Success and Happiness

Okay, I’m a bit all over the place today. Sorry for that. I’ve had a few things I wanted to add to this.  So I read an article from another blog I follow ( and I wanted to suss through it a bit. It’s on 27 Self-Awareness Exercises that fuel success and happiness. So let’s give this a whirl.

1.) Understand your personality.  I went on a website and took the personality test. I came up as an INFJ,-A/-T. Apparently I am an Advocate Personality. Supposedly this type is very rare, making up less than 1% of the population. (Yes, this is taken with a Morton Shaker of Salt). But we supposedly leave our mark on the world. Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but we are not idle dreamers, we are capable of taking concrete steps to realize our goals and make a lasting positive impact.  We tend to see helping others as our purpose in life. WE enjoy doing things like rescue efforts and charity work. Our supposed real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.   We are supposedly soft spoken and have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea we believe in. We are decisive and strong willed, but will rarely use that for personal gain. We act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. We are big on Egalitarianism and karma. We believe in love and compassion to help the world. We have a talent for warm sensitive language, speaking in human terms. Our friends think we are quite and extroverted (not sure if I qualify as an extrovert…possibly an ambivert) and that we need to have time alone to decompress and recharge and shouldn’t worry if we suddenly withdraw. We take great care of other’s feelings and expect they do the same for us.

Our strengths include:

  • creativity (vivid imagination and always look for the perfect solution for someone we care about…makes us good counselors and advisers)
  • Insightful- we step past manipulation and see how events and people are connected and use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
  • Inspiring and Convincing – we have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in our audience. We can be very good orators, speaking with warmth and passion.
  • Decisive – we follow through on our ideas with conviction, willpower and the planning needed to see it through
  • Determined and Passionate – if we believe it to be important we will pursue that goal with conviction and energy that may catch people off guard.
  • Altruistic – we have strong beliefs

Our weaknesses include:

  • Sensitive – when we are challenged or criticized we are very vulnerable and we question our motives and that leads us to a dark side.
  • Extremely Private – we are very private when it comes to our personal lives and don’t like to truly open up even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for us.
  • Perfectionist – we are defined by our pursuit of ideals.
  • Always need to have a cause – we get caught up in the passion of their pursuits. We like to take concrete steps to our goals  and if there is no goal at all, we feel restless and disappointed.
  • Can burn out easily – we have poor patience for routine maintenance and we have few ways to let off steam.

I don’t know how much I can say I am in all of these…possibly 90%. I may take the test a second time or one from another site to see what the answers come up with. So I did. This time I came up as and INFP

Thought oriented, Reserved, Reflective, Observant.
Imaginative, Future oriented, Conceptual, Abstract.
Empathetic, Accepting, Warm, Values harmony.
Spontaneous, Flexible, Open minded, Adventurous.
Strengths and Weaknesses


  • INFPs are imaginative, warm, idealistic, and compassionate. They are usually open-minded and accepting, unless someone is violating one of their values. Ultimately, INFPs want to change the world in whatever way they can. They want to make the world a better place for others.
  • INFP’s intuitive (N) quality gives them the ability to make inferences based on their “gut feeling”. They see problems as a big puzzle, and are excellent at overcoming challenges. They often read between the lines and seek out the deeper meaning of things.
  • INFPs primarily focus externally, and base judgments off of their intuitive feelings. When they do focus internally, they base their decisions off of their feelings and values.


  • People who are INFPs are often described as free spirits. They may get wrapped up in their focus on the big picture, and forget about the details along the way. INFPs may have difficulty following through on projects. They do not like to focus on hard facts and logic, and may have trouble completing tasks that are very detail-oriented.
  • Because they rely so much on their intuition, INFPs must be careful not to read into everything too much. This may cause INFPs to misinterpret a friend’s emotions and over-dramatize things. Others may come to view INFPs as overly-sensitive or dramatic. To avoid this, INFPs must remind themselves that sometimes the most straight-forward answer is the best, intuition is not always needed.
  • INFPs’ ultimate goal is to help others, however, INFPs must be careful not to neglect their own needs in doing so. It is critical that INFPs do not sacrifice their own well being and aspirations to help others. They can also be very hard on themselves if they believe they are not living up to their full potential. Once they accomplish something, INFPs are very humble and will rarely take credit for their accomplishments.
  • INFPs always aim to please others and will do anything to avoid conflict. Because they are such people-pleasers, INFPs often seek out the opinions of others, but may have a hard time accepting criticism. They may become reliant on others’ approval to validate their self-worth.

Again, interesting. But back to the article.

2.) The three why’s. Supposedly, if you can find three good “Why’s?” to a decision, then you will be more confident in your actions and have more clarity.


3.) Define your values. This says to look at 400 value words to figure out my values. Out of the 400, these are the ones that “jumped” out at me.

