A few months back I read “Quiet, Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Cain. I found this to be a very interesting and fascinating book and would recommend it. Susan Cain helped define the difference between temperament and personality. Temperament is what you were born with your true nature, whereas personality is what you acquire, through your environment, experiences, connections and people you surround yourself with.
I believe that when you realize what your true nature is it gives you the freedom to explore more and be yourself.
Many years ago when I was in my twenties and again in my thirties, I was asked to take the Meyers Briggs personality test. Both times I was labeled as an extrovert. This truly surprised me, in my heart I know I was an introvert and knew that certain experiences in my life at promoted me to be more extroverted. This created doubt for me, and I thought I had to behave more extroverted to follow my personality. Yes naïve it sounds, but there was no clear definition of the personality test. As I have matured, and especially after reading this book I realize that I am an introvert by temperament. I like to have alone time, for silence, contemplation and self-reflection. I get my best work done then, and my ideas and intuition have time to shine through because of it. However I do realize that I am also an extrovert by personality, because experiences in my life have created opportunities for me to be more outgoing and social. This reminds me of a famous poem
By Hazrat Inyat Khan
“I ASKED FOR STRENGTH
AND GOD GAVE ME DIFFICULTIES TO MAKE ME STRONG
I ASKED FOR WISDOM
AND GOD GAVE ME PROBLEMS TO LEARN TO SOLVE
I ASKED FOR PROSPERITY
AND GOD GAVE ME A BRAIN AND BRAWN TO WORK
I ASKED FOR COURAGE AND GOD GAVE ME DANGERS TO OVERCOME
I ASKED FOR LOVE AND GOD GAVE ME PEOPLE TO HELP
I ASKED FOR FAVORS AND GOD GAVE ME OPPORTUNITIES
I RECEIVED NOTHING I WANTED.
I RECEIVED EVERYTHING I NEEDED.”
Life does give you the experience you need to create balance and being a shy introverted child, born in India and brought to America when I was young. I was thrown into a western society that rewarded and still rewards extroversion. I needed balance, to create happiness in my life. I am grateful for all the experiences and people that I have met in my years to help me and that continue to help me in creating balance in my life.