Scroll to top
Smarter change

Traits beyond fates

if we think of our personality as

traits beyond fates

Brian little

Then we can feel less constrained by our traits.  

Are you confined only to projects that suit your inborn traits? Not necessarily. In fact, one of the things that makes you so intriguing is your ability to sometimes act “out of character.”.. [you can become a] site-specific free-trait adopter

brian little

On Adam Grant’s Re:Thinking podcast he interviews Brian Little, one of his early career mentors. The episode is called The science of personality and the art of well-being. Brian’s point is that it isn’t just what we are given but the choices we make which create our personality. And we can make choices against type if it aligns with our values. We are only trapped by ourselves if we choose to not follow our values.

He chunks up from personality to the projects we choose, our:

magnificent obsessions and trivial pursuits

Brian Little

Where we choose to spend our time and effort. Little says we need several core projects plus some buffer projects. Putting all of our eggs in one basket, spending everything on one project and rigidly pursuing it can be a dead end or a route to depression.

Wellbeing is sustainable execution of core projects. Your projects need:

  • Meaning
  • Manageability (efficacy, control, time)
  • Connection (support of others around you, approval, people) 
  • Stress level assessment (impact on others and on other projects)

The podcast talks through this in some detail. The TED talk below looks more at traits vs fates.

Connected to the ideas in this post:

Related posts