Nov. 15, 2022

Self-Leadership: Scripts, Temperament & Motivational Design

EPISODE 61                 

What does it look like to use what we learn about our scripts, temperament and motivational design to help us show up as our best and also most authentic selves? 

In this episode I illustrate what this process can be like in concrete terms using my own experience and journey as an example. I share how growing in self-acceptance, becoming more aware of my scripts and learning about my temperament and motivational design through the Myers-Briggs (MBTI Step II®) and Motivation Code (MCODE®) instruments helped me lead myself into greater authenticity and effectiveness.

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(00:00:46) - Introduction
(00:02:33) - Self-Leadership and its Principles
(00:06:47) - Disclaimer: Caveat #1
(00:08:41) - Disclaimer: Caveat #2
(00:11:36) - 1. My Scripts
(00:21:36) - 2. Myers-Briggs (MBTI®)
(00:26:05) - My MBTI Type
(00:35:59) - 3. Motivational Design (MCODE®)
(00:45:39) - Caveat Recap
(00:47:01) - PRAXIS: Listen. Ponder. Act
(00:51:05) - Conclusion
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- As you listen to this episode today, what resonated?

- Is there some aspect of your temperament or personality that you find difficult to embrace? What is it?

-  If there is something about your temperament or personality that you struggle to accept, consider how the scripts you have about the kind of person you need to be maybe contributing to your lack of self-acceptance. 
- Where do you think you learned that script? 
- I invite you to spend some time journaling. 
- What comes up from asking yourself this question?

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All these things hit my motivational themes and it just gave me so much greater focus and clarity on what to focus my energy on, what to say yes to, what to say no to. How to structure my work, right – together with my knowledge about my MBTI – how to structure my work so that I can have the greatest impact, right?

So that I can show up as my best self, offer you my best self, and create the most impact. Learning what I was created to do well and the conditions that I need in order to do them well, helped me to see what are the areas of highest contribution I can make to the world.

Welcome to Becoming Me, your podcast companion and coach in your journey to a more integrated and authentic self. I am your host, Ann Yeong, and I'm here to help you grow in self-discovery and wholeness. If you long to live a more authentic and integrated life and would like to hear honest insights about the rewards and challenges of this journey, then take a deep breath, relax, and listen on to Becoming Me.

Hello again, dear listeners. So, in the last episode I talked about how we can leverage our gifts and honour our limits. Right, so, through a greater self-knowledge of where our strengths are and where our limitations are, what we can do to manage our energy and our time so that we can make the greatest impact we can make, right? So that we can show up as our best selves as leaders.

And I also mentioned in the last episode that in today's episode, I will give you a bit more concrete information or a little bit more granular details on how, for myself, how knowledge of my specific temperament, my motivational design, and my script – how they came together to help me learn how to exercise better self-leadership, how to show up as my best.

So, in the previous episode, I talked a little bit, you know, in broad strokes about what I learned about myself. So, in this episode, I want to get more granular because, you know, when we get down to where the rubber meets the road – when we are actually trying to put something in place in our lives, we have to be concrete and granular.

Abstract concepts – you know, they're not enough. And I say this as someone who actually loves dealing with concepts and abstract ideas. But very much so when we are talking about life, we need praxis. And then whatever's abstract in general must also take flesh in what is very specific and concrete. So, this episode is on self-leadership really.

And how can you lead or influence someone – anyone – effectively to bring out their best? I would say you need to really care about that person, understand that person. And that you need to be able to will that person's good, right? You need to want what is good for that person and be willing to learn what makes this person thrive, and then do what it takes to help him or her align with the conditions for their thriving – as much as possible.

Of course, carrying this out – okay, carrying this principle out is not like very straightforward in the real world because there are limits. There are real limits. Right, but we need to be willing to do this intentionally and to take risks and be willing to make changes for the sake of that goal – for the sake of the goal of helping ourselves or someone else to show their best selves.

This principle is usually understood, right – that we need to take risks and make changes. It's easily understood when we're talking about things like profit margin or the successful execution of some project or event. I think a lot of us, we take it for granted that yes, of course for something to succeed, for you to meet a goal, some risk must be taken.

And you know, we need to tweak and change what isn't working to make it work, right? But when we're talking about the person – not as a means to making an event happen or for profit, you know, not as a means for the profit margin to be greater, but where the person is him or herself, the goal, you know – the objective. Then we need to ask ourselves; are we also willing to take risk and make uncomfortable changes for the sake of this person's long-term thriving?

