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Monday, January 30, 2017

Carpe Diem~What Motivates You to Act--Principle or Passion?

Can you guess whether I'm a thinker or feeler?

Doing What Comes Naturally--Or Not!

'Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.'  
Dr. Seuss
I've stopped waiting, Dr Seuss. 

Carpe Diem--seize the day--is my call to action. 

At this moment in time I've been spurred into action and feel compelled to step up and speak my truth. But like so many others speaking out, I'm not a natural activist.  I'm very uncomfortable and I want to pull back daily, but then something new gets my blood boiling and I'm forced to engage and be seen when I'd prefer to hide. 

Why is that? What is it that compels a naturally easy going person like me to overcome her reticence to be seen and put her views in public and stand up for what she believes? 

And how are you the same or different from me? What motivates you to act? What words of wisdom speak to you and what sparks a fire in you? What spurs your own decision to act?

One answer is found in our preferences for coming to conclusions according to our Myers-Briggs type. Me? Like 60% of women and 40% of men, I'm a feeler, not a thinker.

Our Myers-Briggs types are based in 4 natural and healthy preferences for dealing with the world--and our preference for how we prefer to make decisions-- or 'judgments'--is one. 


'Too often too late comes too soon.' 
 Dr. SunWolf 

What's Your Preference--Thinking or Feeling?

The judgment preference defines our preferred way of coming to conclusions--through 'Thinking'--a logical, impersonal analysis--or through 'Feeling'--a subjective considering of the human values and needs of a situation. Both are rational approaches to decision making found in both men and women, and one is not better than then other.


'Why always 'not yet'? Do flowers in spring say 'not yet'?' 
Norman Douglas
A Key to What Motivates Us to Act

Although we all make decisions based on feeling and thinking, our preference for feeling or thinking will determine which one we are inclined to use more--and will point to what drives our decision-making and therefore what motivates us to act.


'As you grow older, you'll find the only things 
you regret are the things you didn't do.'
Zachary Scott

Passion: Based on Human Values

If, like me, you prefer feeling, you'll spend more time coming to conclusions in a passionate, human values-based manner in which 'tact is valued over truth' rather than a dispassionate, impersonal manner.

Feelers, like me, are mission-driven about human, animal and environmental justice issues. We are moved into immediate action when a personal value is in jeopardy or when a line is crossed dealing with human, animal or environmental justice. When something is of grave concern, we 'can't not' jump in to stand up and speak up. We are compelled to act.


'To change one's life: Start immediately. 
Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.'

William James

Principles: Logical Process Based on Impersonal Findings
If you prefer thinking, you'll spend more time coming to conclusions and making decisions in a dispassionate, principle-based manner that values 'truth over tact' rather than a passionate, human values-based manner. 


'You may delay, but time will not.' 
Benjamin Franklin


Why must conversations always come so late? 
Why do people always apologize to corpses?
David Brin

Understanding Feelers and Thinkers Differing Styles--The 'So What'

Know what motivates you to act, and look for ways to understand those who are different from you to find effective ways to communicate.  The more we understand our differences, the better we can get at communicating in the language of the other--if we choose to. 
➨ Thinkers are more brief and business-like in their communications; can appear curt, rude or uncaring to feelers. To communicate more effectively to thinkers, be brief and business-like when communicating with them.

💜 Feelers are warmer and softer in their communications; can appear too gushy or unbusiness-like to thinkers. To communicate more effectively with feelers, speak in stories and be personal.

➨ Thinkers' speech is unadorned and monotone; can appear strict and boring to feeler. 
💜 Feelers use adverbs and adjectives to provide emphasis and passion to their language; can appear to emotional or frivolous to thinker.

➨ Thinkers value fairness (what is right for 1 person is right for all) and principles; can appear too rigid and harsh to feeler.

💜 Feelers value harmony, compassion, and treating people individually (believing in extenuating circumstances); can appear like they lack a backbone for holding people accountable to thinker.

Do You Want to Speak or Do You Want to be Heard?

If you desire to be heard, first study what motivates you to speak out and take action, and then choose to discover how to best communicate with others so they hear you. 


'I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, 
while the song I came to sing remains unsung.' Tagore

Thinkers and Feelers:
What They Look Like and What Matters to Them

Technical Skills
Science & Technology

Impersonal analysis
of concrete facts
Prefers using
Personal warmth applied 
to immediate situations
Prefers using
Creativity to meet 
human needs
Solving Problems


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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue - Once again you've come up with a quote that really grabbed me:

'I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument,
while the song I came to sing remains unsung.' Tagore

I'll be thinking about this one a lot!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

I love that new to me quote too, Jean. So much to ponder in its wisdom. What is the song I came to sing that remains unsung?