Handling the Strengths and Weaknesses of your Temperament

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As humans, we all have natural dispositions owing to our nature and nurture. My previous post about temperaments and why you behave the way you do has done well to inform us that as much as we have inherited tendencies, the environment where we grow (nurture) also has a great share of the influence.

Let us begin with a reminder that in practical sense, no one totally embodies just one temperament type. We are all a good mix of at least two of the four of choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic temperaments. Doing an individual analysis for the temperament types, it is obvious that each has positives and negatives.

A choleric for instance, is positive at achieving a set goal, but he can do that at the expense of some relationships and loved ones. A choleric in full manifestation is not caring enough to accommodate someone that does not contribute to his mission at the moment. Though positive as it helps in concentrating on attaining the set height, but there is always a place where every relationship will be needed.         

There is always a tendency for thinkers (Melancholic) to become depressed when situations become negative since they have very active conscience and take life so seriously. But they are the same class of people that are excellent at analytics and creativity. The four temperament is then a myriad of banes and boons, how then can I profit from it? There is a need to manage the tendencies and become a better person.

The following are five simple steps to help you manage your temperament and become a better person:  

  1. Understand your primary and bordering temperaments
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The great art of learning is to understand but little at a time – John Locke

Managing anything starts from the place of understanding; and knowledge precedes understanding. To be effective in making the best out of your temperament, then you need to have a good grasp of it. Apart from taking a personal study of yourself, people’s opinion can be a great asset in this wise. You should seek sincere feedbacks which can be from people that you don’t necessarily consider favorites. You may want to ask someone that antagonizes you a sincere opinion about your attitude. Remember the end is more important than the channel, ensure the opinions are genuine and you should be sincere with yourself. Many times, others are better judge of our character since they feel the impact firsthand.

2. Define the type of person you want to be

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Your personality is not set in stone, you can always develop yourself to be a better version of yourself – Asad Meah

Natural disposition or the consequent product of nurture is not the final destination of any man that is committed to be better. It is easy to stay on the lane of circumstance and blame the environment or inheritance. But there is a place of committing to change, everything is habit. It is widely said that breaking a habit is hard but no one said it can’t be broken. Take time to develop a value system and character profile you want to be known for, only then can you get to work. You will be able to shuffle your temperamental attributes based on the type of person you want to be.

3. Take conscious efforts to remain positive

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Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power – William James

The road of life is not always smooth like those in the presidential villa. On the journey to manage your temperament and become better, you will face burn outs and depleted zeal. You have to remain positive and committed to the course.

Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better – Harvey Mackay.

Maintaining a positive attitude is not by chance, it takes concerted effort. You have to keep the image of who you want to be fresh in your mind to keep yourself motivated in times of trial. Remember failure is not when you didn’t meet your set goal, it is actually when you stop trying.

4. Communicate your desire – be accountable

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Personal accountability requires mindfulness, acceptance, honesty and courage – Shelby Martin.

Increased success rate has been observed for dropping or acquiring a habit when you have an accountability partner. Fitness coaches and addiction experts use the accountability power to help in enacting a desired pattern of behavior. To effectively check you temperament and become better off it, you need to have an accountability group. It could be your spouse or a close buddy, get someone you can sincerely communicate your desire for a change and your progress with.

Accountability breeds responsibility – Stephen Covey

There is strength in being answerable to someone, it keeps you head in the game. Everyone needs a fan, let you accountability partner gear you on and encourage you alone the way.

5. Allow time do its magic

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The two most powerful warriors are patience and time – Leo Tolstoy

It is the journey of a thousand miles to major on your strengths and minor on your weaknesses, so allow time do its work. Never underestimate the power of time, he who takes time will truly make time. Bear in mind that patience and perseverance are virtues that you will need on this journey. Gaining mastery of your temperamental positives is the end in sight, so let it run on steadily.

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Don’t allow haste rob you the joy of the process, it is time that matures everything. It is like ageing of wine, it is how long that determines how well.

There is no one casted in frames of iron as long as you are still alive, there is always a room to become a better version of yourself. It takes a great deal of effort and commitment. The question is, how much do you desire the better version of yourself? No temperament is a perfect one, we all need to refine ourselves to bring out the sparkling best of us.


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