And since this episode is focusing on self-leadership, you need to ask yourself – are you willing to take risks and make uncomfortable changes for the sake of your long-term thriving?

Right, and how willing are you going to be in applying these principles of leadership to leading yourself? Learning how to navigate this principle in the real world where there are limits and obstacles, is a huge part of learning to live authentically and living with integrity. It doesn't mean that we need to be able to achieve a perfect or ideal outcome, right?

The question is, are we willing to keep applying the principles of self-leadership so that we can keep moving toward, authenticity and fruitfulness. Right, fruitfulness in the sense of when we are showing up as our best selves, we naturally produce results. I prefer to use the term "fruitfulness" because when you have the image of a tree bearing fruit, you know that it is what happens naturally when the organism is flourishing. And each of us – we are created differently and the kind of fruit that we are meant to bear will be different.

Right, so – but it's organic. So, the question is, what can we do to give ourselves the best conditions so that the fruits that we are created to bear will be borne? Okay, and this is towards helping our own life be the best gift possible, as well to the world. Because our fruitfulness – it doesn't bless us, it blesses others, right?

But our authenticity and being able to be our true selves – that is a reward in itself for ourselves. Okay, so, in this episode, I'll be sharing my experience of how learning about my scripts, my temperament and motivational design played a huge part in becoming my more authentic and also my more fruitful, effective self.

[00:06:47] DISCLAIMER: CAVEAT #1
But before I continue, I want to make two caveats. The first caveat is, in order to illustrate, you know, this episode, right – I am focusing specifically on talking about how my scripts and my temperament using the Myers–Briggs instrument – the MBTI – and my motivational design, using another instrument called the Motivation Code or the MCODE.

How these three things helped me learn about myself more concretely, right. In fact, I'm not even going to be talking about them at length. I'm just going to be using a very, you know, kind of like certain highlights from each of these themes – the script, the temperament and motivational design – to just give you a picture.

Right, and I want to say that these are not exhaustive. They are not the only things that can help us grow in self-knowledge and self-awareness. And they're not the only things that I have used actually in my own journey. But I found that these three things together – they form a really great structure to start the ongoing journey of self-discovery.

So, of all the different things that I've tried – and I've tried quite a lot, you know, in my journey – these three things have a certain complementary and help us to begin to triangulate, you know, the data in our lives; to make a good beginning of a journey of self-discovery.

So, this is also why scripts and temperament and motivational design – these three things are part of the core process of my signature coaching program, which I call Clarity. Because it equips clients to know themselves more deeply, and it helps them to build a structure for further discernment of their life's meaning and purpose. Okay, so, that's the first caveat. I'm using these three things just for illustration – and there's a reason why these three are good, but they're not exhaustive.

[00:08:41] DISCLAIMER: CAVEAT #2
The second caveat is everything that I speak about in this episode, it presupposes the foundation of the ongoing interior journey of healing our core identity – okay, our core self and identity. Now, this is actually the more fundamental journey that needs to take place – this healing journey of becoming more whole.

Because when our core identity is still very wounded and fragmented, we cannot see ourselves clearly, right. Because there's just too much fear and insecurity inside of us to be able to see ourselves. Toxic shame makes us overly defensive and protective. Our deep need to protect ourselves from rejection may cloud our ability to see the ways in which our true selves might actually be very different from the person that we are expected to be.

So, our scripts, for example, about what is acceptable, what I'm – you know, how I'm supposed to play this role as a leader, for example – what kind of life I'm supposed to lead. Those scripts may be so much a part of the identity that we've learned to live out of, even if it is not our true self, right – they could be personas that have grown so, so familiar to us that we don't know ourselves apart from that persona.

When that happens, we may not be ready to recognize that our true self is actually different and distinct from, you know, the self that we have learned we need to be. So, as we heal, we are able to see ourselves in ever clearer light and also more able to offer ourselves the unconditional love that we need to thrive.

When we find that we can celebrate the truth of who we are created to be – even if that true self is different from who we feel we need to be, or who others have always told us we should be, right – then we will know that we have grown more secure in our core identity.

So, even as I share with you the aspects of my own MBTI profile and motivation code profile that emerged, these only actually became clearer after I started becoming more free to be myself, right – after I have become less defensive, less fearful and insecure.

So, it was a process. And then when I became more secure, then the aspects – the truth about who I was created to be, right – some of them were actually hard for me to accept initially because of my life scripts.

