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The Answer to the One-Minute Personality Assessment (Goof or Nerd?)

There are a lot of goofs out there! At least that’s what people shared in their emails in response to my last post (Would you rather be a goof or a nerd?). 

This question first came up when I was conversing with the chairman of the board of my old company and teasingly called him a goof. My friend and I said that to each other so often that the “You’re a goof” comment slipped out of my mouth almost by accident. However, the usual smile that accompanied the comment didn’t appear. 

Instead, he shot me an incredulous stare as if I had given the worst blow a person could give and retorted, “A goof??”

 I stammered for a second and attempted a little humor with my reply, “Well, would you rather be a goof or a nerd?” 

He straightened his jacket, cleared his throat, and then proudly stated “A nerd of course!” 

“Oh” I mumbled and didn’t pursue it any further. 

After that, I began quizzing people everywhere. The president of the firm preferred to be a goof. A top salesman preferred to be a goof. A researcher clearly wanted to be a nerd. Another senior executive absolutely preferred to be a nerd. Hmm, I began detecting a pattern. Was it sense of humor? Extroversion? The degree to which one took themselves seriously? 

Then I hit my first anomaly. A life of the party, funny, witty, gregarious, top performer wanted to be a nerd. It didn’t make sense. Everything fit perfectly with him being a goof. After some discussion, he said that he felt like a goof but wanted to be a nerd. 

Ohhh. Different subtleties exist with my new assessment. 

Now, I’ve come full circle. Life is complex and it’s difficult to lump people into a category of personality types, let alone an over-simplistic dichotomy. Having said that, I realize now that the best answer is a both/and, not an either/or. Thus, as my good friend, Reid Walley, stated in his comment, we are all probably a little bit of nerd and a little bit of goof—and we’re better for it that way. 

Most people can behave very goofy at times and can be quite nerdy at other times. It’s a good thing to be that way. Balance doesn’t exist in either extreme. For instance, if you are just a nerd, you might never enjoy the humor and light side of life. Or, if you are only a goof, you could miss out on the satisfaction gained from intellectualism and serious life issues. The answer to growth is in finding balance between the extremes. Therefore, if you find yourself answering in one definitive category, you might want to try cultivating the other side of yourself to stay in balance. Try being a goofy nerd or nerdy goof and feel good about it. The shift can be empowering.

Take My Fun One-Minute Personality Assessment

After reading through piles of psychological research and academic articles for today's post, and to be honest, feeling a little down about some of the findings, I've decided to write something a little fun and light. It's the first psychological assessment I ever developed - before grad school - and it only takes sixty seconds or less of your time. 

Also, PLEASE share your comments, so I know I have readers out there. I promise there is no wrong answer and it's meant to be fun... :)

Would you rather be a goof or a nerd?

I'll share my unofficial description of the two categories after I get some comments. If you really want to take it but strongly desire anonymity, go ahead and email me at Kimberly@EncompassWF.com with your preference. 

A Counselor’s Commentary on the Caveats of Twitter

“Sunrise in Austin is fabulous today!” Weather reports. That’s pretty much what my Twitter submissions disclosed when my friend and Twitter King, David LaPlante, introduced me to Twitter back in 2006. Now it seems like EVERYONE is Twittering these days. There are even courses on how to Twitter to improve your business. Boy, did I miss something??

Based on my personal experience with Twitter, here are a few of the caveats for those who want to jump on the Tweet-Tweet bandwagon. Keep in mind that I supported and promoted the cool new micro-blogging tool as a way to stay in contact with friends and loved ones in a post on Sep 6, 2007. Still, there are downsides that you should know—and I’ll share those warnings in the only Twitter-esque way possible—David Letterman style!

