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Circle of Competence Issue #53


"It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning." - Ray Dalio, Principles


Behavioral Reflection

This week I’ve been thinking about how our own psychological profiles and personality structures impact our every day lives as employees, employers, investors, operators, entrepreneurs, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers. I began reading about various psychological profiles after being prompted by a friend of mine (H/T Dalton K.) and was particularly interested in the Myers-Briggs and and Enneagram institute theories as a way to learn more about myself, my family, my friends, and my peers.

How we think about the world around us, interact with others, and make decisions are largely dependent on our personality types (and our world views, but that is another topic for another time). Each of us have deep seated motivational drives that, if undiscovered, could be pulling us in negative directions or putting us at odds with spouses, bosses, friends, and family. If we do not understand what drives our inner relational and decision making process and do not perceive where others around us are coming from psychologically, there can be significant friction in our closest relationships. At best, we can be doomed to misunderstand one another and at the very worst experience to pure hatred simply because we do not understand our drives and our neighbor's.

Not only will our relationships suffer, but our decision making capabilities may be deeply biased without our even knowing it. I will share two personal examples. As a Myers-Briggs ESTJ, at a very high level, I am an extrovert and at times assert my opinion more than I'd like to... which can lead to less listening, less learning, and more stupidity on my part (confirmation bias). In addition, I test out as an Enneagram type 3 "Achiever" which means I am prone to over activity, following the 'new shiny object', and saying yes to every opportunity presented (FOMO), and these personality traits can lead to severe a lack of focus. A lack of focus will be punished by your wife and your investments with equal severity! The single biggest reason Buffett is Buffett is because he said NO to SO many ideas, investments, and 'opportunities' and FOCUSED.

So, understanding my behaviors and psychological profile allows me to target negative habits and remove them in order to continue moving towards a more thoughtful and focused life. In addition to removing negative habits, some of the positive habits I am cultivating on a daily basis include slowing down, focusing on the things that matter (