But then the greater security in my identity helped me to eventually embrace them. And then reflecting on them helped me to gain so much more clarity and focus about not just who I am, but you know, the work that I was created to do, right? So, the meaning of my life, not just the purpose as well.

[00:11:36] 1. MY SCRIPTS
Okay, so I'm going to focus my sharing on just a couple of core aspects about myself, okay? I'm going to point to my need to be alone and to slow down in order to learn, to reflect, to observe, and explore what everything means in a deep way. Okay, so that this is something that is true about me. I have this great need to be alone, to slow down and to just really think deeply, you know?

And if you remember in the previous episode, I shared how I needed time to be alone. I couldn't just be an open office, right? I couldn't do deep thinking work or writing in an open office where people were coming and going. I needed to be away, right?

So this – so behind that is actually this need that I have, okay – to be alone and to really think deep thoughts. I have this need to understand why we are doing what we are doing, and I need to know if the things I'm doing, or if we are doing – let's say, my organization is doing – if the things that we're doing are aligned with the 'why' of why we are doing it, right. And whether the methods that we are employing, the way that we're going about doing what we want to do – whether they align also, with the 'why'.

So even as I'm saying this, I'm hearing myself say this – I know this seems like a lot of thinking, right? And for a lot of people who aren't designed like the way I am, maybe that stresses you out. Just thinking – just listening to how much thinking goes on. But for me, it doesn't stress me out.

It stresses me out, in fact, if I'm not allowed to think deeply, right? So, I constantly want to know how can we refine and better align what and how we are doing things to the reason that we're doing them. So, you can imagine how, even as a child, I want to ask all these questions. Like in school, I want to know why we have to study physics and biology and chemistry.

And within the subject, I want to understand why – why these formulas. You know, I want to know the deeper, underlying reason. And you see, these are not things that are covered in the curriculum in school. Most of the time, you know, there's just a lot of content to be covered, a lot of things to be memorized, and you don't actually have time to ponder more deeply why, or to really understand things, you know, at its roots.

So, I've always struggled because of this trait that I have; because of this, the way that I'm designed, right – this need to slow down and think and understand. Because the pace of life in Singapore in the education system, at work as well – they all value speed and action over contemplation and deep reflection.

Right, so, it's very frustrating for me. When I was doing parish work full time, the culture is there too. The same culture is there. The need to do one event after another, and even to have multiple things going on at the same time. Because I was working in a very vibrant parish, okay – so that's a good thing, in a sense it wasn't a dead parish. There were a lot of things going on.

But for me, there were just too many things going on without being able to pause and reflect, why are we doing these things, you know? And how do they fit together? And are they actually bringing us towards the goal that we want to go to? So, without the ability to pause and make these deeper reflections about, you know, what we are doing, it didn't just frustrate me.

Actually, over time, it crippled my creativity. It led to my burnout. And it was stressful because I found that when I did try to slow the pace down, right – to give space for reflection – and especially when I tried to bring the people I was leading as well into this practice of maybe reflecting, pondering more deeply as to what the reason is that we're doing these things and discernment and praying and listening, right –

– other people would get frustrated. They're not used to it – that's one. And sometimes, you know, actually quite often – I would be cautioned against naval gazing, right? This term, 'naval gazing'. I've heard it quite often because it seems like slowing down to reflect and think deeply on things, you know, it gets in the way of getting things done. Or that's the way it's perceived, right?

We have to go out there and make things happen. So, we got to be careful not to naval gaze so much and just go out and do things. Okay, so, the reality is, I know this about myself, even then. But I struggled with accepting this part of myself, right – because it didn't fit into what seemed to be wanted, needed by the people I was working with, by the bosses.

And it also didn't fit with the scripts that I've inherited in my life. Because what was true was that I did better when I can go at a slower and more intentional deliberate pace, right? But what has been deeply ingrained in me is that the ability to accomplish things quickly without rest was a reflection of ability.

Right, so, if you're very capable, you can do many things very quickly and, you know, with little downtime, right. Those were the people that were admired. These were the high achievers. You know, these were the ones who were, well, you know – they get promoted and rewarded and seen as good leaders, right?

I mean, that's a script. That was a script that I had. So, I wanted – I needed to see myself as capable. And so, with this script in place, any thought that my body needed me to slow down to a more sustainable pace was met with self-criticism, right. It was seen as a sign of weakness by myself. And so, the correct response, according to my script, was to, you know, toughen up and just drive myself and keep going.

