Monday, January 7, 2008

Find Out if You're Gandhi or Cobain

Try the Keirsey character and temperament sorters, two online personality quizzes. They'll tell you whether you're more like the Mahatma, Cobain, Einstein, or Mother Teresa and suggest the types of careers you're best suited for.

[Source: "25 Ways to Reinvent Yourself" originally published in Modern Maturity January - February 2000, transcribed by Greg Olszewski.]

GTO's Thoughts: 

Just call me Oprah.

So I tried the Keirsey temperament sorter. And Mom was right! (More on that later).

The sorter was free, though you get more extensive reports if you pay a small fee. Personally, I like free! So the only price you pay for the basic report is a valid email address. (And, as always, I recommend using an email account setup expressly for junk mail). Once logged-in, you answer about 70 "Are you more like this, or Are you more like that?" types of questions and - Viola! It went pretty quickly.

I wasn't overthinking it. I wanted to be as true to myself as I could. (Not the future Greg, not the married Greg, not the Dad Greg..) I stuck with the "right here, right now" Greg and, as it turns out, of the four Main Personality Groups: Artisan, Guardian, Idealist or Rational, I am an Idealist. (I was hoping to be a Guardian, or an Artisan. They sound cool!)

But truly, I *am* an Idealist. I'm not surprised by this outcome, nor can I argue with it. It is me. For better. For worse.

I know Idealists have a dark side. (Seeing things as they should be can leave you out of touch with reality sometimes. And waiting for "ideal situations" often means you never take necessary action).
But the Keirsey temperament sorter focused on positives.

Such as: (1) Idealists are enthusiastic, they trust their intuition, yearn for romance, seek their true self, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom. (2) Idealists pride themselves on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic. (3) Idealists tend to be giving, trusting, spiritual, and they are focused on personal journeys and human potentials. (4) Idealists make intense mates, nurturing parents, and inspirational leaders.

Now here's where Mom was right...

There are four types of Idealists: Champions, Counselors, Healers & Teachers. (I was hoping for Champion or Healer because, again, they sound COOL!) but alas I am a (drum-roll)........... TEACHER.

Which makes absolute sense! -  to me, and to Mom. (Just ask her.)

Teachers have a natural talent for leading students or trainees toward learning, or as Idealists like to think of it, they are capable of calling forth each learner's potentials. Teachers also are extraordinarily tolerant of others, are easy to get along with, and are usually popular wherever they are. Teachers also identify with others quite easily, and will actually find themselves picking up the characteristics, emotions, and beliefs of those around them.

Kind of like a human chameleon. Yep, that's me.

According to Keirsey I'm in good company: Oprah Winfrey, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, Ralph Nader, John Wooden, and Margaret Mead are examples of Teacher Idealists.

So, it doesn't hurt to give the Keirsey assessment a try. It's a silly little diversion that might shed some light on your personality type. Give it a shot and let me know how it worked for you.

Did I mention it's free?  GTO


  1. Arrrgh, the Kiersey. Hate that thing. For 90% of the questions, my honest answer is "Neither!" or "Both!" So I have to choose answers that don't feel right. How can the result then feel right? Bleah.

    That said, it *is* a silly little diversion that can get people thinking about stuff. Who they are, how they behave, what they prefer. If they can get over grumbling about it -- I can't.

    I'm a teacher. No, I mean really: I teach people for a living. I do some counseling too. You do have to be a bit of an idealist to teach. It's nice to have that built-in compatibility with the majority of one's colleagues. We all agree about the hope that students inspire. Even the most difficult ones, who happen to be my favorites.

    I teach mostly one on one. I teach mostly kids, as young as two, up to college age. I have a friend who is a whitewater rafting guide. She's essentially a teacher too. I have another friend who is a physical therapist. The majority of her work is teaching as well. Writing is essentially teaching, isn't it? Tons of careers are all about teaching.

    So, GTO, if you aren't already teaching -- aside from what you did in this blog -- what would you like to teach? And how?

  2. Ohh Debbie! - throwing out a VERY good question. Let me think about this...

    1. I could see myself teaching screenwriting, and reading comprehension (but not ESL). I want to help a native-born Pittsburgher, like a blue collar guy who wants to surprise his kids by reading them a bedtime story. Or a woman who hid her illiteracy from friends/families/coworkers, and just finally decided to learn. I want to help people feel better about themselves. I also would like to teach from stage, either by telling entertaining stories, or speaking about my successful book/blog/business to people interested in that sort of thing. :)