Tools in Self-Exploration

My name is Joshua Lewis, and I’ve been a graduate of the Florida State University with a double major degree in both Music and Psychology as of summer, 2014. I was born in North Miami Beach and raised in the quieter areas just north of the city. I grew up as the middle child in a family with 5 sons (that’s right, 5 sons. And yes, SOMEHOW, we all survived, including my parents!). It’s due to this that I have always been concerned with connecting people and understanding them. It´s a strange place being neither quite part of the older sons nor the younger ones, but always dancing over the lines in the most ineloquent of manners. For this reason I have had such an infatuation with Psychology and personality differences between people, often helping my friends get closer to finding themselves, or at least recognizing a part of all that they can be. My passions include listening to and performing music, analyzing people psychologically (with pure intentions of course!), food, meditation, tea, traveling, languages, and finding ways to become a modern day hippie. After graduating from the Florida State Univeristy I´ve moved to Barcelona, Spain and am currently teaching English and living a dream!

Looking back at the twists and turns in the road I’ve forged, I can truly say that I’ve learned a lot about who I am through my experiences and decisions; however, somewhere along the line the process was accelerated and my decision process was sharpened. Learning about my nature as a person through Psychology has allowed me a greater level of understanding within myself and between myself and other people. While there are many concepts to be learned in Psychology, as well as other disciplines, none seem to provide the same sense of completion as does the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). With this tool, I began a journey, not to the center of myself, but into a new plane altogether. I began to see extent of my “self” and my ego: the way I communicated with other people, and all my strengths and shortcomings. For instance, the reason why I may consider someone less friendly if they were less inclined to agree to some level on a topic. Many times, I would prefer to agree just for the sake of harmony and making friends; that the emotional connection is more important than the differences between our actual opinions. But after learning about who I was versus other people, I was able to properly put myself into a different pair of shoes. Understanding myself and others has allowed me to value my emotional responses, but also realize that this is not the only way that I can react to the world.

Interpersonal differences aside, I’ve learned a great deal about myself and my place in the world. It was from this becoming aware of myself that I finally felt able to make changes within myself without feeling like I was fighting my nature and being unappreciative of myself. I no longer felt the need to compare myself to the guy majoring in business or that one friend who had a 4 GPA in high school and was now doing both biology and chemistry. From that point I was able to do what I like and be happy all of my own accord. The moments when I felt like I would break down at any moment as I pushed myself to do something I hated or, even worse, something I loved in a manner I hated had finally clicked. From this tiny bit of self-discovery, I began to embark on a journey toward fulfillment. I was able to begin a journey to understanding and acceptance of the jigsaw puzzle of our human experience and continue forward knowing that there was so much more of me to be appreciated for every bit I was discontent with. And more importantly, I gave myself an outlet to grow and change these things that I didn’t like.

The important thing that I’d like to communicate in all of this is that, as impossible as it may sound, it’s necessary that we adhere to our own definitions of success. That we trust in what we don’t know and bide our time with open minds in hopes that we one day will know. I challenge you to explore yourself, with or without the MBTI and I’m sure your college and life experiences and outlooks will begin to change for the better.

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