…today’s secret…Introverts and Extroverts.
The people who think they are in charge of the world want you to believe your life is greatly shaped by race and/or gender.
Personality trumps race and gender in determining how you live your life.
How you see the world is developed over time through your DNA, personal experiences, and prejudices.
Who you are is profoundly shaped by where you fall between two opposing personality traits – introversion and extroversion. Where you fall determines how you choose your friends, your career, your way of doing.
Introverts live internally. Extroverts live externally. Introverts think to talk. Extroverts talk to think.
Easy now. You are neither a pure introvert or pure extrovert. You shuffle between these two opposing personality traits depending on where you find yourself at any given time.
Introverts can be extroverts. Extroverts can be introverts.
The cost of your shuffling between these two extremes is the degree of your energy drain. The real difference between introverts and extroverts is how one chooses to recharge their batteries after posing as the other.
If you are an introvert you regain your energy by internal contemplation, reading, and quiet time. Introverts close the door, shut down their cell phone, and go deep inside themselves. Introverts think extroverts are noisy.
If you are an extrovert you regain your energy from external people, places, and things. Extroverts strike up new conversations to get their brain spinning again. Extroverts think introverts are socially inept.
OK, I know, you get these differences. Here’s today’s point.
Countries also fall between these two polar personalities.
Finland is more introverted than the United States.
We in the United States have seen ourselves as a nation of extroverts since the Industrial Revolution.
Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, and truckloads of self-help books tell us that to be great one needs to be bold or go home. Our schools, movies, advertising, sales systems, even churches, and even a lot of our parenting reinforces the belief that quiet is unacceptable and brassy is the ideal.
Here’s the rub. The greatness in history is filled with introverts. See Einstein. See Gandhi.
Introverts were the artists, engineers, great thinkers, and movers and shakers of yesterday. These introverts did what they did because of their introversion, not in spite of it.
So what Willie?
One-half to one-third of us are introverts. Therefore, one-out-of-two or three-out-of-ten people you are helping are introverts.
Please, don’t try to turn them into extroverts.
Please, cultivate their shyness, their gentleness, their single-minded enthusiasm for anything. Help them find rhythm in their life that allows them to claim the solitude they need and enjoy, and to have energy left over for maybe helping others.
There is hidden power in the quietness of an introvert. Some of them may become the thinkers of tomorrow.
Just think about this for a bit…