My Archetype: The Maestro

I love to share good things. It feels wrong to me to keep them to myself. I wrote a blog post in December titled: “How do you fascinate?” that shared ideas from the book: “How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination” by Sally Hogshead. I have now had more time to process and contemplate this book and the personality test that is included in this 400+ page book. Let me share the turn of events. I took the test and shared my interest in this book with a co-worker. They in turn were curious and found a link online to take the test for free. It spread quickly with my team at work. We were intrigued, fascinated (no pun intended), and learned a bit more about ourselves.

You might be thinking, rah, rah, another personality test. It is, and it isn’t. I have read the 400+ page book. I have studied the 49 different results. This is not just a personality test for me. It is a new way of looking at myself and others. Why? Well the premise of her book is that we are 99% boring and 1% fascinating. The results of the test are meant to tell you more about your 1%. That 1% is what the world sees when they see you.

Take the quiz at this link: www.harperbusiness.com/you

Did you take it? I have more to share, but it might make more sense after you have taken the quiz. I promise it only takes a few minutes. Done? Okay, so here I go. My results took me a while to process. I was shy about it. I thought, really? This is how people see me? Then, I embraced it. You have an archetype that is made up of a first and second advantage, and then a dormant advantage. Your advantages are how you communicate.

My archetype: The Maestro (Ambitious, Focused, Confident, Uncompromising, Formidable)
My first advantage: Power – You lead with command (Confident, Goal-Oriented, Decisive)
My second advantage: Prestige – You earn respect with higher standards (Ambitious, Results Oriented, Respected)
My dormant advantage: Mystique – You communicate with substance (Which means hiding my emotions or opinions drains me.)

While I struggled with my results, or maybe was a bit shocked, I am everything the adjectives describe. Relentless to make things happen, focused on the goal, and all with excellence leading the way (I have a hard time completing anything that does not meet my high expectations).

Did you just learn a lot about me? I am curious what your results are – leave a note in the comments section with your results and how you feel about them.

Random recipe: Ned Ludd’s Skillet Cookie

As a kid going out to pizza was a big deal in my house. Usually the luxury was bestowed upon us by my grandma. She treated us when we were at her house and she did not want to cook, or when we begged her for pizza. I was more a fan of thick crust pizza, but when my sister, grandma, and I were together, they usually beat my choice which meant we had Pizza King. Known for their thin crust Pizza (and locations only in Indiana), it was the default quick and easy meal, and a luxury to us kids. The pizza was fine to me (although I have craved it in the past few years) but my favorites were the breadsticks, and if I was very lucky the massive chocolate chip cookie. It was the size of an 8 or 10 inch pizza.

Since Chris loves cookies of most kinds (sans snickerdoodles and sugar cookies) I am always on the lookout for a new cookie recipe. This one was a bit different as it is one big cookie in a skillet (just like my childhood Pizza King cookie, only much thicker).

Before

Before

Ned Ludd’s Skillet Cookie
(Published in Portland Monthly Magazine, December 2014)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup 75-percent cacao dark chocolate wafers
Flake salt for finishing
10-inch cast-iron skillet

MAKE THE DOUGH
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl whisk together flour and baking soda, and set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, salt, and vanilla extract, and continue beating until combined. Add flour-soda combo mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate wafers.

After

After

BAKE THE COOKIE
Flatten the dough inside a 10-inch skillet. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the center is just set. To simulate Ned Ludd’s blackened, bitter crust, turn the broiler on and cook a minute or two longer, taking care not to burn the top completely. Remove from oven and sprinkle with flake salt. Serve with a small glass of milk, or pour milk right over the top while the cookie’s still hot and watch it sizzle.

Makes one 10-inch cookie.

It is delicious. If you like a crispy thin cookie this will not be your thing, but if you like a crispy outside and soft, almost cake-like inside this just might hit the spot. We ate it for a few days, and I have to say that warming it and pouring the milk, half and half, or heavy cream on top is a must. There is something about the cookie with the flake salt, and the cold cream mixture that makes a mouthful of flavors.

Passing Notes on a Date

Usually when Chris and I have the time to go out on a date, I am not at a loss for words. The last time we went out for dinner, just the two of us, was before New Years and we were annoyed by the guests sitting next to us. Since then our dates have been over weekend brunch, which is often our weekly date. Either way we always have lots to talk about, and there is never a lull of communication between us. So when I read this idea in the book: “The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help” by Amanda Palmer I thought I wonder if I could pull this off?

