Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not enough is actually enough!

Funny how things go sometimes... Earlier this week I got an email from my friend James Richardson suggesting that I may want to post on my blog an article he wrote on the concept of "enough". James' email landed in my mailbox at just the right time. Just a few weeks ago, I decorated the wall by my computer desk with large adhesive letters spelling the word “ASSEZ” (it means enough in French) to remind myself that I am more than enough and that I have what it takes to succeed professionally and more importantly, personally.

“Enough” is a concept that I have been meditating on for a couple of months now, ever since the phone stopped ringing and the contracts dried up. I ask myself what is enough? What is the difference between what I need to be comfortable and what I think I want? Even more interesting, what is the difference between what I feel is enough and what our consumerism culture says is enough? Is there such a thing as “too much”? Yes, definitely.

But somehow, I always end up with the fear of not
being and doing enough. The paralysing feeling that I dream too big. In French Canada there is a saying that permeates our culture and our way of seeing ourselves as the permanent underdog “Que veux-tu?On est nĂ© pour un p'tit pain!” which means essentially that we were born to be small so do not hope for anymore than what you've got. I didn’t realize how much that had become part of my psyche until these last few months.

Here is James' article:

Not enough is actually enough!

Are you often faced with the notion that you don’t have enough yet to contribute? Not enough education, not enough context, not enough experience, not enough wisdom? Do you ever wonder if you will catch up on this proverbial treadmill?

What if ‘not enough’ was ‘enough’? What if you flipped the notion on its head? Wisdom can be found in paradox.

First of all, “enough” is a relative term. Enough is always in comparison to some standard or requirement. In some cases, it is accurate and appropriate (i.e. you need to graduate med school before you have ‘enough’ education to start practising medicine…). In other cases, it is perhaps an artificially set metric where contradictions are readily visible (i.e. how much education / experience do you need in order to be a successful entrepreneur?)

Secondly, ‘enough’ in the proposition is stated as a destination, a commonly shared definition. A different perspective would be to view ‘enough’ as a journey. When you choose to go and visit a destination that you have never been to, you embark on this journey based on research (referrals, references, common knowledge) and you believe that you know enough to get going and you will know when you have arrived at the intended destination. With eyes wide open, the destination leads to new discoveries and an exciting journey that expands your horizons. The journey is the value; from the anticipation of arriving at your original destination, through to the exhilaration of exploring and experiencing something new and wondrous.

Thirdly, if you give ‘enough’ a connotation of scarcity (not enough), it is a bitter pill to swallow. Flipped on its head, “not enough” can be noble humility, accompanied by the confidence in being able to meet the challenges before you. Viewed through the lens of abundance (what you have, not what’s missing), this position of humility means that you have much to learn/experience and you always will – and that is as it should be. The confidence in the here and now means that you have worked hard at getting ready for ‘later’ and that you are always ready to be the real you. Of course you may stumble; of course you may wobble – but these are growth opportunities! Seek out the number of people that speak of their experiences where they grew the most! “When I made that mistake…” - “when I had to move on from that job…” - “when I made that blunder…” - they learned that connecting the dots happens looking back – not forward!

Humility is noble. It prepares the heart for a wondrous journey. A ready heart frees the spirit for growth and actualization. The spirit thrives and grows in motion, not in stagnant immobility. A perspective of abundance opens up possibilities. Well-considered possibilities lead to more interesting travels.

Have the courage to move forward. Know yourself and what you have to learn. Have the faith that humility, curiosity, conscientiousness and care will get you to the right place at the right time. Believe that you don’t have to take my word for it, look for your own proof in many places. This isn’t my philosophy, it’s an accumulation of observations I have made.

‘Not enough’ is ‘enough’, and I don’t think we have enough of it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mandatory summer vacations for all employees

This week marked the end of the school year for my two daughters. It was an especially meaningful time for my oldest daughter Nadia who is heading off to university next year and was saying a fond farewell to teachers and friends who have been part of her journey for the last six years.

Schools organized shows and concerts, art exhibits, special outings and graduation ceremonies to mark the end of the school year. These events underline the accomplishments of both teachers and students throughout the year. As parents, we are invited to get a taste of our children's school experiences and appreciate all the hard work that they invested to succeed. More than one tear was shed as I listened to Nadia playing her flute in the final school band concert and when my youngest daughter Maya, handed me in an impassive manner not one but two Achievement Awards for courses that she was failing just four short months ago.