And so, that was why even when I became aware that I was heading towards burnout, like there was a point in which I actually could recognize that I was heading towards burnout – in fact, I was burning out. I still could not stop because I could not bring myself to accept that I was weak. I could not bring myself to tell the people that I need to tell – let's say my boss – that I wasn't coping, right.

That was how insecure I was – how much I needed to prove that I was good, that I was capable. And so I forced myself to try and live up to, you know, this ideal that I had, the script that I had – that I should be able to continue going at high speed and accomplish things as they come. And at the same time, also be very creative and motivated, right.

So, I should be able to do it all. Of course, then I did burn out eventually. I mean, how could I not, right? And then I had no choice but to slow down to take care of my health. But it was only after I left my job really, that I could really slow down enough to heal and then to do a deep review of what had happened in the years preceding.

Why I had burnt out? What had gone wrong. Right, and there were all a lot of things that actually had gone wrong. There were good things as well, but I was not in a good place, and I was not in a good state. So, as I healed over the, you know – the following few years and I gained more self-acceptance, I realized that, you know, of course, while both contemplation and action are essential, right –

– we need to reflect before we take action, and even after we take action. And we need to go back to reflecting. So, there's a dynamism and there's a balance and attention between these two things. But I – specifically me, right – the design that God gave me in both my temperament and motivational design, requires me to have ample, solitude and quiet to think, to reflect, and to refine – to refine things, you know.

So, I realized that I was called to a lot more contemplation. The design that I was given required me to have a lot more time for reflection and contemplation in order for me to function well, right. Especially since it seems like the impact that I make, comes through communicating insights, being able to see effective strategies that can be used.

Right, and then teaching and guiding others to use these strategies. That's my – that's the impact that I make. And the kind of insights and strategy that I can come up with while they don't appear without that deep reflection and without a lot of time alone and in quiet. So, that was just the reality of being me. And no amount of denying it was going to change it.

Right, so, I came to recognize that that was the reality and that my script was very different. And, you know, if I was going to be honest and if I wanted to grow in authenticity, then I'm going to have to embrace this reality about myself. But I still struggle to accept it, right? But I began to desire to want to be able to accept myself and embrace this about myself.

[00:21:36] 2. MYERS-BRIGGS (MBTI®)
Okay. So, so that's how, kind of like, you know, learning awareness of my scripts and then seeing how I was, began to help me grow in self-awareness. The next thing I'm going to talk about would be the Myers-Briggs, okay – the MBTI. And I think most of you might have heard of it, right. There's 16 personality types in the Myers-Briggs.

They usually consist of four letters and there are actually a lot of free assessment out there on the internet that you can kind of like take – you know, these quizzes and it will churn out – it'll tell you what type you are, what MBTI type you are. But I warn you that most of those tests, if not, I think almost all of them, aren't actually that helpful.

They're not even accurate. Okay, and that's also not the way the Myers-Briggs is meant to be used as an instrument or tool. And if we don't know what an instrument is meant for, and we don't know how it's meant to be used, no matter how good an instrument is, it will end up being pretty useless. Okay, so, I just want to talk about this a little bit because I think there are a lot of people who dismiss the Myers-Briggs or think that they are, or they know what that type is, you know, because they've done these internet tests.

And I just want to say that what I'm about to share comes from, you know, a different context or use of the Myers-Briggs, okay – of MBTI. So, when I was going through certification training for the MBTI, right – training to use this instrument – we were taught that it was actually an unethical use of the Myers-Briggs to send a client the results from, you know, the instrument that they've taken, right – without doing a personal debrief of workshop.

So, what that means is if our client takes the inventory right, and then there's a report, a computer-generated report, from that instrument that they've taken, we are not allowed – it is unethical – to just let them see the result, so to speak, right – of what that four letter MBTI type is without first going through some individual coaching or letting the individual go through an MBTI workshop.

Okay, so there's a process that they have to go through before they look at that report. And the reason is the inventory itself, the instrument – the MBTI instrument itself, it doesn't tell you – it can't tell you, really, what your MBTI type is.

Okay, a certified practitioner needs to help you understand it and help you to – or facilitate you into arriving at your own understanding of what your best fit type is. Okay, so, it's actually a collaborative process. You can say no computer can just tell you, okay. And there are a lot of things that can affect the result of the instrument.