“One night in a candlelit restaurant in San Francisco, shortly after we got married, I asked Neil if we could just write each other notes during the whole meal. In real time, like texting, but with pens and paper. The waiter thought we were slightly strange, but by the end of the meal we’d shared a degree of intimate information that we probably wouldn’t have if we’d just been sitting there chatting. And we could illustrate our points with pie charts and cartoons. And we really enjoyed our food, because we weren’t literally talking through it. The couple next to us asked what we were doing, and when we told them, they ordered a pad of paper and two pens from the waiter.” Page 39

Interesting isn’t it? What if we were quiet and poised, and did not go on and on in our verbal communication, but rather made the date a written experience? As someone who writes and documents the world, and tracks life moments in a calendar, I can see how interesting it would be to look back many months later and see what communication we had during our date. It also makes me think that there would possibly be less miscommunication since it is all done in written form. Maybe we need to communicate more often in writing? Like the lost art of letter writing.

I would like to try it. I am sure those that are dining nearby might think that there is something odd about our interaction. I can remember when we were on our honeymoon many years ago and most of the other couples that were on their honeymoon would sit together and not talk or interact (so very strange to me). Based on that I am always aware of watching other couples in a restaurant to find out if they talk, or if they just sit there and eat and stare at each other.

Chris will you try writing notes on a date with me?

Your energy footprint

Maybe it was all those years I was a Girl Scout, or all the times I played in the back of the room during my brother’s Boy Scout meetings, or maybe all the Boy Scout camping trips I had to tag along on, but I have a strong inclination to leave a place better than I found it. Growing up I thought about it in the way of cleaning up after yourself, but over time that evolved to the energy you leave behind. I have frequently shared excerpts from the “Daily Om” newsletter I receive, and this one particularly resonated with me in regards to your energy footprint. It is from the Daily Om titled: “Blessing Space: Leaving a Positive Footprint.”

“Physical space acts like a sponge, absorbing the radiant of all who pass through it. And, more likely than not, the spaces we move through each day have seen many people come and go. We have no way of knowing whether the energy footprints left behind by those who preceded us will invigorate us or drain us. Yet we can control the energy footprint we leave behind for others. In blessing each space we enter, we orchestrate a subtle energy shift that affects not only our own experiences in that space but also the experiences of the individuals who will enter the space after us. While we may never see the effects our blessing has had, we can take comfort in the fact that we have provided grace for those that follow after us.”

Whether or not we leave a blessing matters, but so does what we leave behind. Toxic is the word I often use for certain people who suck the life out of a room, or the atmosphere. Their energy footprint drags you down, takes the life out of a situation, and often zap your energy. How we approach a situation, and how we manage our energy matters in every situation. There are times when I have to adjust the energy I exude because my intuition tells me that calmness and poise is more needed in the moment then my spewing energy. As the Daily Om states, we often never know how our energy affects the space, but we can know if we go into each moment being conscious of how best to handle the situation we are usually on the right track to bless rather than damage the energy flow.

Are you aware of what energy you bring to the moments of your day?

“Words and Pictures”

Over the long holiday weekend, we watched “Words and Pictures.” It has been a while since I have seen a good movie (or one that I actually watched completely without multi-tasking). This one sucked me in. Maybe it was the subject matter. Words, writing, ideas and art, painting, pictures. Plus it had a bit of the indie film feel to it. It was a mellow movie, not too much drama, but just the right amount of depth.

Juliette Binoche and Clive Davis are the main characters and they do not disappoint. Owen is an alcoholic, yet endearing English professor at a college prep school, and Binoche an artist/painter who cannot do what she used to after rheumatoid arthritis effects her. They begin a personal and professional war that moves both their students and their own worlds. It was not an amazing movie, but enough to keep me engaged and make me think. I was enamored watching her paint. Who knows if Binoche had any idea what she was doing at the craft of painting, watching her awakened a dormant vein inside me. I have not painted for a while. She painted large pieces, a size I do not have a space for, yet it brought back a craving for me to continue to paint. It brought back the desire to dust off my brushes and get busy painting.

As far as the movie goes, I could speak to either side of the debate (words or pictures) as the movie debates. I am a word fanatic. I love writing, find that I process my world with words. Yet, I also love art. It calms me, is therapeutic, and truly allows me to be in the moment. Some of my paintings have no words to describe them, they are just something I feel. Sometimes my words still do not do justice to what I am feeling. The debate continues, but both are just as important to me.

Check out the trailer below.