I really like the end of school year ritual of celebrating successes. As one year closes, people's spirits are elevated with pride and the slate is wiped clean, ready to greet the experiences of the coming year.

What would happen if workplaces borrowed from the school model? Can you imagine it? Just take this little walk with me in an alternate world where workplaces operate like schools.

To start with, bosses, like teachers, would have 6 to 8 Professional Development days (P.D. days) dedicated to deepening their knowledge and skills in a learning setting with other colleagues. Bosses would have been taking courses throughout the year to better understand how to teach to others what they know. Bosses would have also been receiving training on how to instil a desire of learning in their employees (a.k.a students) and bring out the best in them.

The employee's school would be the workplace. The workplace would be a Learning Organization. Employees are encouraged to learn from each other, to innovate, to take calculated risks, and to learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.

Employees are regularly evaluated on their ability to accomplish tasks. They are not given tests or exams per say but in the course of their work they face complex problems or difficult situations which they try to resolve. Their bosses observe their performances and give them timely advice as to how improve. (This is in sharp contrast to the yearly Performance Appraisal discussions between bosses and staff which is for most a perfunctory one time only half hour conversation aimed at filling in blanks and checking boxes on a form.) At least three times a year (much like the parent-teacher meetings for our kids) the boss has conversations with the employee's significant others (spouse, colleagues and friends) to gain a better understanding of what other aspects of his life might affect his performance positively or negatively) and to ensure that there is a solid social network to help the employee succeed.

Throughout the year, and especially at the end of the work year, there are opportunities to show case the accomplishments of each employees and their teams. There are "Show and Tell's", poster presentations, talent shows and storytelling and speeches. To top off the year, many celebrations are organized where the successful Treasury Board Submissions or bids for work are showcased along with the innovative programs and products that were realized. The employees are the centre of attention in these celebrations but everyone recognizes the important role their bosses have played in creating the space for them to emerge as leaders in their own field. (Who knows, maybe people would make a point to thank the bosses for being good bosses and bring them "teacher gifts" like apples, mugs and cute figurines to show their appreciation at the end of the school year much like I made a point to personally thank Nadia's music teacher for being such an inspiring mentor to her through her high school years)

During those celebrations, all staff takes stock of the positive foundation they have laid down during the year on which they will be able to build an even more impressive edifice in the year to come. And then, the best part, everyone leaves on well-deserved vacation where they reconnect with friends and family and more importantly, with themselves.

I can hear you saying, "I am an adult, I want to take my vacation when I want to. Plus, I only have 3 weeks of vacation per year!" (That last one is a totally different problematic but let me just say that in Europe, employees have double that amount of vacation time because the European culture puts a higher value on family time and play.)

By definition, vacation means a period of rest from work. Well don't get me started about Blackberries and laptop computers which means that if we so choose, (and surprisingly many of us do) we are never truly disconnected from our work. In the North American culture work and business is overvalued in my opinion.

People have a hard time letting go of the rat race even when they are on "vacation". Poll your acquaintances and ask them what their vacation plans are. In my circle of family and friends, many will use some vacation time to catch up with chores around the house: doing renovations, building decks, sealing the driveway or painting rooms. Others will use vacation days to schedule medical, professional and legal appointments that they can't fit into their usual work weeks. Some lucky ones will go up to the cottage where there will be some relaxing times but undoubtedly there will also be some fixing up to do. Families are lucky if they have a full week of vacation together. In our case, it will be impossible to schedule a week when we will be all together between my eldest daughter's part time job and outings with friends and my youngest daughter's weeks at theatre camp and babysitting commitments. We will be lucky if we can plan a long weekend together... Often one parent takes one week to stay with the kids and the other takes the following week to optimize their limited vacation time to cover off the many weeks that the kids are off school.

What we do during our vacation determines how much rest we will get or not. Another factor that affects the quality of rest we get on vacation is the number of days we take off. In my circle of family and friends rare are those who take more than one or two weeks of vacation at a time. I don't know if you have experienced this yourself but in the last few years I have worked at such an intense pace that it takes several days of "vacation" before I can truly stop and relax. Often in the first few days of vacation I become sick: a flu bug, a sore back or just general fatigue. I think it is because I finally let myself stop and become aware of how exhausted I was all along. My body finally lets up and crashes for a few days no longer fed by the constant adrenaline rush. My husband and I were reflecting on this phenomenon last March while lounging by the pool in a resort in Cuba (our first family vacation down south in many many years). The first few days of our vacation, we felt just like zombies. No energy or will to do anything requiring much effort. Towards the end of our week-long trip we started to feel like our old selves again and we remarked wistfully that a second week away would have allowed us to truly take advantage of all the activities and sights this little paradise provided. See, in North America we even rush through our vacations!