And more often than not, I would say, in the end, the best fit type that a client arrives at is different. It's not exactly the same as the result that was generated by the computer. Right, and that's the way MBTI is actually meant to be used. That's why it is unethical to just show you a report based on the computer-generated results.

Okay, so, this involvement in learning about ourselves is something that I want you to think – I guess, to carry with you, right. You can't just rely on an external source to tell you what you are. You have to be very engaged in the process. Now, if you have done any kind of the MBTI assessment before, whether it's one of those free online ones or even maybe the official one, you will also realize that, you know, as an instrument, it is very specific on what it tells you about yourself, right?

And it's important to know the limits at which you can use it for. So, knowing what an instrument does and doesn't do is key for us to use it effectively for the purpose of self-leadership. Now, what most people aren't aware is that for the Myers-Briggs, there is actually a more in-depth version of the instrument called the MBTI Step two Instrument (MBTI® Step II) that goes beyond just the four-letter type to nuance how you express your four-letter type.

Okay, so, two people with the same four letters in the MBTI type, for example, can have actually very different behavioural expressions of it. There are greater nuances to that, and the step two instrument does this. Okay, so, this – the step two instrument is actually the more helpful one for people who wish to develop in-depth self-understanding, right –

[00:26:05] MY MBTI TYPE
– or in-depth leadership coaching. It's usually the step two instrument that will be used. And it is the step two instrument that actually helped me finally understand something about myself that I've always kind of been – I guess, a little confused about. Okay, so, one thing that has always been clear to me and the other people around me is that I am an extrovert.

So, I know I am an extrovert, but at the same time, what has always confused me is why I am drained so quickly when I am with people, okay. Especially if it is with large groups or in crowded situations, my energy gets drained very quickly. And this is usually associated with introversion, not extroversion, right?

So, I get a little confused. Am I an extrovert or am I introvert? I seem to have traits, you know, in both. So, I find that I cannot be in the constant presence of other people without breaks of solitude, okay. Or else I go into – I get very hyper. So, outwardly, I seem to be more and more energized, but actually I'm already in a space where I'm not grounded, okay?

And I start going to my coping mechanisms, and if I don't pause and I keep doing this, like day after day, I burnout. So, the MBTI step to instrument nuances between five different facets of extroversion and introversion, okay. I'm not going to go into the details here. You just need to know that there are different facets between extroversion and introversion.

And while I'm an extrovert, there can be certain facets where I actually prefer the facets on the introversion side, right. So, as it turns out, I am an extrovert with a preference for intimacy and quiet. What that means is, the way I get energized, right – when in connection with other people is through one-on-ones and maybe very, very small group and not in large groups.

Okay, and I also get energized and need quiet and solitude, and I don't do so well where I have to constantly be very enthusiastic or engaging with other people. All right, so, I am an intimate and quiet extrovert. Now, that was something that I didn't know I could be, you know – kind of like, you know, both of these things.

So, the instrument helped me to feel that my experience was validated, right. It also helped me to embrace the fact that there's nothing wrong with me, so to speak, and that, you know – that it was legitimate or there's a reason why my experience is that I can quickly get drained when I'm in big groups or crowds and that it's not a weakness or a flaw.

And now that I know this about myself and having, you know, an instrument like the Myers-Briggs step two instrument validate my experience for me, it also shows me, or kind of like guides me how I can intentionally structure my space and my time with this in mind – with the fact that I know that I get energized being with people, but only one-on-one, or in very small groups.

And that I also still need plenty of downtime, quiet time in order to operate well. So, just for example, sometimes when I'm commuting, when I'm driving from, you know, place to place, the automatic default I might go to would be to try to be productive and maybe use the drive to make a phone call, catch up with someone or you know, make a work call.

But now, knowing this about myself, right – being conscious that I need quiet to recharge and that I don't do well, you know, without these kind of breaks for solitude – I've learned to check in with myself first. Like, you know, when I'm on a drive – and as I find myself about to, you know, automatically make a call, I ask myself, do I need right now? Do I need to recharge by being quiet?

Or do I have a sufficient energy? Am I grounded enough to get engaged again with another person through a phone call? Right, and more often than not, I tend to realize that actually what I do need is a quiet drive. And if I haven't learned to be conscious about checking in with myself, I wouldn't do that.

