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Now that you have learned about your “issues” and have started to develop an action plan, let’s help you learn more about yourself as an individual, so you can make your plan even more successful.  In order to live mindfully and purposefully,  you need to consider how much doing things that go against your personal preferences increases your stress, and wastes your energy.   This includes how you learn and your preferences for your environment and interactions.  For example, I learn by reading and doing.  I hate sitting through a lecture or seminar, and don’t get me started on podcasts.  Unless I am taking notes in a lecture, I can almost guarantee I will not retain anything.   When I was in college, I knew people who could record their notes and listen to them at the gym.  I tried that once and it was a complete waste of time.  You may learn best by reading, or you may prefer to watch a video, or have someone walk you through it.  The point is that, if you know how you learn best, you can make learning more enjoyable, more efficient and easier.

The same thing is true for temperament.  Temperament describes the range of preferences for how you live your life.  I am a very structured person (a “J” as you will learn later).  I hate surprises, flying by the seat of my pants or just “going with the flow.”  I like to make a plan for my day in the morning and stick to it.  Spontaneity is something I find extremely stressful .  That is not to say that I absolutely cannot handle a sudden change, but I know it will take a lot more out of me, and I will need to give myself more recovery time.

By understanding some of the characteristics you were born with, such as how you learn and your temperament, you can reduce your stress and improve your efficiency.  Additionally, understanding these concepts not only will help you help yourself, but will also allow you to be more effective in your relationships with other people who learn differently and prefer different things than you do.

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