So if you are still dreaming along with me in this alternate world, consider just for a moment what it would be like to be let off work for at least a month just to laze around in the summer sun. You would return to work feeling refreshed and invigorated. That would change your mindset wouldn't it? Your performance would be enhanced if you returned to work excited about reconnecting with your colleagues and looking forward to a whole new year of learning and accomplishments (much like your kids returning to school in September).

Wouldn't it be great if everybody returned to work from summer vacation at the same time in a better state of mind, and with new ideas and resolve? That time would mark officially the start of a new year for all staff. It would be the ideal time to sit together and do some visioning and strategic planning. It would be the ideal time to rethink how we used to do things and how we can further improve. It would create a positive momentum forward. What grade will we all graduate from in a year's time?

I know, maybe this idea is too far fetched... But I still think there are important lessons to learn from the school model. Let me know what you think.

Are you taking summer vacations this year? Will you be relaxing? How?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sitting with Questions

I am trying something new. I have a guest posting on my blog this week. I thought you might enjoy the wise musings of my friend James Richardson encouraging us to ponder questions.

Some time ago I read a very interesting account of a study done looking for differences between individuals that scored in the top 1% of IQ tests and individuals that scored way off the IQ charts and categorized as geniuses. While I cannot speak to the veracity of the story, it nonetheless will help illustrate my point. The story goes something like this…

All test candidates were placed in a private room and were given a extremely difficult problem to work on that would require them to draw upon all of their faculties if they were to solve it. Each test candidate had two hours to solve the problem. In the case of the top 1% group, they furiously worked using up most if not all of their scrap paper as they concentrated on solving the problems. The test administrators, observing behind a pane of one-way glass observed their level of activity and predicted that it was quite likely that they would solve the problem. Candidates from the ‘genius’ group, notably participating in identical conditions, were observed to be sitting idle in their test space! There was no flurry of activity with rough notes and calculations - there was seemingly no observable activity in their test rooms. The test administrators, again observing behind a pane of one-way glass worried that perhaps their IQ assessment may have been flawed or perhaps the candidates were geniuses in ways that did not suit the wicked problem before them.

Let’s fast forward to two hours later at the completion point of the test interval. What do you think the results were? As predicted, most of the top 1% group succeeded in solving the problem (although many of them looked somewhat worse for the wear) but some did not. It could be concluded that such results seem perfectly reasonable. And the ‘genius group’? Each and every one of them was able to solve the problem, and only wrote down the solution! Nothing else was written on any other pieces of paper! You can well imagine how this astounded the test administrators – especially in comparison to all of the complex calculations and notes that the other group made on their scrap paper during the same exercise. One of the ‘genius’ candidates was questioned to discern how they were capable of their amazing feat of problem solving. She was asked: “were you able to do all of your calculations and critical thinking in your head?”, to which she responded: “No. I sat with the question and waited for the solution to come to me.” This was essentially the same for all candidates in the ‘genius’ group. Fascinating.

What an interesting notion: “sitting with questions”. We work so hard on trying to find answers and trying to solve the problems that are in front of us. It can be taxing and there is a very real risk (for the majority of us that don’t find ourselves in the top 1% of IQ test scores) that we may miss something or that our ‘solution’ could itself cause unintended consequences, perhaps even further exacerbating the original problem. So what to do instead?

I have been personally exploring a practice for myself of “sitting with questions”. What I have found is that it is a very effective way in which to fully maximize the inputs from all of my sensory perceptions. What I mean is that when I decide to wait for the answer to come to me, I let my mind, my heart and my intuition wrestle with the problem/issue at hand and when there is a reasonable ‘answer’ to be provided, it shows up in my mind. To be clear, this is a practice that I employ in domains in which I feel I have sufficient knowledge, expertise and experience from which to draw upon as I would not attempt to use the practice to solve wicked theoretical physics problems – of which I have little more than a passing interest in.