You know, I would just go ahead and make that call. I've also learned not to plan back-to-back engagements without any breaks for quiet and solitude. And this is an intentional choice, right? It doesn't come without costs because I feel that going at the pace that I need actually sometimes feels like it's very slow.

So, sometimes going at the pace that works for me triggers a sense of shame because of my scripts and because it feels like I'm being very high maintenance. But I've come to accept that this is just – this is the reality that has been given to me. And if I care about myself and I want to function well as a person, and I want to be able to show up, you know, not just for myself, but for the people that I love and for other people that I show up for as the best version of myself – then this is a choice I need to make; to go at the pace that I need to go in order to be well and to function well.

So, another aspect of my MBTI type as an ENFP, is that I operate best in an environment which has, you know – which is open-ended, flexible, and which gives me plenty of unstructured time and space. I work best in bursts of creative intensity, and you know, where there is a variety of different kinds of activity I can rotate between.

Doing the same thing for too long without a break, right – without any change, will very quickly bore me and tire me and I become uninspired, right, if I have to keep doing the same things over and over again. And I will then also fall into a rut that is hard to get out of. Once I'm uninspired, it's very hard to kind of get the creative juices flowing again.

It's difficult for me to get motivated. So, even when I look back at, you know, my life – even let's say through my studying life as a student – I did my best, as in, I excelled and I thrived much better in university as compared to, you know, my primary school, secondary school, or even junior college. Because when I was in university, it was a lot less structured, right.

I had – I could choose my lessons and the nature of the courses that was taking also, there weren't that many hours that were structured. It was a lot of self-learning and self-study. So, there was that unstructured white space. And so I did well in that kind of environment. But once I was at work – especially when you're working with other people, right – and there are a lot of projects to be done.

I often would feel guilty working in that way, you know – in the unstructured way. And then that's especially the case when I had to lead, right. I felt like I needed to always be very structured and that I had to be accountable – not just by what I produced, but by showing that I was hard at work, I think, every hour of the day.

And sometimes – well, sometimes the truth is that we have bosses that expect that of us, right? This is one of the troubles or one of the challenges we have when there are certain scripts or expectations, and the reality of our design is different. Okay, so, that's the case for me. But I have now learned to honour this aspect of myself instead of judging myself for being flighty or flaky, right?

That's not true. I've learned that it is not true. I'm actually highly capable. I can do a very good job. It's just that the environment I need to do a good job in requires a lot of white space, less structure, a lot more flexibility. So, as far as I can, I've learned to structure my work so that there is variety throughout each day and throughout each week, so it doesn't get too monotonous.

Right, so, now that I think of it, even when I was in university, I instinctively knew I would rotate, you know, studying and doing the work of either philosophy or psychology because I double majored – and I was so glad that I double majored because it gave me variety. I loved both psychology and philosophy, but I would get bored if I could only just do one.

You know, I needed some change, and back then I didn't understand why, you know, that was the case for me. But now I do. So, it's part of this temperament that I have. Okay, so, that's the Myers-Briggs. That’s the Myers-Briggs. And it has helped me – learning this has helped me to design, in a sense, you know, enough structure to hold myself accountable without stifling my creativity.

So, even something like discipline – it doesn't have to look the same way for everyone, right? So as an ENFP, I had to learn what discipline would look like for an ENFP; something that would give me that structure and hold me accountable so I can be productive and fruitful, but not be stifled and not be suffocated.

Okay, now finally, I'm going to move on now to motivational design, okay? So, The MCODE or the Motivation Code is a different instrument from the Myers-Briggs. While the Myers-Briggs looks at our cognitive preferences – you know, where we prefer to channel our energy, how we process information and how we make decisions.

You know, kind of like the – you know, what cognitive functions we use to do those things. The Motivation Code; what it does is it reveals to us, our unique motivational design. Okay, so the Motivation Code scores a person on 27 different motivational themes. And once you identify your top themes – preferably with a certified MCODE coach. So, the report can be generated for the Motivation Code.

This is something that you can have – you know, you can actually be sent to you or emailed to you, even without a briefing or a workshop. So, in that sense, it's different from the MBTI. But to get the most out of the Motivation Code, it still helps to have someone who is trained in the Motivation Code help us sort through not just what our top themes are, but what the motivational flow or design for us is.

Okay, so, that requires looking at certain narratives in our life, certain stories in our life where we had felt that we were in flow. So, the instrument scores us on 27 different motivational themes. And once you identify your top themes, right – you can unpack what that unique design and flow is. What gets you going? What gets you highly motivated?

