Sunday, February 23, 2014

The ISTP-ENTJ dilemma - and Kolkata again!

It's been quite a while now since I posted anything. Almost three whole years. Quite a journey it has been too - both literally and otherwise. Joined a profession that I would've thought to be of the least interest or fit to me, then got posted to a far far land three thousand kilometres from home and now back I am, in Kolkata again. And surprisingly quite content. 

The other day, I was going through some of Crichton's old works and reminiscing certain moments again, and stumbled upon this quote of his from Travels, his autobiography of sorts.

"Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes -- with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. It inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating"

The one year after college, that was more or less me; and everybody else in an FMCG sales stint, for that matter. New surroundings, not so usual routines and a host of new people that you seem to keep on meeting.. Direct experience? I'd say so. And the single most glaring thing that one keeps noticing throughout was, new or not, how quickly people seem to judge one another. Scary but going through it helps - the entire experience. There was this professor in my college with whom I had a feedback session of sorts before leaving campus for once and all. And I figured she was right - the workplace is a very different environment from anything else that one has had the opportunity to live in. There was something else that came through in that session too. Actually something that had been on my mind in those last few months back then but which got confirmed that day. That my Jung typology was probably very different from what I would've made it out to be. 

And if that last line didn't sound geeky enough, please read on.

Ever heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test? Apparently human beings were classified into 16 different personality types based on four core attributes. You'd think you had a fair idea of yourself before you took the test. I was never so wrong. Not in one but in three out of the four attributes and not by all that close a margin either. This was actually quite surprising. And if you're still wondering, that's where the title of this post comes from. My first guess would've been an ISTP - or maybe an INTP, but either way, ENTJ came as a surprise. Maybe it was because of those years of spending time away from home. Maybe it was all those direct experiences. I'll never know. 

Got reminded of all this again when I was watching the Highway yesterday. Quite good - and among other things it got me thinking about this whole behavioural traits thing - and in particular the Judgement/Perception attribute. Well, 'judgement' here doesn't quite refer to being judgemental but even then. It might be convenient, but how okay or bad is it? Me? As far as I'm concerned, I think it's a trap. That even the best of people might fall into - to judge in haste without giving room for perception or the circumstances under which something happened. And more experiences outside your comfort zone actually help out in terms of not falling into this trap (that the test labelled me as a J when I thought everything pointed to the contrary is an entirely different topic - not one that I'm going to go on about now).

So yeah, that's exactly what the last three years have been - a tad outside the usual social groups and comfort zones I used to be part of. There have been a lot of good moments; and an equal share of bad ones too. Not to forget the crazy bits of it. So here I am, back to the city where all of that madness started; now along with a sudden desire to start blogging again. Let's see how that goes. 

To end with, a favourite quote of mine about being judgemental : 

"Do you think the noble Lord of Winterfell wanted to hear my feeble explanations? Such an honorable man. He only had to look at me to judge me guilty"
 - Kingslayer (Book 3 from the song of ice and fire)

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