This page is designed to Build an Optimal You. Investing time, energy, and maybe money in your personal growth will affect all areas of your life. An updated you means a deeper well of inner peace. It means more confidence, something others can easily perceive. Time, energy, or money invested in personal development is just that -- an investment. And you are worth it. ☺
The first portion of this page is filled with resources for personality tests which may give insight into possible career paths suitable for you. The latter portion of this page is a collection of all other resources intended to help you become the best you possible. Enjoy the journey!
Self Awareness as it relates to career choice:
Before you spend time, energy and money pursuing a specific career, it's a good idea to be aware of just how well your personality suits that line of work. Below are a list of free online personality tests and other career assessment tools for you to browse. Remember, this is not an exact science. Many of these sites offer free assessment with the hope that you will then purchase their full package of whatever they are selling. Use several of the resources below and compare the results. Have fun getting reaquainted with your best friend!
Online Personality Tests
HumanMetrics offers a free personality test. You receive a detailed description, career suggestions, and a list of famous people with your personality type. When I took this one, librarian was one of the top suggestions for me. Good thing, since I already had my degree. ☺
Brainbench also offers a free personality test.
Color Quiz a free five minute personality test based on colors. ☺I like tests like this because you give them very little information about yourself, yet the results are pretty accurate.
Sixteen Personalities is a personality test which also gives a very satisfying amount of detailed results. In addition to career information, this site discusses your personality as it relates to romance, friendship, and parenting.
Take Dr. David Keirsey's Keirsey Temperament Sorter®-II which is a 70 question test based on his book Please Understand Me.
The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors mynextmove.org which offers an Interest Profiler.
Here is one called Career Test. Take ten minutes to complete this 68 question test.
Answer only 15 questions for results from this Career Assessment Test. These questions require more thinking than the questions in the tests listed above.
John L. Holland was a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University. His work developing Holland Codes, which match personality to work environment, can be seen in various forms on the Internet. Rogue College hosts a quiz based on the work of John Holland.
The Career Key (owned by Dr. Lawrence Jones and Jeanine Wehr Jones) is an entire site devoted to Holland's codes for matching people to careers. For $12.95 you can take the 15 minute test to find out which careers would work well for you. Here is a sample of what your results will look like. The site directs you in the next steps you are to take. Afterwards, you could also take your descriptors from your results and browse the careers listed under those strengths at the Chronicle Career Library which is arranged by Holland Code.
Personality Lab offers a wide variety of free tests; something for everyone. There is even one for Harry Potter fans!
Take this test and you will be participating in the academic SAPA Project which is part of the Personality Project. Find a quiet, undisturbed location with half an hour to spare. This test is a bit challenging, which makes it intriguing.
YourPersonality.net questionnaires on memory, relationships, attachment style, morals, your conscience, and even one about in-laws!
We can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sails. May we always have the ability to laugh at ourselves.....
Below are many more resources related to creating wellness and the development of one's self:
A Summary of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"Best 10 TED Talks that are sure to get you off your a**" explains what a TED Talk is to newcomers too.
"'Core Competencies in Coaching Others to Overcome Dysfunctional Behavior" E.I. Consortium
Decision Making Techniques from Mind Tools
Key to Transforming Yourself Robert Greene TED Talk, six minutes
"Media multitaskers pay mental price" a Standford University study reports
Oprah's Life Class videos to help you better your life
Overcoming Fear of Failure from Mind Tools
Six Levels of Christian Moral Development based on Lawrence Kohlberg's work
TED Talks: 20 lessons that will make you a better person Men and Mentors recommendations
The Wounded Heart these are my notes (mostly passages copied from book) on a book about sexual abuse. The book can be used by anyone who has been hurt by anyone for any reason, not just sexual abuse. Counselors often recommend it to people who were not sexually abused.
How to Believe in Yourself Jim Cathcart, TED Talk He packs ALOT in eight minutes!!!
The Skill of Self Confidence Dr. Ivan Joseph, Athletic Director and coach at Ryerson University, 13 minute TED Talk
The Strangest Secret Earl Nightingale, TED Talk He is The Dean of Personal Development
5 TED Talks for Low Self-Esteem great transparency from this blogger.
How to Build your Creative Confidence David Kelly, 12 minutes TED Talk
Why 20 is NOT the new 30 Meg Jay, TED talk, a must-see!!!