Top 10 Reasons to Not Join Twitter

10.           People will see that you can’t spell.

9.            You don’t have a good photo to put on your site.

8.            You haven’t learned to text on your phone.

7.            You didn’t know you could send Twitters from your phone.

6.            It might jeopardize your witness relocation program.

5.            You are married and/or dating more than one person.

4.            You are a hermit and don’t want people knowing a thing about you.

3.            You don’t want anyone to find out what you really think of them or your stinkin’ job.

2.            You loathe cyber-voyeurism, cyber-exhibitionism, and cyber-stalking.

1.            Your life is SO dull that you can only tweet about the weather.


For everyone that keeps asking me about my Twitter, I’ll submit a post now. But just this once.  You can check it out at Tea4Soul (my Alias) if you’re that interested in Austin’s weather.  Who knows, maybe if I keep Twittering I’ll get lucky and someone will want to hire a counselor as a weather blogger. 

Ancient Wisdom Reveals Why We Do What We Do

We get so tempted to ruminate and reinvent the wheel when history has already revealed an answer. Chances are whatever project on you're working or whatever problem you're trying to solve has been contemplated before and maybe even fixed. That's why Goethe said "He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth." So, check with your elders and look at history.

As for psychology's history, at just over 100 years old, the field is just an infant. However its parent -philosophy - is much older and has much wisdom to shed. For instance, here is what Aristotle 384 BC- 322 BC (student of Socrates and tutor to Alexander the Great) purported long ago...

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes:








Can you find one of these root causes in your own behavior?

The Magic Ingredient for Living an Abundant Life

I can cite research and statistics all day long and talk about neurological memory and emotional intelligence, but the truth is that none of that matters if you don't have a dream in your heart. Life is best lived with the magic and wonderment of a little child visiting the zoo for the first time...or a little child playing in the rain and jumping in a puddle...or a little child taking great delight in each lick of an ice cream cone. I think you get my point. Seeing something and experiencing something for the first time is exciting, and remember that each new moment in your life is a new experience. It can also be more rewarding when you're dreaming and allowing life to unfold like a magical treasure hunt. See the adventure around you. It's there! While you're looking around you to see the next unfolding mystery, here are some powerful words by Amanda Bradley that have guided me for the past 23+ years and reminded me to live with hope while cultivating the dream in my heart. I hope they inspire you as much as they have inspired me.

Always Have a Dream

Forget about the days when it's been cloudy,
but don't forget your hours in the sun.

Forget about the times you've been defeated,
but don't forget the victories you've won.

Forget about mistakes you can't change now,
but don't forget the lessons that you've learned.

Forget about misfortunes you've encountered,
but don't forget the times your luck has turned.

Forget about the days when you've been lonely,
but don't forget the friendly smiles you've seen.

Forget about the plans that didn't seem to work out right,
but don't forget to always have a dream.

-Amanda Bradley
(Thank you, Amanda!)

Are You Living Life in the Fast Lane?

I learned my preference for pace of life the hard way. I once had the opportunity to "escape" the fast-lane and move to a quiet little village tucked away in the magnificent Sierra Mountains that overlooked the breathtaking Lake Tahoe. It was a dream come true-or so I thought. I had a lovely home with the kind of stone fireplace that makes you feel warm and loved. Aromatic pine trees reached high above and into the heavens. Life was grand. I was going to use this soulful communion to be a writer and release the novels that were screaming to get outside of me. Then a reality began to creep in. I fought it as much as I could, but it won. I discovered that I could only commune with the pine trees for so long. Boredom, no isolation, kicked in and drove me nuts. It's a long story, but that's when I learned that I needed a little bit more than just peace and solitude in my life. Some people thrive on continuous calming serenity with while others require the nonstop buzz of a fast-lane life. I am somewhere in the middle. (Note to couples-figure out if you match in this area and/or learn how to compromise!)

To find find out where you stand on the continuum of needing quiet solitude & being addicted to the fast-lane (without actually moving like I did!), take this short 7-question "Pace of Life" quiz by Prof. Richard Wiseman and The British Council.

The Greatest Gift I ever Received: 4 Tips for Perfect Gift-Giving

The holiday season is here and the calendar isn't the only thing reminding us that Christmas is around the corner. There are more coupons and sales catalogs in my mailbox than bills and credit card offers (okay, maybe there's more of those too). The other night a friend announced their horror with going to the mall. It took them a whole hour and half just to get out of the parking lot. We all shuddered. Yes, Christmas is here and, whether you celebrate it or not, you can't seem to escape it anywhere. Amidst all of this hustle and bustle, I began reflecting on gift-giving and defining a formula for picking out the perfect gift for someone. It's subjective, but here's what I came up with for this blog...

