“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
I love to sing. I’ve loved it since I was little. I took every opportunity to join the school choir or sing at church, but I hate performing. I feel uncomfortable in the spotlight, I always have. I used to lament that I felt like I had the talent for singing, but not the personality for it. I wondered all the time “What’s wrong with me? Why is it so easy for other people to be on stage? I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m not shy like I was as a kid. Why can people with terrible voices sing on American Idol auditions, and I can’t muster the guts to look at people in the eyes or show any expression on stage?”
Then I started studying temperament and personality and hardwiring. It helped me understand how I’m built. Now I realize the lime light just isn’t for me, and it’s not because there is something wrong or defective about me. I just don’t crave it or need it or want it. My teenage daughter, however; loves being on stage. She’ll sing or dance or act and will eat up the spot light. She was built for the stage. So, am I to believe that she’s better than me because she’s good on stage? Or I’m more humble than her because I don’t need the stage? Or is it just that we’re hardwired very differently and have different paths?
The Message Version of Galations 6 tell us to “make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.”
It is hard to be human. A lot of questions run through our heads every day. Why can’t I be more like her? How can he possibly think that way? Why does my spouse always do that? How am I so good at this? Shouldn’t I be better at that? What makes me feel this way? How do I get motivated? Who am I?
Personality matters. Humans were designed to impact our world and each other, but we often get confused about how to do that. With so many choices and opinions it’s hard to know what direction we should be headed in when we attempt to map out a plan for our lives. The ancient Greek philosophers challenged us to “Know Thyself”. Maybe they were on to something.
The Bible tells us we are all different parts of the same body. A body doesn’t need 14 eyes or 10 livers. We’re supposed to be different. And we work better when we understand our function and role. Personality is an important tool God has given each of us. Understanding how we are hardwired helps us make decisions about our lives. It helps us have grace on those we’re in relationship with. It helps us see areas for growth and recognize when we’re getting unhealthy.
Understanding our own hardwiring is a brilliant tool for life change. Knowing ourselves helps us understand our “why”. Understanding doesn’t always lead us to what our perfect career would be, but it opens our eyes to our strengths and downfalls. It also teaches us how we grow and improve our relationships.
Discovering how we’re hardwired is a gift. We all have an element of nurture in us. You make the bed a certain way because that’s how your mother did it. You prefer the mountains because you’re family went there every summer. But we all have an element of nature in us as well. You are always on time or early for everything even though your mother was chronically late to everything. You love adventure and risk even through your father was cautious and avoided change. We are all unique. That is good, and that I what God intended. But we have to do the work to discover it.
So, who are you uniquely designed to be?
Our Stay Forth Designs team would love to help you uncover how you’re uniquely wired. Julie can walk with you through her Unique Design coaching process. We also lead trainings on the Enneagram to help individuals and teams uncover how they’re wired. Connect at firstname.lastname@example.org