I’ve been thinking a lot about my personality and how this affects my training lately. I recently did one of those Myer-Brigg’s test after seeing what Penny came out as and wanting to know how similar we actually are. Turns out very.
I came out as an INTJ (with the J being by 11%, so only just). And look, I know these aren’t the ‘be all and end all’ of defining yourself, and there’s flaws in the test, and I don’t think you’re as one (or 2?) dimensional as that, but I find it really interesting to look at some of the stuff it says and apply it to why I am the way I am especially in terms of agility.
For example… My friend Amanda sent me an email and told me that she likes to train using personal challenges. I thought about the idea of a personal challenge and realised that it is completely foreign to me. I… really have difficulty understanding how one could challenge oneself personally, without having a benchmark to measure the success against. I think if I COULD give myself personal challenges I’d be in a much better place.
Here’s what some of my traits apparently are:
INJTs focus their energy on observing the world, and generating ideas and possibilities. Their mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. So, this is a good explanation for why I like to compare myself, to look at other people and think I’m not as good or as fast as them, and why? And what do I need to do to get there? And what are they doing differently? What system/theory/game/lesson can I do to help me?
Their primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. I was thinking about my training this morning, and how often I’ll decide to do something, eg. the HGR program, or do speed circles to increase speed, or tunnel games, or whatever… and I’ll do it maybe 3 or 4 sessions until I’ve got the general gist. Then I judge if it’s working. If it doesn’t appear to be working, or only has a slight positive impact, I’ll try something else. If it appears to be working, I figure I’ve done it and I’m ready to move on to the next thing. No wonder my dog has issues! Poor girl doesn’t get a particular training method very consistently. Must try and get better at this. Stick with an idea for more than 3 sessions! Just because she does well on the 3rd session doesn’t mean it’s time to move on, she needs time to understand and make it a habit. (I’m thinking right now about tunnel games and how she needs more than 3 sessions to really find the game fun, not moving on when she’s doing it quickly because she’s ‘got it’).
They are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. Oh boy. The last bit, being able to plan for every conceivable contingency? This is why I have so much trouble with potential options that have unknown end points (like the situation with a 3rd dog/puppy), and also why I’m so hard on myself and my training plan, because I am constantly weighing up other options in order to find “the best” one.
A bit unrelated but: Many INTJs end up in engineering or scientific pursuits, although some find enough challenge within the business world in areas which involve organizing and strategic planning. Hah, yeah, teaching isn’t possibly the most ‘strategic planning’ of careers. Too many variables (children) and too many systems (ways to teach) and too many outcomes. Maybe I’ll go into Education Research one day. I think that would be fascinating. Or consulting to help teachers set up play-based learning.
Anyway, like I said, I don’t think this is an excuse or a reason for being as obsessive/stressy as I am, but I think it’s a really interesting way of looking at the way I look at the world, without necessarily having realised it. Of course there’s flaws in the test- there always are, though I do think it’s interesting that at least this dimension of my personality when it comes to dog training is really spot on. I’ll admit I was thinking a lot about how I am with training as I answered it- possibly I’d get different answers if I tried to focus more on me at work because I’m certainly not as driven or obsessive here.
A little unrelated, but Andreja sent me a lovely email last night that got me thinking a lot about competitiveness and goals. I’ve always had goal-setting in the back of my mind but haven’t kind of thought of it too much… From her email, I’d like to bring the focus to me and us as a team, and away from ‘beating them’ or ‘being as fast/good as…”
So as I went for a walk this morning, I began thinking that this is what I want:
I want to run full-speed with my dog. I want us to run in synch and as a team. We are always learning together, and everything can get better with time, patience and practise. It is all about mileage.
(last bit stolen from Daisy Peel, hehe).
I’m going to try and keep this in my mind – to bring the focus to me (and therefore, I guess, personal challenges) and away from “out there” and the need to compare me and my systems to whatever anyone else is doing. Hopefully we CAN run full speed together, given that Lu enjoys ‘rushing jumps’ when she has to catch up. I’m going to do some speed circles in a week or two. Could help.