First, I asked myself what was the greatest gift I ever received? A smile crept over my face as I recalled several fond gifts through the years. One was a book given to me by my parents when I was young. It was "Fifty Years of the Movies." I was an old movie buff and the gift made my soul sing. How did they know? I didn't even know to ask for such a thing. Another gift was a long white coat that I had seen in a store window. It wasn't even a special occasion. The giver just remembered how I admired it. Another was a surf board on Christmas morning a few years ago. I had no idea that I would get it and I almost fainted when I saw it. I LOVE the ocean and TRYING to surf. It was gorgeous and I squealed for joy (literally!). But my most favorite of all are the hand-written notes and handmade cards from my daughter. I have kept every one of them she ever made. I cherish her handwriting (especially watching how it has changed as she's grown up) and her most loving words. Yes, I even cry with joy. So, do these recollections create a formula? I think so.

My parents noticed my interests (even before I could define them...I didn't even realized that I drawn to old movies). They saw my soul and selected something that I would like. The bonus is they paid attention to me and my interests. It wasn't a situation where I had to tell them what I like. Point #1: Get something that the person has a special interest in or is drawn toward.

The second memory was about my white coat. I saw it in a window and loved it. It wasn't even a special occasion. Point #2: Select items that the person noticed...and don't be afraid to share surprises randomly!

The third point relates to the surf board. Am I a good surfer? NO. In fact, if someone was going to give me something I was "good" at, I'd get walking shoes and silverware for eating (practical, but boring). Point #3: Get them what they want to learn to do, not just what they're currently good at doing.

The last memory--my favorite--is from my daughter. She is the joy of my life. She's also my purpose. Anything she gives me is great because it's from her. She's also an EXCELLENT gift-giver because she knows all of these points. Point #4: Keep tending to those special relationships in your life because those are the gifts that keep on giving!

Happy Holidays to all!

Humor Counseling Break...

It's the end of the day on a Tuesday. I'm feeling a bit restless...you know that feeling where you just need a little break? Then I thought of my blog. Maybe I'd write something for it. Hmm, but what to write? One can only take so much seriousness. I sigh and then pick up the little gag gift on my desk that my dear friend gave me last year. It's a Therapist in a Box kit by Lou Harry. (Side note: I'm amazed by the number of serious "Therapist in a Box" sets that I just found when looking up a link for Mr. Harry's joke set!) While it's not as funny as a great comedy show, the kit gave me a few smiles. Please enjoy...

First, there are a handful of cards marked "Therapeutic Words of Wisdom" that contain various humorous quotes by notable people. My favorite one is from the father of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud: "The aim of psychoanalysis is to relieve people of their neurotic unhappiness so that they can be normally unhappy."

The kit also contains a little squishy chair and timer that snugly fits in the chair (replacement for therapist) and a 32-page therapy guide. One section (chapter 5) is on Selecting a Therapist. It reads:

"Things you should ask a potential therapist: How much is this going to cost me? (If you've found your psychiatrist through a coupon ad in your local Penny Saver, consider another doctor)...Was anyone in your family a real doctor? (This will test his or her ability to stay calm even when being insulted.)...Where did you go to school? (If the academy in question contains words like "Tech," "Alternative," "Free," or "Guam," then this isn't the doc for you.)"

I chuckled. It was cute, but in Guam's defense, I have to say that Guam has a great (and accredited) University, so please overlook his joke about that. I actually have family that attended and teach at the school. Poor Guam...it always gets teased. (If you have any questions about my credentials, see the About section.) :)

November is National Novel Writing Month!

November kicks off National Novel Writing Month! There are so many people signing up at the Nanowrimo site right now that the Website is jammed. I made it through the registration process and am now waiting to log in. It's slow...no, it couldn't load. You can just feel the frenzy of folks continuously reloading their Websites to get registered and fulfill their writing dream (because nothing helps a dreamer more than a deadline!). Good luck everyone!