If there were to be a house on fire, a red would take leadership and yell instructions, a blue would make sure every person had made it out OK, a white would question how the fire started and a yellow would have gone for marshmallows.
This anecdote shared by Paul R. Warner explains a common reaction from a person to a situation depending on his or her personality. Warner taught his class “Understanding Your Personality,” the first part of a larger series titled “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Monday morning in the Wilkinson Center on the first day of Education Week. His lecture included the five implications of happiness, the six areas of personality and why they are crucial to understand.
Warner explained everyone is different and quoted Francis Gibbons, saying everyone has physical traits and a spirit within that stand apart, but the key to happiness is to accept those differences in oneself. Accepting a personality and focusing on the strengths and bettering the weaknesses helps with important relationships.
Warner drew a figure of steps to show how a personality is innate but circumstances, values and habits lead to a certain lifestyle. He said habits are driven by values which create a lifestyle that should have feeling and passion.
“Happiness comes from your personality when you’re able to do something you’re passionate about,” he said.
The five implications of a happy life are first knowing oneself and understanding what are personal likes, tendencies and traits. Second, Warner said, is knowing a person brings a unique set of both positive and negative qualities to the environment. Third is being oriented to correct principles to access the strengths of a personality. Warner said the fourth is absolutely crucial to understand ― one must understand that personality limitations do not make him or her a bad person. Finally, Warner shared the fifth implication by encouraging students to follow the example of the Savior Jesus Christ. He said people must attempt to be sensitive to those who have different personalities.
Warner then described the six areas of a personality which he said are vital in the process of understanding who a person is.
The first area is extrovert versus introvert. He said the main difference between these two is where the person gets their energy from. Extroverts receive their energy from interacting with people while introverts get energy by being alone in their own space.
The next area concerns talents which are innate in a personality. Warner described people as having six talent areas, with each being a strength or a weakness. The areas are academic, creative, decision-making, planning, forecasting and communicating. He said someone is excellent in one area, above average in two, below average in two and an idiot in one. People become discouraged because they tend to compare their idiot talent area to another person’s excellent talent area.
The third area of a personality is the IQ. Warner said the kid with the highest IQ in his high school flipped a coin to choose the answers while taking the test.
Whether a person thinks in concrete or abstract terms determines his or her fourth area of personality. Warner said for the fifth area of personality, a simple test can be taken to know whether a person is sequential or random ― go to the bedroom and see if the bed is made. He said sequential personality types, who love order and lists, usually marry random personality types, who tend to be messy and unorganized.
The final area of a personality is the color coding of red, blue, white and yellow, which are determined for people by their motives for action. The red personality has a motive of power, blue has a motive of personal closeness and harmony, white has a motive of peace and yellow has a motive of fun.
Warner said although people have their core color they often, throughout the course of life, learn to take on the strong traits of other colors to be better people.