Mastering Yourself

Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher, once said:

“Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power”

As we are still in the first week of the New Year and everyone is talking about New Year’s resolutions, this post is dedicated to present two great tools that can help us to understand ourselves so we can make suitable choices in our life. The tools are SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Test.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a great tool to look at the big picture. It is normally used in business-planning discussion and strategic marketing analysis, however, I believe it is of a great value when we apply it at a personal level.

The main idea behind it is that the current situation of a company (or a person) is affected by internal factors and external factors. Succeeding in shifting the current situation to the desired one depends on analyzing the both aspects; sustaining the STRENGHT points, capitalizing on the OPPORTUNITIES, eliminate the WEAKNESSES and proactively manage the THREATS.

This video shows the steps needed to perform a SWOT analysis for the online transportation network company Uber, and a good illustration for how to set a personal SWOT analysis is presented here.

MBTI Test

MBTI is a questionnaire that was developed based on some psychological theories. The original version includes 93 questions that are used to classify personalities into 16 types. Usually, the test is not for free and should be conducted via certified parties; however here is a good link for a free version.

It is important to highlight that such tools were criticized and sometimes the results are misleading, so it is better to check the validity of any feedback report or final results. Having an open mind when selecting the areas that we agree/ disagree with is crucial.

At the end, mastering ourselves is a journey! It is difficult to fit everyone under 16 categories only or just answering a pre- defined set of questions. These kinds of tools should be used as guidance only and other approaches might help to better understand ourselves. For example: finding a good mentor, talking to someone you trust or performing frequent personal reflection.

Have a nice journey in mastering yourself.

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