Recently I was asked to facilitate and lead a high profile work out session in an organization. I met with the executive leading the charge and we had a good discussion on aspects of what the session objectives were and a number of possibilities, hopes and expectations for the session. We had 30 minutes for this discussion. At the end of the discussion, the executive asked me to prepare an agenda, design the session and lead key parts of it. Admittedly, I wasn’t 100% certain what the session would look like nor exactly what I would be doing in my role as facilitator (and teacher for a portion of it) at that very moment. Regardless, I agreed with a firm ‘yes’ I could and I would. I didn’t and still don’t see that as any form of deceit since I knew that if I ‘sat with the question’ of “how” and “what”, the right answers would come to me in time to meet my commitments with excellence. This is because: I feel that I have the knowledge of the context in which the session is situated; I have the skills and knowledge to conduct a variety of activities that will help serve the session objectives; I have experience doing both and with knowing that I usually know what I need to know by the time I need to know it. So for me, it wasn’t risky – it was the way it works for me and it was suitable to the context (executive needed an answer and I had some time prior to the session itself to ‘let it come’.)

I like sitting with questions. To me, it is allowing my full human potential to emerge. It emerges when I allow all that I am to inform all that I will do. It requires deliberateness and of course I am not able to do it in all situations for all reasons, but what if I could? What if, through ongoing practice, I could get really good at it and it came natural to me versus being deliberate?

I will finish off with one more quick story.

A Nobel prize winner is being interviewed shortly after accepting his award. The interviewer asks him: “Who is one of your most important influences that helped you achieve your Nobel prize winning work?” The Nobel laureate responded: “My mother and not for the reasons you might initially think. When I was school-age, she never asked me what I learned that day in school, her query was always: ‘what good questions did you ask today?’. That has stayed with me and is what has helped me more than anything else become what I have become in my life thus far.”

So take some time out, let all that you are have a chance to help inform all that you will do. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine and sit with a question or two. It would be interesting to hear what your experience is with it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Joys of Parenting

My younger brother and I have fourteen years difference between us. I was a teenager when he was just a toddler. I was living in an apartment on my own when he was in grade 3. Our life experiences were so vastly different that it was hard to relate to each other. Instead of being his playmate, I became his caregiver and his advisor. I had been where he was and could help him deal with the worries and difficulties that each stage of life presents.

My brother became a school teacher. He got married three years ago and now lives up north, a fifteen hour drive from where I live. I miss him. We try to stay connected but neither he nor I like to chat on the phone or correspond by email. On one of those rare calls recently, my brother was telling me how exhausted he was. He has a two-year old daughter and a newborn son. I remember those days very well: just a few hours of sleep at a time; catering to the seemingly endless needs of each child; dragging yourself to work; keeping up with the housework (kind of), and wondering what you did with your time BK (before kids).

I wanted to tell him something wise and encouraging but I couldn't. I am raising two teenagers, one is almost 18 years old who is off to university next year and the other is a 14 years old who has had attitude since she was 2! The 14 year old had just stormed out of the room yelling that she hated me when the phone rang. I was still steaming when my brother's voice said "Hi. How are you?" Unfortunately for my brother who was looking for a shoulder to cry on and a message of hope, all he got from me was "sometimes I really don't like being a parent".

I came up with a lame line about you don't know how hard it is to be a parent until you become one. It is a full time job, 24 hours a day, for at least 20 years (and after that it is only a part time job). My dad, who is 80 years old, still worries about his "children". He calls us, without fail, once a week to check in on us and make sure we are OK.

To my credit, I did tell my brother that as much as sometimes being a parent was difficult, there were other times that really made up for it. But I couldn't come up with any convincing examples mired as I was in the recent angry outburst with my youngest daughter.

This week, life provided me with striking examples of those special moments of parenthood when you are filled with pride and joy.

My eldest daughter Nadia is an accomplished musician. She plays the flute and the piccolo. She has been playing since she was 10. Nadia is the only teenager I know who prefers classical music over rap or pop songs. As she listens to classical music she might hum along and suddenly exclaim "Listen to the bassoon Maman, don't you love how it complements the sounds of the other wind instruments!" Nadia laboured behind a Deli counter at a local supermarket, often doing 10 hour shifts at minimum wage, two summers ago and then happily plunked down every penny she made to buy herself a new flute. The following year, it was a new piccolo that she bought.