Here is a list of TED Talks which are tagged for "decision-making."
Decision-Making from Psychology Today
Decision-Making in a Complex, Uncertain World FutureLearn MOOC
Decision Skills: Power Tools to Build Your Life Novo Ed MOOC
How to Make Better Decisions from Mind Tools, they begin with a short test of your decision skills
"Why Emotional Intelligence Matters" Atticus Interim Management
"Daniel Goleman explains Emotional Intelligence" 26 minute youTube video
Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organization Richard Boyatzis (I took a course from him via Coursera) This website lists many E.I. tests which have a "substantially body of research." The consortium does not necessarily endorse those tests listed.
EI Domains and Associated Competencies This chart is published in Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence by Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee. p. 39.
Leadership Competencies This chart is also published in Primal Leadership, Appendix B. Both of these charts can also be found as pdfs online.
ECI Emotional Competence Inventory this is unlike traditional assessment which focuses on tech skills, IQ, and personality.
Read up on soft skills; they can make or break your happiness and/or success in any position. A recent AOL article on the topic: "Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters". Mind Tools also has a great article.
Casel social and emotional skills taught to preschool through high school
Personal Growth Talks recommends from Chade -Meng Tan
Achieving Goals with Powerful Thinking a one hour lesson
"The Power of I am" Joel Osteen's sermon
Synthetic Happiness TED Talk by Dan Gilbert on the surprising science of happiness, 21 minutes
There are many more TED talks on happiness. Do a search for "happiness" on their site.
Some of us are visual learners while others learn best by trying it out themselves. Some prefer working in groups while others like to study alone. Take this questionnaire to find out your individual learning style. Read descriptions of several learning styles by Felder and Soloman of North Carolina State University
Kolb Learning Styles
What is your learning style? Edutopia offers this five minute, 24 question quiz.
Actualized Leo Gura is a life coach who presents a comprehensive site filled with self-help resources. Kick back and listen to a few of his videos.
Pam Larson here's a gal I personally recommend. I have benefitted from her expertise and have seen the resulting changes in the lives of others she has touched as well. She lives in Illinois and has distance counseling options available.
Men and Mentors leading change, changing lives
MOOCs Massive Open Online Courses
Career Decisions Made Simple free course from Dr. Mary Askew of hollandcodes.com.
Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence a Coursera.org course from Case Western Reserve University. I took this valuable class and have no regrets!
Motivation and Life Skills deals a lot with happiness, from World Mentoring Academy (you must create an account with them first, then login to see the course)
Personal Productivity Tools
Personal Kanban Watch their 101 Slideshare to understand exactly what to do. (I'm going to do this - using two colors of Post-It notes: one color for work tasks and the other for personal items!)
Clifton StrengthsFinder for $9.99 you will learn your five top strengths "ideal for people who want a quick, focused approach to strengths-based development"
for $89 you will receive a comprehensive strengths package and learn where you stand on all 34 strengths.
Take moments each day to do something for yourself that is very relaxing, rewarding, or inspiring. This may even be spending ten minutes catching your breath by doing nothing :D It's different for everyone: a cup of tea on the patio as you listen to early morning birds, meditation, a bike ride, twenty minutes on the basketball court, funny YouTube videos, golfing nine holes, a walk through a flower garden, or a hot bath and a book. Helping someone else is also a renewing activity which returns rewards to the giver. Gardening and mowing the lawn are relaxing for me. Such activities allow my mind to reflect, process, and create.
According to McKee, Johnston, and Massimilian in "Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion: a leader's roadmap to renewal", there are three vital components to renewal:
Mindfulness, or living in a state of full, conscious awareness of one’s whole self, other people, and the context in which we live and work. In effect, mindfulness means being awake, aware and constantly attending to ourselves and to the world around us.
Hope, enables us to believe that our vision of the future is attainable, and to move toward our goals while inspiring others to reach for their dreams as well.
Compassion, we understand people’s wants and needs and feel motivated to act on our concern.
Renewal is a way to compensate for high levels of stress. I have created my Life in Legos page as one expression of renewal. I like to laugh at funny lego scenes which dramatize real life. I love coming up with new ideas to share --- with the hope that they will make you smile and maybe even laugh.
