I love personality tests! I believe that when I learn more about myself and others, it vastly improves my relationships. At the beginning of the year, many of my friends started talking about the Enneagram, a test that is all about what motivates a person. When I first took the test, I got the result of a 1, The Perfectionist, but that result didn’t sit well with me. While I can be a perfectionist, I felt that achieving perfection wasn’t my primary motivation. So, when I sat down and talked with a friend of mine about it, we decided that I’m most likely a 3, The Achiever.
What I love most about The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron is that it breaks down each personality type into healthy, okay, and stressed, so you can see how each personality reacts depending on the situation. It’s pretty illuminating when a friend can call me out and say “Hey, Sarah, you’re acting like a stressed Three right now, are you okay?”
Part of being a Three is this idea that you need to work to be valuable (something I’ve been learning and allowing God to heal in me), but a healthy Three has the desire to help others achieve their goals. Threes, when they’re in a healthy mindset, can be some of the most collaborative people who will go out of their way to promote others around them. They realize that they don’t have to hog the spotlight—there’s plenty available to share!
And I can see this played out in my own life. I used to be focused all on me—I wanted it to be my name, my fame, my achievement, my wealth, my solution—but I’ve noticed a change over the years. Now, I don’t necessarily need to be the one who’s the best, in fact, I want to help others be their best. I want to help people who are 1, 2, or 20 steps behind me take their next step and I hope my story gives them the courage to do so.
No matter your personality type, there’s something precious about helping others.
In his book, Everybody Always, Bob Goff shares stories about how he and his friends help others. Some of them are big things like opening orphanages in Africa or throwing a giant parade every year in his neighborhood. But sometimes they’re small things like being kind to the person at the check out line or giving a burger to a homeless person.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the mechanics of helping others—where do I go? what do I do? who do I help?—so we forget to actually help anyone. We can end up suffering from analysis paralysis and never take a single step. Or we think that our contribution might not change anything so we just stay stationary.
If you find yourself in that boat, I just want to take a moment to dispel that myth. You do matter and you can make a difference. Maybe you won’t change the world, but you can change someone’s world, and, in the end, that’s enough. With that in mind:
Text that person when you think of them.
Pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
Offer to watch your neighbor’s kids for a few hours so they can have a date night.
Invite that lonely friend over for dinner.
Encourage that person who is daring to go after their dream.
Let’s be courageous and choose to do something for someone else this week, just because. No strings, requirements, stipulations, or reciprocation required. Let’s turn the focus from ourselves to someone else for just a few hours this week and see what happens! Who knows, your one small act of kindness might be the thing that makes all the difference in someone else’s life.
When was the last time that you did something for someone just because? Or helped someone who couldn’t help you in return?
To go Deeper: Read Free of Me
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