Last week I took a character test.
Why? Because a friend and I were discussing how important it is to know what your strengths are to a) cultivate those strengths and b) know how to help and compliment other’s strengths once you know how YOU operate. It was an interesting discussion and since I took the test, I’ve notice the truth of this. For example, one of my top three strengths was “LOVE” (meaning l highly value loving others and being loved by others) while my husband would not have this as his top value because he could care less if he has anyone in his life but me and the kids. Yet my nature strengthens him and our relationship, which makes him more loving towards our little family. And I’m sure if he took the test there would be many of his strengths that help me. (I’m positive his LOVE OF LEARNING would shine through and show how we both encourage each other to cultivate new hobbies and reading. I would never have had the courage to try publishing my writing without his support.)
The second thing the character test did was force me to ask myself:
What are some areas I need to improve?
Do my core values align with my actions?
Some of the answers surprised me. First, I had three things tie for the top spot: LOVE, LOVE OF LEARNING, and SPIRITUALITY. These weren’t too much of a surprise. My weakest strength (ha! Sounds funny….) did, though, but it shouldn’t have: SELF-REGULATION. I have such awful will power and it was eye-opening to see it come out in the test.
Now I’ve decided this is where I need to work the most. I see myself slipping often in little ways that add up to big dips in my contentment. So, my goal this fall is to regulate myself better by focusing on some things I have wanted to improve in my life by:
- Email and social networking fasts until afternoon.
- Exercise everyday (but Sunday), even if it is only for 10 minutes of stretching.
- Drink more water.
- Write for 2 hours a day, either 9-11 or 1-3. More than that is gravy.
- Only eat meat 3 nights/week.
- Pray every morning. Alone in my closet. Without distractions.
- Sweets only on the weekends.
- Shut down the computer by 9 o’clock pm.
I know that seems like a lot but there were even more I wanted to add to the list. I like goals. I like working towards positive changes. (And extreme goal setting might be just what I need.) This is because when I am in control of myself, I feel good. It makes me happy. When I am not, it affects all aspects of my life.
The character test gave me a window into myself that was so uplifting. Both to see the good and the bad because it helped me know where I am at in developing the ME I want to be and how far I still need to go. The good thing is I never want to stop trying to better myself, though. So I always expect to find out I’m a work in progress. I am a character in the making. And to me that is a good thing.
What about you? Do goals make you happy? Are you working towards any? If so, do you think they strengthen your character?