One of the people I follow in Twitter is author and speaker Laurie Beth Jones (@LairieBethJones). Sheâ€™s written many best-selling Christian self-improvement books such as: Jesus, Life Coach; Jesus, CEO; Jesus, Career Counselor; Jesus in Blue Jeans; and The Four Elements of Success.
I was introduced to her work about 8 years ago when I read her book The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life. As I worked through The Path, I learned a lot about my talents, skills, and calling and formulated my personal mission statement, â€œMy mission is to Empower, Challenge, and Advance People through Technology for Personal Growth.â€ I soon shortened this to simply, â€œEmpower. Challenge. Advance.â€ and itâ€™s been the tag line of my blog ever since. If you havenâ€™t yet discovered your mission in life, I would suggest you work your way through The Path as well; it really is a great book.
On Friday, February 17th, I was skimming through my Twitter feed while waiting on a flight in the St. Louis airport. I saw the following tweet from her:
I hadnâ€™t yet read her book The Four Elements of Success, but I had read some of her tweets about it so I knew it had something to do with how the metaphors of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water relate to each individualâ€™s success , but that was about it. I was extremely surprised to learn that I had won a free Path Elements Profile. At the time I didnâ€™t even know what a Path Elements Profile was.
What is the Path Elements Profile?
The Path Elements Profile is a short online assessment that takes about 10- to 15-minutes to complete. The assessment consists of 16 four-word sets. In each set, you rank the four words in the order with which they describe you most. Itâ€™s incredibly fast, easy, and doesnâ€™t take a lot of thinkingâ€”in fact, you donâ€™t want to over-think it all.
When you finish the assessment, youâ€™ll receive a 13-page report with lots of great information to help you better understand how you relate to the world around you. Itâ€™s kind of like what you would get with other â€œpersonality testsâ€ such as the Myers Brigs Type Indicator, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or the Five Factor Model, except that the analysis centers around the metaphors of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.
When you finish the test, youâ€™ll find that you have Essential Elements, Moderate Elements, and Different Elements. Earth is my essential element, Water is my moderate element, and Wind and Fire are both different elements. This means that I most strongly exhibit many of the behaviors associated with the element of Earth, many of the behaviors associated with Water, and very few of the behaviors associated with Wind and Fire.
I felt the assessment was quite accurate for me. It correctly identified many of my strengths such as:accurate with details, organized and scheduled, analytical, factual, satisfied, consistent, and trusting. It also identified many of my challenges such as: boring, perfectionist, emotionless, self-critical, passive, and complacent. As I read over the strengths and challenge of Fire and Wind types, I could recognize why I often clash with people who exhibit many of those strengths and challenges.
One particular section that stood out said, â€œEarth can be more successful if it will: Loosen Up â€“ and Open Up!â€ I’ve often had people tell me, â€œYou need to loosen up!â€ 🙂
Three full pages of the profile explains how my profile type tends to respond in a variety of situations such as Adventure, Anger, Conflict, Fear, Fun, and Leadership. I found the insights in this section to be both confirming and eye-opening. In the section on communication it said, â€œRelies on written or verbal, not physical, communication.â€ In the Leadership section it said, â€œDoes not respond well to emotional, undisciplined leadership.â€ Iâ€™ve always considered bold displays of emotion and lack of discipline to be childish and repulsive, but couldnâ€™t have put it in these words before seeing this.
At the end of the profile are 8 questions to answer and work through. four questions are in the area of your strengths and four of them in the area of your challenges. As you work through these questions youâ€™ll create a plan for growth and improvement. This is incredibly valuable and something that Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll be mindfully working on over the next year or two.
It costs $49.00 $28.99 for a Path Elements Profile. I probably would not have paid for one before I won one. However, after receiving the results, and working my way through the growth and improvement plan, Iâ€™m confident that Iâ€™ll get far more value out of it than it would have cost. So, yes, I do believe it would have been well worth the cost to help me see myself in a different way. Itâ€™s incredibly hard for us to get an outsiders view of how we work and interact with others.
Having said that though, it will continue to be important that I continue to review and work in the areas Iâ€™ve already identified in my growth and improvement plan. I think that without work in this area, the profile is fun and interesting, but it wonâ€™t make a lasting improvement on my life and the lives of those around me.