Thursday evening was the final concert for her High School Senior Band. It was a bitter sweet evening because it was the last time the grade 12 kids would play together before they left for college or university. I sat in the audience and beamed as I could hear my daughter's piccolo solos rising up above the music. I could see in Nadia's face that she was at one with the music; she was in the "flow". I am happy that she has found something that gives meaning and purpose to her life at such an early age.

Just before they played the last piece of the evening, the conductor who has been their teacher for many years (from grade 8 to 12 for most), took the time to have each and every grade 12 student stand up in turn as she publicly stated what she admired most about them and celebrated their unique contribution to the orchestra. My daughter was the last grade 12 student to stand up. Her teacher recognized her natural talent and her dedication to her role as section leader as they tackled their most difficult pieces yet (Level 6) which won them a gold medal at the National Music Fest competition. My eyes were tearing up at this point and so were my daughter's. Nadia has always loved her teacher. She has been her mentor all these years. How wonderful to be acknowledged like that in front of her peers!

The teacher then announced that her fellow musicians had voted for Nadia as the most worthy recipient for this year's Award of Excellence in Music. Her name would be engraved on the trophy along with the names of past winners. Nadia has chosen to pursue a career in music. Music will always be part of her. This honor was a validation of her hopes and dreams. My heart was so full.

Those joyful moments in a parent's life eclipses countless others of the sleepless nights and the doors banging in anger kind. All of a sudden, in that moment, the "why" you became a parent becomes crystal clear. You have had the privilege of having a little human being as your ward for these many years. You have loved her and guided her as best you can. You have watched her struggle and flourish. Then comes a time when you need to let go. You step back and you notice how beautiful that human being has become, inside and out. You know then that you did something right...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

You are what you believe you are

With deep sadness in her eyes Janet explained: "I was a curious child. I wanted to know the "why" of everything. I wanted to know why the sky was blue, why the bee stung, and why birds flew. My parents would get frustrated with me. I asked too many questions. They were both school teachers so you would think that they would have seized these opportunities to teach me what life was all about but instead they dismissed me and my questions. I started believing something was wrong with me. Why did I have so many questions? Why were my parents frustrated with me when I asked questions? Pretty soon I started believing that I was stupid. So I just stopped asking questions from that day on. I grew up convinced that I was not as smart as most. I did not go to university or college because I did not think I had what it took to succeed academically. Here I am now about to lose my job as a career counsellor (ironic isn't it?) because my contract will not be renewed and I have to find a way to market myself to find a new job. I am scared. Very scared. It seems like all the jobs I am interested in require a university degree and I will not go back to school. I just can't..." Janet felt stuck.

Janet had adopted limiting beliefs about herself that were preventing her from moving forward? She believed she was stupid.

One of the keys to unlocking Janet's long standing belief that she was not smart was Howard Gardner's concept of multiple intelligences.
According to Howard Gardner, there are seven types of intelligences:

Linguistic words and language
Logical-Mathematical logic and numbers
Musical music, sound, rhythm
Bodily-Kinesthetic body movement control
Spatial-Visual images and space
Interpersonal other people's feelings
Intrapersonal self-awareness

People possess a set of intelligences - not just one type and level of intelligence.

People have varying degrees of strengths in the different forms of intelligence. No one excels in all of them. Intelligence is the sum total of your abilities.

Unfortunately the school system, and society in general, have a very narrow definition of what constitutes intelligence. In school your level of "intelligence" is measured according to two-types of intelligence: linguistic and logical-mathematical. Many schools, teachers, and entire education systems, persist in the view that a child is either intelligent or not depending on how they score in language, math, and science tests.

The school system still classifies the 'intelligent' kids as 'good' and the 'under-performers' as 'bad'. Many children grow up being told that they are not intelligent and internalize the belief that they are not worthy. It is the "you'll never amount to anything" syndrome.

"Jimmy, you failed your science test...again! Why can't you get that E = mc
"Mia, you wrote a good story but your spelling is so atrocious that I gave up reading it half way!"
"Susan, why can't you memorize those multiplication tables? You are really weak in math."
"Janet, I have better things to do with my time than to answer your incessant questions!"

