When we loose someone we love, it is natural to grieve.
I’m in the grieving process, not because a loved one has died, but because I have decided to have a personality overhaul. Inevitably, parts of me will have to go…
I’ve discovered that personality matters. Call me slow! I didn’t realise how much it matters until recently. I’ve focused my entire adult life on growing in character. Based upon plenty of scripture, my priority has always been to take the right path – even if it’s the hard path (and it usually is), to be sincere (which sometimes is intense or less than vivacious), and to work hard (demonstrating determination which sometimes spills into wilfulness). I’ve always been willing to grow and learn, in order to become a better person.
But do you know how sometimes a new idea begins to dawn and you feel drawn to think about something in particular? Well, lately I’ve been looking around me at other people, people who are no more skilled or capable than I am but who seem to have more success with others or projects, and I wonder: Why not me?
I recognise what most of them have is consistent cheerfulness; their personalities light up a room… and it makes a difference to their lives!
Now I realise: We can choose our disposition and our attitude. We can choose our personality. And we can make a difference in our lives.
My close friends love me because I’m trustworthy and loyal; others come to me because I’m knowledgeable or supportive. But, I suspect, no one enjoys my company specifically because I’m fun!
So, I’m going to be fun: cheerful, a bright spark, a person who brings joy into a room as I enter.
My grandmother, Sarah McPherson, was that sort of person. Everyone loved her, across all generations. I admired her so much I took her name. That was over twenty-five years ago. But now, it’s time I gleaned more from her than her first name. It’s time I adopt personality traits that she had. It isn’t so I’ll be loved or admired by the way, but so I can sow more joy into others’ lives.
Last night as I weighed up my personality and found it wanting, I reckoned I had three choices:
- I could drown myself in the Mediterranean; it’s not far from where I live.
- I could write about how I was feeling.
- I could watch Sky News and eat a chocolate bar.
I chose the latter… and that brought me out of myself, gave me good cheer, believe-it-or-not, and a hope that now I’m on a good track to something lively, for myself and for others too.
This personality make-over could require some attention and energy in order to reboot and relaunch. But what will make it relatively simple is one tweak: to take a change in attitude.
When I was young, life wasn’t perfect (who’s is?). I became a serious sort of person, perhaps as a result of sad encounters or difficult experiences. Although I’ve always been an optimist, I’ve also safe-guarded myself with worry and anticipation of crises in case they happen. An optimist, my personality has not been upbeat to match my overall outlook.
Now, I choose to change my attitude. I choose to trust people more, and take courage to embrace each day and encounter knowing the past is over, the present is now, and the future is in God’s capable hands.
I can change my personality simply by changing my attitude. In fact, I already have 🙂
Readers: may you have a great day ahead!
One reply on “Personality Matters: a reflection”
Yes, personality does matter Sarah and I often use mine to try to break the ice with those who come across as being very cold individuals. Recently I visited my brother in law and his wife in India, and, as we were driving into their apartment complex one afternoon, he pointed out a neighbour who was walking through the car park. Leonard said to me, ‘this guy never speaks to us; he has ignored us for years’.
I got out of the car and spoke to this gentleman, explaining who I was – Leonard’s brother in law – and that I was on a short visit from Ireland. He extended his hand and told me his name and we then had a brief conversation. He then brought Leonard and his wife into the conversation and spoke openly about his job as a doctor and how his son was planning to visit the U.K. the following week. Now both sets of neighbours regularly extend warm and friendly greetings.
So often we judge others as being snobbish, unfriendly or unsociable but maybe we are misinterpreting the situation and seeing traits that are not there at all. All that is needed sometimes is to extend a warm and friendly greeting to make others feel at ease.