A Glimpse into the Soul
Ages ago I made a weekly planner for each of my sisters as a Christmas present. Each week contained some sort of family photo and non-related quote. They loved it so much that they insisted I make it an annual thing, and I have. Some years I’m short on quotes and others I’m short on photos. Every November I inevitably find myself hitting up my sisters for contributions to fill in the gaps. This year ENFP sis gave me a lot of quotes she’s been saving on Pinterest.
It is truly fascinating seeing what quotes people enjoy. If you ever want a glimpse into someone’s soul look at what pieces of wisdom speak to them. You can see the things they cherish, what they value, and what they aspire to be.
The difference in our picks is quite noticeable. For instance:
- “If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.” - Erada
- “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” - Lincoln (supposedly)
A lot of her quotes are like #1. They are about living life to the fullest and taking chances. Adventure is important to her. I’m far more hesitant and tend to plan out things meticulously.
Her quotes are overwhelmingly optimistic too:
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
Whereas me, well…
“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” - George Carlin
I have quotes about depression, having faced it and been somewhat melancholy through many parts of my life. She had three references to recreational drinking. I have several denouncing willful ignorance. She has more goofball stuff taken off dishtowels and wall hangings. I have some quotes that are ruthlessly ambitious, because I can admire that quality in others (safely, at a distance).
As different as we are, there are places where we intersect. Books being one:
“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”- Albert Einstein (her pick)
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” - Charles William Eliot (mine)
Obvious introvert bias on mine, but we both value reading and knowledge. Our other sister doesn’t read much so not only does she not contribute much, she has to put up with our quotes about the joy of reading.
Then there’s this:
- “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that, that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” – Amy Poehler
- “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” - Hugh Laurie
Both are a call to action, though their tone is very different. The first, hers, is very “go get ‘em!” It emphasizes risk and getting out of your comfort zone and just trying new things. Mine is more hesitant- look, there’s only so much planning you can do; at some point you just need to move forward even if you’re not 100% ready. We both have Ne, but the location in our stack changes our outlook significantly.
Her Ne looks like this (fittingly voiced by the person she quoted above):
Energetic. Always up to try something new. Full of ideas and possibilities.
Mine looks like this:
It sees a world of possibilities. Unfortunately, it focuses on all the worst-case scenarios. Ne makes me slam on the brakes and do endless damage prevention.
Despite our differences, it’s very good to read quotes my sister enjoys. Both my sisters help balance me out in various ways. ENFP’s stuff is a reminder for me to lighten up a little, think more positively, and try new things on occasion.