"Intelligence, particularly as it is traditionally defined, does not sufficiently encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display. In (Gardner's) conception, a child who masters multiplication easily is not necessarily stronger in another kind of intelligence and therefore 1) may best learn the given material through a different approach, 2) may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or 3) may even be looking at the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level, which can result in a seeming slowness that hides a mathematical intelligence that is potentially higher than that of a child who easily memorizes the multiplication table." (Wikipedia)
If you choose to adopt a more inclusive view of intelligence, as Gardner suggests, then it becomes possible for every child to grow up with a stronger sense of self-esteem, confident in the value of their unique set of skills and abilities. If you are curious about what types of intelligence you have, I invite you to complete this questionnaire.

Another lens through which we can learn about ourselves and build our self-confidence is Personality Types. Many thinkers across the ages have theorized that there are four distinct patterns of human behavior. Some of the personality type theories date back to such figures as Hippocrates (c370), Plato (c340) and Aristotle (c325). More contemporary authors in the field of personality type are the psychologist Carl Jung; a mother and daughter team Isabelle Briggs Myers and Katherine Cook Briggs who developed the Myers-Briggs temperament sorter; David Keirsey, a psychologist who wrote a groundbreaking book entitled Please Understand Me; and Don Lowry, a student of Keirsey, who created the tool True Colors.

Let's look at Keirsey's approach to temperament type more closely. David Keirsey researched historical literature in psychology, philosophy, and the sciences, and became intrigued by the patterns of four temperaments. A
s an Educational Psychologist, he began putting theory into practice in the 1950's where he developed techniques in training and coaching. For more than two decades, he served as a consultant to both educators and psychologists, with continued research and innovations in his theory of the four temperaments. In the late 1970’s Keirsey published his theory in the book, Please Understand Me® (1978), where he publicly introduced the Keirsey Temperament Sorter®

According to Keirsey, the four types of personalities are:

  • Guardians speak mostly of their duties and responsibilities, of what they can keep an eye on and take good care of, and they're careful to obey the laws, follow the rules, and respect the rights of others.
  • Idealists speak mostly of what they hope for and imagine might be possible for people, and they want to act in good conscience, always trying to reach their goals without compromising their personal code of ethics.
  • Artisans speak mostly about what they see right in front of them, about what they can get their hands on, and they will do whatever works, whatever gives them a quick, effective payoff, even if they have to bend the rules.
  • Rationals speak mostly of what new problems intrigue them and what new solutions they envision, and always pragmatic, they act as efficiently as possible to achieve their objectives, ignoring arbitrary rules and conventions if need be.

Now back to our story about Janet.

Janet completed the Multiple Intelligences questionnaire which showed that she had real strengths in the Kinesthetic, Spacial-Visual and Interpersonal intelligences. None of which are measured or celebrated in our traditional school system by the way. The Multiple Intelligences theory gave Janet a different frame of reference from which she could define way herself. When she looked at her career path through the Multiple Intelligence lens, Janet confirmed that the jobs that gave the most satisfaction and positive feedback were aligned with her unique mix of intelligences. She was most successful when her job involved hands on problem solving and regular interactions with people. With this new mindset, Janet was able to start seeing and appreciating what she was good at rather than what she was lacking. Her acknowledgement of her strengths and abilities was a much more positive and rewarding springboard to start a new job search.

Janet also learned that, according to Keirsey's temperament theory, she was a Rational. Rationals seek knowledge and understanding. They love to develop theories and hypotheses about how the world works. Rationals are free-thinkers and excel at problem-solving. The biggest stressor for a Rational is incompetence, not having the answers.

Remember the story of the little girl who kept asking her parents the "why" questions and got closed down? She was simply expressing who she is at her core, a Rational, who needs to know and understand. She was not stupid. In many ways, asking questions were an expression of her intelligence and her thirst for learning.

Janet was smart. That realization shook her to the core. Tears were streaming down her face as she started to consider, and finally to admit to herself, that in fact she had never been stupid. That limiting belief had caused her much suffering but now she had the opportunity to choose a different way of defining who she was. Janet could choose to hold different beliefs about herself. She was intelligent. She was capable. She was worthy.

Janet could now choose to love herself for who she was.

And just like that, one chapter closed and another chapter of Janet's life was waiting to be written.

What about you dear readers?

Do you believe you are intelligent? How are you intelligent?

How does personality type theory give you a different lens to define your unique set of skills and abilities. How does it explain why you prefer certain things and dislike others? How does it give you another way of appreciating who you are?

Please share your stories with me.