Personality Isn't Permanent Book Summary - Personality Isn't Permanent Book explained in key points
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Personality Isn't Permanent summary

Benjamin Hardy

Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story

4.6 (323 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

'Personality Isn't Permanent' by Benjamin Hardy is a self-help book that challenges the idea that personality is fixed and unchangeable. It provides practical tips to help readers intentionally shape their identity, leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

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    Personality Isn't Permanent
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    Personality testing isn’t about science – it’s about making money.

    How many types of people are there in the world? 

    Well, that depends on who you ask. One of the best-known personality tests, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, identifies 16 different kinds of personality. Then there’s the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, which claims that there are six different personality types. Other tests say three, or thirty-three.

    So why do the people who design these tests come to such radically different conclusions? Here’s the short answer: personality testing is pseudoscience. Because there’s no way of proving or disproving any individual theory, test designers can come up with any answer they please. Usually, that’s little more than a way of marketing their product.

    The key message in this blink is: Personality testing isn’t about science – it’s about making money.

    Take it from Merve Emre, the American author who literally wrote the book on personality testing. In her 2018 history of the industry, The Personality Brokers, Emre points out that the market for tests is worth around $2 billion. That’s a huge incentive for designers to pump out questionable tests and cash in on lucrative opportunities to “explain” the results they generate.

    This isn’t a recent development, though. As Emre shows, the very origins of personality testing are steeped in pseudoscience. Myers-Briggs tests, for example, were developed in the early twentieth century. Neither Katherine Briggs nor her daughter, Isabel Myers, had a scientific background. In fact, they’d never so much as stepped foot in a lab.

    Instead, the test was based entirely on Briggs’s personal experiences. After noticing that she and her husband responded differently to similar situations and that one of their children was much more shy than the other, she began to speculate on personality differences.

    Myers and Briggs didn’t just identify different personalities, though – they also claimed that these were innate. The flip side of this idea was that you shouldn’t try to change your personality. Rather, it was up to others to accommodate your hardwired dispositions. So-called “traits” like kindness or stinginess, Myers and Briggs believed, aren’t virtues or vices to be cultivated or abandoned – they’re simply the way you are.

    This is why the realization that such testing has no foundation in scientific evidence can be so liberating. When you stop thinking that you’re, say, “naturally” introverted or impatient, it becomes possible to think about ways of changing your personality if you want to!

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    What is Personality Isn't Permanent about?

    Personality Isn’t Permanent (2020) debunks the myths surrounding personality that get in the way of a life of personal growth, development, and success. The biggest misconception according to psychologist Benjamin Hardy is the notion that our personalities are innate and fixed. Correcting this error isn’t just a scientific advance, though – as we’ll see in these blinks, it also opens up a path to personal reinvention.

    Personality Isn't Permanent Review

    Personality Isn't Permanent (2020) is an eye-opening exploration of the idea that our personalities are not fixed but can be changed and developed throughout our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers compelling evidence and insightful stories that challenge the belief in static personalities, inspiring readers to embrace growth and transformation.
    • Presents a practical roadmap, with clear exercises and strategies, for reshaping one's identity and creating a life aligned with personal values and aspirations.
    • Breaks down the barriers of a dry, academic approach through engaging storytelling and relatable examples, making the exploration of personal change an exciting and enlightening journey.

    Best quote from Personality Isn't Permanent

    I wasnt being true to myself, I was being true to the self I wanted to become. – Adam Grant

    —Benjamin Hardy
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    Who should read Personality Isn't Permanent?

    • Self-improvers interested in new perspectives
    • Rationalists fed up with evidence-free advice
    • Anyone looking to kick a bad habit

    About the Author

    Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and the author of the bestselling Willpower Doesn’t Work. A prolific blogger, Hardy’s practical, science-driven advice has reached over 100 million readers. Hardy is also a regular contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Today, and many other outlets.

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    Personality Isn't Permanent FAQs 

    What is the main message of Personality Isn't Permanent?

    The main message of Personality Isn't Permanent is that we can shape our identities by focusing on our future selves rather than our past experiences.

    How long does it take to read Personality Isn't Permanent?

    The reading time for Personality Isn't Permanent varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Personality Isn't Permanent a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Personality Isn't Permanent is a valuable read for anyone looking to break free from limiting beliefs and create a more fulfilling future.

    Who is the author of Personality Isn't Permanent?

    The author of Personality Isn't Permanent is Benjamin Hardy.

    What to read after Personality Isn't Permanent?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Personality Isn't Permanent, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
    • Living Beyond “What If?” by Shirley Davis
    • Willpower Doesn't Work by Benjamin Hardy
    • Reinvent Yourself by James Altucher
    • Be Your Future Self Now by Benjamin Hardy
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
    • Personality by Daniel Nettle
    • You'll See It When You Believe It by Wayne W. Dyer
    • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman