Many years ago I took a personality test which concluded that I am an ENFP, which supposedly means I am Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceptive.
I have also been told by several people who’ve observed me through the years ‘in action’ that there’s a good possibility that I might have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Last night I amused myself (as I’m easily able to do) by reading an extensive description of ENFP’s in a book called “Please Understand Me: Character & Tempermant Types” by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. In regard to the Intuitive-Feeling (NF) aspect of my personality (which the book refers to as the Apollonian Temperment) the authors wrote:
“(There is) a special difficulty in attempting to put into words the nature of the Apollonians…the goal of the Apollonian cannot be seen as other than extraordinary. Indeed, so extraordinary is his goal that not even the Apollonian himself can talk about it in a straightforward way.”
One of my alltime heroes, Dr. Carl Rogers (who is noted as being an NF himself, and “one of the more able exponents of the Apollian way”) is then quoted as having said: “Becoming a Person means that the individual moves toward being, knowingly and acceptingly, the process which he inwardly and actually is. He moves away from being what he is not, from being a facade. He is not trying to be more than he is, with the attendant feelings of insecurity or bombastic defensivesness. He is not trying to be less than he is, with the attendant feelings of guilt or self-depreciation. He is increasingly listening to the deepest recesses of his psychological and emotional being, and finds himself increasingly willing to be, with greater accuracy and depth, that self which he most truly is.”
Self actualization. YES! That is my quest!
The book goes on to say: “While the (other personality types) can go after their goals straightaway and at full throttle, the NF’s search for self is circular and thus perpetual: How can one achieve a goal when that goal is to HAVE a goal? The NF’s ‘truest’ self is the self in search of itself, or in other words, his purpose in life is to HAVE a purpose in life. Always becoming himself, the NF can never truly BE himself, since the very act of reaching for the self immediately puts it out of reach.”
Although that may have sounded like speaking in riddles and rather confusing to some people, I understood it perfectly! I am always running around in circles, chasing my own tail!
”...most writers come from this group. Novelists, dramatists, television writers, playwrights, journalists, poets, and biographers are almost exclusively NF’s…writers who wish to inspire and persuade, who produce literature, most often are NF’s. The questions which this group asks about the meaning of life, of their own lives, and what is significant for humankind, saturate fictional literature…the theme of people in restless search of self runs through novel after novel, is voiced by protagonist after protagonist, and is the source of agony in drama after drama.”
Anyone who has known me for even a short while soon becomes aware as to how much I love writing. How powerful I believe it to be, and how much I love words. These same people also know that I have lived a somewhat ‘troubled’ life (at my own doing, as I take full responsibility for how my life has evolved), and that one of my main goals is to use my own personal experiences to help others. The means with which I hope to achieve this aspiration is through my writing, as well as one day counseling individuals who have had similar challenges as I have. With this in mind, the book continues: “As NF’s well know, the pen is mightier than the sword. But the impact of the NF is not limited to the written word. NF’s heavily populate the professions of psychiatry, clinical and counseling psychology, the ministry, and teaching. More than any other group NF’s can speak and write fluently, often with poetic flair.”
“Work directed toward midwifing people into becoming kinder, warmer, and more loving human beings appeals to NF’s. They tend to see potential good in everyone and often devote their lives to the cultivation of this potential.”
So I want to write about my life’s experiences and I want to help others have a more rewarding life.
I think I have ADD. I think I am an adult with ADD.
As I quickly approach my 49th birthday, one may wonder what of these forementioned goals have I achieved thus far. Um…not much. Although I have good intentions (which we all know where those lead), I have trouble finishing things I start. No matter how inspired, no matter how noble or neccesary I might view a project as being, I lose interest quickly and leave a LOT of loose ends. Unfinished symphonies. (There’s actually a bit of irony in that last statement as I am also a composer with several incomplete musical compositions).
I also possess a horribly judgemental critique who is a perfectionist (and makes me wonder if I have OCD, too).
I have a terrible time focusing on one thing at a time, yet I will seemingly sabotage any efforts of concentrating on a sole purpose. For instance, as I began writing this earlier today, I had a DVD playing on the television that I’ve been trying to watch for the past week. The title of the DVD: “Be Still (and Know that I am God)” The topic of the DVD? Learning how to have a regular ‘quiet time’ with God. Since I was trying to concentrate on what I was writing, I ‘tuned out’ the t.v. (Maybe that’s why I keep having to play the DVD over and over again…)
I also had my cell phone sitting next to my computer keyboard which I kept looking at to see if there were any text messages that needed my immediate attention. AND I had two other tabs open on my Internet Explorer…
NOT DONE YET… 20 months ago