First, some definitions for the context of this post:
- An Active Personality is one who has a clear idea of how they want the world to be and does not easily tolerate deviations from this ideal. When deviations occur, the active personality aggressively acts to remedy the situation.
- A Passive Personality is one who is flexible in their concept of how the world should be. They adapt rapidly to changing circumstance and are not stressed when things do not go according to plan.
These two personalities sit at opposite ends of a spectrum, the primary measure of which is stress. Now, so far as I can tell, stress exists to prompt us to change our lives. Like the pain that tells you, please, to move your hand off that hot iron, stress tells you that something in your life is out of whack and needs to be corrected.
The two personalities I defined are extremes when it comes to stress. The active personality feels stress acutely. Everything is a big deal, and as such they are aggressive about changing things. The passive personality has a far below normal level of stress. Bad situations don’t stress them enough to prompt action.
Which is better off? Thats a tough question, and one that I wonder about a lot. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. The active personality is burdened by too much stress; quite possibly nothing will ever be good enough. However, they will, probably, effect substantial and largely positive change on their life. The passive personality is free of the burden of all that stress, but they are also lacking motivation to improve their life.
Probably, as if often the case, the best option falls somewhere in the middle. Allowing the imperfections of life to affect you two deeply is a path to depression and frustration. Some things, frankly, are not worth worrying about. But some things are worth getting upset over, so long as you channel that anger towards improving the situation. The key is to recognize what situations merit getting stressed and which can be allowed to slip under the radar.
Of course, everyone’s priority will be different. I can’t tell you where to draw the line. However, you can take a closer look at where you fall on the spectrum and decide whether or not it’s working for you.