Okay, and at the same time, knowing what your bottom motivational themes are, can also help you identify the kinds of activity that will quickly drain you rather than energize you. So, the thing about the Motivation Code that's similar, okay, in experience as – I think any other instrument like the Myers-Briggs – is our scripts will often determine how open we are to accepting what emerges in our Motivation Code.

There may be areas where we are very happy and feel very validated. Yes, that is true of myself, right? But sometimes there are certain themes that come up that are very high on the instrument, in our report, that we may struggle to accept because somehow the script that we have says that this theme is not a good thing.

And we may even be discouraged because something that our script values is very high – our society and the people in community arounds values highly. Maybe one of our bottom, you know, our least motivating factors, right – is our least motivational themes. So, for me, one of my top key motivational themes is called Comprehend and Express.

Okay, so, Comprehend and Express is a key driver for my motivational design – the unique motivational DNA that I have. Okay, so, listen to this excerpt of the description for Comprehend and Express – your motivation focuses on understanding, defining, and then communicating your insights. You tend to fix an analytical attention on a wide variety of subjects.

You delight in exploring, probing, and sorting out complexities, and you take great joy in demonstrating your understanding of what you have learned in some form of expression. Okay, so what I just read is an excerpt from the description of the theme Comprehend and Express. And remember what I said earlier about my need to pause and reflect and think deep about things.

When I saw that this was my to one of my top motivational themes, it just clicked because it's exactly true. I am motivated by being able to be trying to understand, define, and then communicate my insights, right? And I need to explore and probe and sort out complexities and that takes time. That requires slowing down from just, you know, making things happen, to retreat within myself and to think before I can communicate those insights.

So, apart from Comprehend and Express, among my other top themes include the themes of 'Improve' and 'Make it Work'. Okay, so, these themes are about refining and improving things and troubleshooting and figuring out why something isn't working. Okay, so, think about it.

My core motivational drive somehow has something to do with deeply understanding things; figuring out how to improve things, troubleshooting when things are not working well, right? And then communicating these things – these insights about the troubleshooting and how to refine and improve, you know, systems and processes to people and making a difference in their lives.

And for me, it happens that the topic where all these things revolve around, like improving things, understanding what's happening and expressing it – the topic for me happens to be about what makes people thrive. So, the interior journey, specifically, is the topic that I am deeply motivated to learn about –

– where I can spend hours and I'm constantly learning and observing and reflecting about, and which I never tire sharing insights about. So, hence, this podcast too, right? It fits all these themes of my motivational code. And learning about my motivation code really also affirmed me that the direction of my life's work is really about spending time in contemplation, in reflection and analysis.

And then putting all these things, you know, together and sharing insights about the interior journey and helping individuals troubleshoot why they're stuck in their interior journey and what they can do or change to make progress, right.

So, all these things hit my motivational themes. And it just gave me so much greater focus and clarity on what to focus my energy on, what to say yes to, what to say no to, how to structure my work, right – together with my knowledge about my MBTI; how to structure my work so that I can have the greatest impact, right?

So, that I can show up as my best self, offer you my best self, and create the most impact. Learning what I was created to do well and the conditions that I need in order to do them well, helped me to see what are the areas of highest contribution I can make to the world. So, as I learned more about how I'm designed and as I made peace with the scripts that I've inherited, and I began to know how to ask for what I needed so that I can thrive.

I learned where I needed to draw boundaries when I needed to draw boundaries, right? I learned kind of like life hacks – you know, what I can do for myself so that instead of just judging myself or being slow, of being high maintenance or being lazy because I need so much time to do nothing, you know, and just reflect and think and read.

And to practice acceptance also, where my limits are. So, when I bump up against my limits, I know that this is an area where I simply just cannot be that effective. It has helped me to be humble in that sense, right – just to accept that reality, instead of pushing against a limit that's meant to show me where I'm not meant to step out of.

So, this is, this is where the four points I talked about in the last episode about managing our energy, right – delegating tasks, eliminating tasks that drain us – all that. Or learning to accept that if we do have to do those activities and tasks, that we are not really designed to do well – to be able to accept a less than excellent outcome, right.

This is where all those four points kind of take on flesh. We learn to manage ourselves as we grow in self-knowledge and self-acceptance. And for me, today, what I shared, you know, these are the specific areas – some specific areas in which I had to learn how to practice those four points.

