This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Sc. 3
An assignment in the leadership institute I am in this week was to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — in my case, for the third, fourth, maybe fifth time. Each time the result of my score has been INFJ–Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging–the rarest combination.
There were a couple of changes this time, however. Always before I have had close scores on the Introverted-Extroverted dichotomy; this time I showed a clear preference for Introversion. Before I have shown a clear preference for Judging over Perceiving; this time my scores were much closer. What does that mean? I’m in a job that requires less extroverted behavior than my previous one, and I do feel myself getting more solitary as I age. I hope the move toward Perceiving indicates a greater openness to change and less need for control.
I want to think and write about surrender soon. I have always resisted, struggled with, protested any attempt to control my behavior, including self-control in many cases. This is no doubt a result of being overly controlled in my youth. But I am beginning to realize the foolishness of that stance and recognize the many ways it has prevented my growth. Can you give up control? Some say “let go and let God.” Creatives talk about ceasing to think about or sleeping on a problem and “receiving” a solution. I want to learn surrender.