5.1M views Jun 2016
You might be wondering how much your personal projects could really affect something that seems as stable as your personality and sense of self. The answer, as I’ve discovered: a lot more than you’d imagine.
by Brian Little
Who are you? Are you an introvert or extrovert? Agreeable or irritable? Chances are you probably have a pretty fixed idea of what makes you, you. But what if your personality was flexible, and ultimately in your control?
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Acclaimed psychologist Brian Little reveals that personality is far more malleable than we imagine. What’s more, he believes that this flexibility is crucial to our happiness. Psychologists like to talk about the sort of “traits” that make us who we are. But Little is more interested in moments when we transcend those fixed traits in the pursuit of what is meaningful to us.
Journey beyond the nature vs. nurture debate and discover an exciting third aspect to the human condition: the pursuit of personal projects. These are the endeavors big and small that give us a sense of meaning in our everyday lives, and end up shaping who we are.
Little makes the compelling case that a well-lived life is based on pursuing the projects that matter in our lives. Armed with the clear insight into who you are, you will be empowered to most effectively pursue the projects that matter most, and shape your life in ways that set you up to thrive.
"Little gives readers a sense of how they can make significant changes in their lives."
Listen to Brian Little on TED Radio Hour : Are Human Personalities Hardwired?
Read a review in The Guardian : It's in the deeds: what we do shapes who we are
Brian Little is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. His pioneering research on how everyday personal projects and ‘free traits’ influence the course of our lives has become an important way of explaining and enhancing human flourishing. Professor Little is currently at Cambridge University where he is a Fellow of the Well-Being Institute and Director of the Social Ecology Research Group in the Department of Psychology. He is also affiliated with the Cambridge Judge Business School and the Psychometrics Centre at Cambridge.
Previously, he taught at McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. His course on personality in Harvard’s Department of Psychology was immensely popular, and he was elected as a “Favorite Professor” by the graduating classes of Harvard for three consecutive years. Dividing his time between Canada and the UK, Brian is also a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University in Ottawa and he lectures world-wide on personality, motivation and well-being.