At this point, many people have become acquainted with personality typing – everything from Myers-Briggs to the zodiac – but there’s a lesser-known function that’s slid under the radar. Your dominant action style determines what you’re motivated by, and how you best move your life forward. Kathy Caprino claims that when your action style isn’t being honored, it’s common to feel disconnected and unfulfilled. Here, the 6 styles, and how to know which you are:
The striver is motivated by ideals, and their desire to achieve. They not only aspire to the ultimate life, but can err on the side of perfectionistic. Their main objective in life is to achieve what they have envisioned, and are willing to endure whatever it takes to get there. They move by virtue of their own vision, being fulfilled not by the journey, but the destination. They get a contact high from checking off items on their “to do” list, and feel all the more energized when they can quantify their productivity. Their main strength is being able to move toward a goal without letting obstacles overcome them, but their weakness is that they can prioritize achievement over other important aspects of the human experience, such as friendship, love or empathy.
The challenger isn’t usually found working toward one particular goal. They’re more compelled to question *why* someone aspires to something, and are quick to be skeptical of conventional thinking, authority or direction. They thrive when they’re able to understand something, not necessarily solve it. Knowing the reason *why* is an accomplishment to them. Their strength is that they are motivated by a desire to understand deep truths, and can therefore be highly introspective and self-aware. On the downside, their weakness is that they obviously struggle to move forward consistently. They’re too distracted by their own minds.
The pacer is methodical. They will arrive at their goal eventually, but they are meticulous about the process. The pacer is mostly concerned with *how* they arrive at the end-goal; the means are just as important as the ends. They are in love with not only achieving something, but achieving it because they worked hard and earned it. Their strength is that they aren’t easily swayed from their goals, and they are very reliable. Their weakness is that they are not very open to change, and even if a better method is presented to them, they’ll often prefer to stick to what they know.
The advocator is motivated by justice. They only aspire to something when it has a deeper meaning and purpose, particularly in the realm of transforming the self/community/greater world. Their greatest goals involve helping themselves to help the rest of the world, and they find themselves unmotivated if something is not for the sake of the “greater good.” Their focus is on meaning, and they have a very hard time keeping themselves committed to anything that doesn’t have a clear purpose, or doesn’t interest them in some profound way. Their strength is that they are extremely alluring and spirited in their work and life, and will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve momentous feats. Their weakness is that they can sometimes overlook details, overgeneralize and not have tolerance for anyone who doesn’t commit their lives to a greater purpose or understanding.
The researcher doesn’t want to achieve, they want to learn. They evaluate each goal they take on from every perspective possible in order to determine the one most worth pursuing. The researcher is the opposite of impulsive – they are highly informed. They seek to understand with depth and complexity, and build/determine alternative options for their lives. Their strength is their ability to think outside the box, amass information, and help shape other people’s decisions with their sheer quality of understanding. Their weakness is not knowing when to stop learning, and start leaping. Not everything in life can be calculated or perfectly understood. There’s risk involved in everything, but the researcher assumes they can eliminate it by becoming more informed (they can’t).
The seeker’s objective is to have an experience, not achieve something. They are the epitome of those who like to “go with the flow,” and are happy to adopt different goals and visions as their lives expand and offer them more options. They are the kind of people who take spontaneous weekend road trips and have stories of all the zany people they’ve met and things they’ve learned. Their strength is that they’re very open to all that life has to offer. Their weakness is that they often disregard practicality, to a fault.