The organised chaos, Werk

Getting to know me

I’ve been on a training course for the past six weeks, spending both my Fridays and Saturdays in a room learning about the business and leadership skills.

It’s been tough, admittedly, especially when I have to wake up before 7am on Saturday mornings. I don’t sleep well on week days and love sleeping in on weekends, so by Sunday night, I feel flat and tired.

But besides the fatigue and excessive imbibing of caffeine, it’s been a great ride so far. I’ve acquired knowledge, made great friends and more importantly, I’ve gained insights about me along the way.

During our first session, we did the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. I first did the test when I was 16 and unsurprisingly, my results were the same – I remain an Introvert iNtuition Feeling Perceiving. Basically, it means that I internalise my thoughts, prefer to add context and meaning to things, look at human emotions and feeling when making decisions, and am open to changes and options.

But what really helped was seeing how my preferences (that’s what they call it – preferences rather than personality) has affected the way I handle situations. I’m not very easy to get to know, I don’t give myself credit (I see everything good that I do as “accidental”) and I tend to get emotionally blackmailed into doing things I don’t wish to do, a chronic weakness of mine. Now that I understand how and why I do the things I do, it makes it so much easier to wield my weaker arm and learn to approach situations differently.

When we were discussing career goals in another session, my immediate reaction was, I have ZERO ambition. I had no clue where I wanted to go. I only knew that climbing the corporate ladder was not my objective in life. I wrote that I wanted to be happy with my work, whatever I was doing. I had no idea what whatever was.

But during the session, when we were forced to think hard about it again, I wrote down the following: To become a yoga teacher. Or write a children’s book. To be a better photographer. And then I realised that yoga, writing and photography were the three things that I had repeated quite constantly when talking about what I liked and wanted to do.

It was like a light had suddenly shone on my cobwebby mind!

Now all through my adult life, I have hated my speaking voice. I CANNOT listen to my voice on my voicemail without cringing (which is why I no longer record voicemail messages). It didn’t help that when I was 17, I found a note with a handwritten exchange between two choir mates bitching about how crappy my voice was.

But today, as we were forced to stand in front of the class and speak at length, my instructor and coursemates told me how nice I sounded. That I had a musical tone to my voice. That it carried across the room effortlessly. That I had a voice like an announcer’s. That I was such a convincing presenter that they wanted to sign up for yoga classes (my topic) IMMEDIATELY.

You wouldn’t believe how that made me go WOW? REALLY?

Just goes to show how little I think of myself sometimes. I shouldn’t even be surprised at how good at something I am.

Light rays shining through

10 thoughts on “Getting to know me”

  1. I’m glad for you. You know, I’ve always been in awe of your way with words. And following your blog through the years, I do see that you’ve become more and more comfortable with yourself and even if it hasn’t always been so work-wise, you’ve surrounded yourself with your passions outside of work and carved out a rich and meaningful life that I think many would be envious of. The work part seems to be coming along too. 😉 Of course, we pick and choose which part of us to share on our blogs, and I’m sure you have your struggles too. But to have as many happy moments to share as you do, I think you should be pretty darn proud.

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  2. Oh gosh, what b*t*hes! I’ve not heard you sing, but I love your speaking voice! Crisp clear, and alto! And yes, if you teach yoga, I’ll be there in a heartbeat! (Can missy be your prop? She’s darn flexible I can tell you! At least for now. :p)

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  3. I always thought you speak well.
    In fact, I called on Saturday to ask if you wanna make a speech at my wedding! I’ll ask properly again lah.

    Anyway, I always hated my own speaking and singing voice too, and still do.

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  4. i, too, am an INFP and have said the exact same words to my friend…”i have ZERO ambition”.

    i remember my japanese student asking me (the strangest question to ask a “teacher”), “what do you want to be in the future”. i hemmed and hawed and couldn’t come up with a straight forward answer. in retrospect, i could have said i wanted to be wonder woman and it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

    i see some similarities…i hope to do something with my photography some day, illustrate my own children’s book and find a physical activity that i can work on to get better at (yoga unfortunately is not the one… i get too distracted), but i haven’t found my motivation. at one point of time, i thought starting a nice blog would help me take more photos and illustrate more. it didn’t. at another point of time, i thought starting a small business might help fire up my drive. then i realise that money, if anything, makes me nervous.

    i’m still looking. and i’m still unsure. and i’m writing this long comment because i’m happy to read that you might have found something.

    INFPs sell themselves short all the time. if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

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  5. Like you, I do not have a keen ambition to climb up the corporate ladder. And somehow that always seem strange to people around me, who wonders why I lack that ambitions and how I can go through life without an aim to move up. I like to progress but I see job satisfaction that much more important. Achieving happiness and enjoyment at work makes perfect sense in my world, which some might deem as idealistic. I was kinda lost on the career front earlier but am glad to have found some footing now and an inkling to what might really interest me (wrote a post about it as well). Even if it means digressing from the conventionally vertical route upwards and missing on a promotion, I am glad to have taken that courage to move out of that vicious cycle and follow my interests. You will too!

    P.S.: If your yoga lessons do materialize, I’ll sign up for it! =)

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  6. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and your compliments!
    It really means a lot to me.
    It’s true, INFPs do give ourselves too little credit so that’s going to be something that I will try to change. 🙂

    And I am glad I’m not the only one here who feels so disinterested in climbing the ladder!

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  7. Hi hi…

    Great! Wouldn’t wanna read any other kind of comments so felt the itch in my fingers. Indeed let not the world determine our own definition of ‘ambition’. It’s of meaning only if we know why we do what we do. 1 man’s food is another’s poison. Plus if all of us think the same way, wouldn’t this world miss out on the colourful-ness of what human minds are capable of? And wouldn’t it be a boring place to spend some 70/80 years? Let’s advocate for more inclusive-ness! ;o)

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