Appreciation, Balance, Commitment, Compassion, Conviction, Courage, Curiosity, Daring, Drive, Empathy, Encouragement, Fairness, Giving, Heart, Humor, Imagination, Justice, Kindness, Love, Loyalty, Mindfulness, Open-mindedness, Openness, Passion, Reliability, Sincerity, Spirit, Support, Thoughtfulness, Trust, Truth, Understanding, Uniqueness, Vision, Warmth, Willingness and Worthiness.


4.) Align with your integrity. What do you believe in to be right and wrong; good and bad. Your values help you define your integrity. When you are out of line; you live with feelings of guilt, confusion, fear and remorse. I understand that now that I’ve looked at the words I found under the values. I can see where things are out of “whack” in my life and how it is effecting my decision making.

5.) Practice self-evaluation and reflection. The article says keep a journal and track your process. Well I have this blog and I hope it serves as that for me when I go back and look at things I’ve written. I keep a gym journal too and can see the progress I’ve made from there.

6.) Define and set your boundaries. True; we don’t realize we have boundaries until we feel someone has crossed them.

7.) Know your habits. Habits are said to be behaviors and thoughts we perform almost unconsciously. Most of my habits or behaviors tend to be negative and I’m just now being able to see that. I am honestly trying to catch them and turn the negative into the positive.

8.) Monitor your self-talk. A little bit of negative self-talk can spiral into stress and depression. Um, yeah, preaching to the choir on that one. Do I pass off achievements as luck – most of the time. Do I crucify myself after failures – yup. I do need to celebrate my wins and forgive my losses.

9.) Understand your emotions. Oh hell, that’s a huge problem for me. My emotions. Sometimes there is an obvious cause for our emotions, but we don’t always know why we are feeling sad, angry, anxious or agitated. We need to take time to acknowledge the emotion and seek out the possible cause for them. I, more than anyone, agree that we need to watch for triggers and patterns that may help me with  my emotions. I need to identify them and be cautious of them too.

10.) Embrace your skills and talents. I know; and I’m not bragging; one of my skills is my writing. Not my speaking. I have a hard time talking emotionally with people. But put a keyboard in front of me and I can Shakespeare with the best of them. It could be the lack of intimacy involved. I don’t have to worry about facial expressions and just hit the send button and leave it up to the reader to see if my message is conveyed. Accepting and improving on natural skills and talents is self empowering and brings a sense of self – confidence.

11.) Identify your strengths and weaknesses- Being aware of what my strengths and weakness are (I’m more confident on my weaknesses) and being able to reach out for assistance (which I’m not good at) and when you can be good on your own (which I feel I always am)

12.) Seek out your stress triggers – these seem to find me without having to seek them out. When I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed I need to stop and take a breath and see what has triggered the stress and decide if it’s worth the stress and stop myself from lashing out and getting anxious.

13.) Know what motivates you – I know what motivates me. To make myself better and to feel happy and loved. I do need to make them more of a daily effort and a conscious effort.

14.) Identify and address limiting beliefs – we all have a past and things that we can’t let go of. I know this all too well. I have a lot of doubt. But I should see how much I’ve managed to accomplish in the past year and see those doubts start to go away.

15.) Be accountable to  your flaws – I am aware of my flaws, buy do I accept the accountability for them? I believe that I am self aware of the flaws I perceive in myself and I don’t turn them on to others.

16.) Define what is meaningful. What is meaningful to me? It’s not religion. I’m honestly not sure what is meaningful to me at this point in my life.

17.) Practice saying ‘no’ to yourself – I don’t know that I don’t

18.) Understand vulnerability – “Emotional vulnerability is when an individual surrenders fully to the joys and sorrows of giving and receiving love. It is when you break open locks and tear down walls – being open and transparent.”

19.) Recognize your passive-aggressive behaviors – that is the indirect expression of hostility such as sarcasm, hostile jokes, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish tasks one is asked to do. I see some of me in this.

20.) Know your emotional triggers – Don’t deny or hold back your emotions or what causes them. You need to be able to move with them and express them

21.) Acknowledge and heal from pain in the past. I have a lot of that to do.

22.) Examine your assumptions and beliefs – I have beliefs and assumptions about myself from growing up that I need to overcome.

23.) Acknowledge that you have caused pain. I feel like I have a lot to atone for and still feel the need to just give blanket apologies.

24.) Notice the words you choose – sometimes the words that come out of my mouth and across the keyboard are very cutting and hurting to those I love.

25.) Tune into your body – your body sends strong messages. Today mine is telling me to focus more on my eating habits and that I need to buckle down on that and remember my goals.

26.) Notice and address your fears – Some can warn of danger and some are not based in reality and truth. I’ve dealt a lot with those in the past six months. I need to challenge those fears and see how unfounded they are.

27.) Watch out for the victim mentality.


The bulk of this is from

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