So, I hope my sharing has given you an illustration of how instruments, like the Myers-Briggs and a Motivation Code, when they're used together, right – with some knowledge and skill – together with our awareness of our scripts, how they can help us gain clarity on the conditions we need to be at our best and help us to grow in clarity and focus in our life's mission, right.

So, even in something a little bit more narrow in focus, like the way that we're called to exercise leadership, if we can understand ourselves, understand our design, have empathy for ourselves, accept who we are, accept the limits of what we are not given, and know how to leverage our gifts and also honour our boundaries – we can just, you know – we can just bring so much more our best selves to the work that we do and to the people that we serve.

[00:45:39] CAVEAT RECAP
So, as I close this episode, I will end with the two caveats that I begin with. And that is one. There are more aspects to growing in self-knowledge, you know, than just our scripts, our temperament and motivation design.

And while I use the MBTI (MBTI® Step II) step two and the MCODE (MCODE®) as the instruments of choice, no instrument on their own can, you know, can be highly effective in helping us make the interior journey without knowing how they're meant to be used and how they connect with other instruments to put the bigger picture of ourselves together, right – to help us understand our true selves. So, there's more to it than just doing tests and quizzes about ourselves. We need to know how to weave them together to help ourselves.

The second caveat is that the underlying work of integration and becoming more secure in whole is still the more fundamental and important foundation, on which all other aspects of self-knowledge can be built.

Otherwise, it doesn't matter how many instruments you try using to tell you what your strengths are, what your gifts are. And no matter how good those instruments may be, they won't be able to help us towards becoming our true self if the underlying work of integration and healing is not being done.

Okay, so here are the practice prompts for today. One: Listen – as you listened to my sharing today, what resonated?

Two: Ponder – is there some aspect of your temperament or personality – however you may understand it now – is there some aspect of that that you find difficult to embrace? What is it?

Three: Act – if there is something about your temperament or personality that you struggle to accept, I invite you to consider how the scripts you have about the kind of person you need to be maybe contributing to your lack of self-acceptance. Where do you think you learned that script? I invite you to spend some time journaling. What comes up from asking yourself this question? This is one small step you are taking towards greater self-awareness.

So, in this episode today, I was only able to offer you a very small and brief glimpse into the process that I went through as I grew in clarity about myself. The reality is, this journey is a very long and complex one, and one that can be very hard to make without guidance – without help and facilitation.

There are many resources that can help us along this journey, and I have certainly tried and tested many of them over many, many years. Okay, both spiritual and psychological resources and instruments. Now, through the synthesis of my own experiences of all these things, and my own journey and seeing what is out there, I created my signature program Clarity.

Okay, so, this is kind of like the piece that I realize I can offer the world. It's a private coaching program that facilitates a systematic and structured process of becoming aware of your scripts, your temperament and motivation design, okay – while equipping you to become better at connecting with yourself – your inner-self especially – and your body and your emotions.

And then through that, becoming more aware of areas of misalignment in your life. Like where the way you are living is actually going against the design that you actually have and causing you grief. All right, so, Clarity – the program's called Clarity, right – it's not a quick fix, but it's a highly engaged process that takes place over eight to 10 months on average. And I'm just sharing this because I happen to be opening registration for the 2023 run of Clarity in early December – so, that's in, in a couple weeks’ time. And registration will close in mid-January or when the spaces are filled – whichever happens first.

And each year, I only take a small number of clients through Clarity, okay – because this is a deeper journey and I don't want it to be rushed, and I also want to conserve my energy and make sure that the people I'm accompanying through this longer process, do get the best of me. So, there is a prerequisite to registering for clarity – and that is that you would need to have done an exploratory integrative life consultation session with me.

Okay, so, that is like the first session that any new client will need to go through with me. We use that session to help assess what is the best next step for you in your interior journey. And we also use that session to determine if, let's say, the Clarity program is a good fit for what you need at this point in your journey. If you are interested in finding more about clarity, you can visit my website. I will be parking the link in the show notes for this episode.

[00:51:05] CONCLUSION

Thank you for listening to Becoming Me, where new episodes drop every first and third Wednesdays of the month. Remember, the most important thing about making this journey is to keep taking steps in the right direction. No matter how small those steps might be, and no matter where you might be in your life right now, it is always possible to begin. 

The world would be a poorer place without you becoming more fully alive. Don't forget to visit my website at and to subscribe to my newsletter as well as to this podcast. Until the next episode, Happy becoming!