcomes. If a person has emotional stability, is an extrovert and conscientious, that person is most likely to succeed. But there may be obstacles if a person is introverted and shows some level of neuroticism. It’s not to say an introverted person can’t succeed. They can, just with more effort. It’s true when they say one’s personality can predict future success.
Optimism, extroverted, well-adjusted, are some indicators to keep in mind. If none of the above is an innate part of who you are, then choose to gain these traits. Do as Charles Duhigg suggests below and reshape your thought to achieve the success you want.
Change might not be fast, and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped. – Charles Duhigg
Related: Success Habits Worth Mastering.
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Genetics is an essential part of each of our lives. But so is the power of the conscious mind. We can take steps to change not just our personality, but our destiny. Yes, genetics helps to shape us, whether good are bad. But it’s not a definitive outcome. We can all choose to reshape our lives regardless of negative personality traits that’s may stand in the way. We control our outcome, regardless of genetics.