Abundant Human Elements CD by Corey Pryor and David Van Koevering --- I have this CD and love using it as background music. When I first listened, parts sounded a bit strange. I soon adapted and found the entire listening experience to be renewing. I noticed a couple television commercials that had some similar tones/music playing in the background and realized that those ad campaigns purposefully selected their music:-)
Music Therapy a YouTube video from Jason Stephenson which uses specific frequencies to relax listeners. Try having it on in the background while you're working on your computer. There are many other similar items which people have posted online; find one right for you and have fun in searching!
Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT good info from the Mayo Clinic
More CBT info from the National Alliance on Mental Illness --- note: not all dysfunctional behavior means a mental illness is present; it simply means something needs to change.
Book of Daily Inspirations by Marci Struzinski, a tiny book of cartoon drawings which she will send you free upon request -- thanks Marci!
Cyber-Relax massage chair now we're talking!
This is always an option when you are looking to hit the Refresh button in life. You can locate one that's right for you through your place of worship or by searching the web. Here's one I found called Surrendered Life which has options for both men and women. I discovered them only because their URL is my favorite phrase for personal change. ☺
New Hope Wilderness Camp is another example of what is probably available in various forms in every state. It is a 21 day camp in the Ozark Mountains which helps young people develop character.
AARP Worksearch Information Network offers career information for older Americans and free services for those who register with the AARP Foundation.
Stress Management advice from Mind Tools
"Single Most Important Thing you Can Do for Your Stress" video by DocMikeEvans (the answer he gives is "change your thinking style")
"Stress: Portrait of a Killer" one hour National Geographic special featuring Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford University neurobiologist
"Stress Weakens the Immune System" American Psychological Association
Check these out at your local public library -- woohoo! or shop online with these booksellers. Some are available in audio book form --great to listen to while you commute, garden or clean the garage.
The Anger Workbook Minirth-Meier Clinic Series, 1992
(Anger is a self-justifying emotion. We tell ourselves it somehow isn't wrong if there is a legitimate cause. ☻Difficult Conversations)
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen This author has long since passed on, but his writings will always ring true.
Be Good: how to navigate the ethics of everything by Randy Cohen, 2012
Better Each Day: 365 expert tips for a healthier, happier you by Jessica Cassity, 2011
30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking: a guide for improving every aspect of your life by Linda Elder and Richard Paul
Career Match: connecting who you are with what you'll love to do by Zichy and Bidou, 2007
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath, 2013
Don't Bite the Hook: finding freedom from anger, resentment, and other destructive emotions by Pema Chodron, 2007 three hour audiobook
Do What You Are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger, 2007
Eat, Move, Sleep: why small choices make a big difference by Tom Rath, 2013
Emotional Awareness by the Dalai Lama
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Four-Color Illustrated Ed.) by Don Miguel Ruiz, 1997.
Are you curious about what the four agreements are? Here's a fan's video tribute. Kathy Keel gives us an excellent presentation!
John Maxwell is an excellent author and has so many career and self-help titles that I recommend you go to Powell's website and type in his name. You will see a long list of his works to browse. I own four of his; they are tiny little books you can tuck anywhere for on-the-go reading.
Joel Osteen is another author I would say get any of his audio books and listen anywhere. He is so upbeat; he is sure to make you smile.
The Occupations Finder: 1,309 occupations matched to Holland's codes by John L. Holland 1996 I am currently unable to locate a source for this book, so if you find it let me know.
Happy at Last: the thinking person's guide to finding joy by Richard O'Connor, 2008
Keep Going: the art of perseverance
Man's Search for Himself by Rollo May
No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton, 2008 This one was maybe a bit too intellectual for me. I listened to much of it and some parts were so good I listened many, many times. I recommend it as I'm sure many of you have quicker processors than me. ☺
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey
Search Inside Yourself: the unexpected path to achieving success, happiness, and world peace by Chade-Meng Tan, 2012 ***
Strengths Based Leadership: great leaders, teams, and why people follow
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, 2007
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Three Simple Steps: a map to success in business and life by Trevor Blake, 2012 ***
Type Talk: the 16 personality types that determine how we live, love, and work by Kroeger and Thuesen, 1989
The links are for your online shopping convenience. Reminder: BookPal sells in bulk (25+ copies) and Chronicle Books is a specialty company. They can custom-make personalized books. They also have a good selection of self-help titles.