Of everything I learned about habits and human nature from working on my book Better Than Before, the most challenging thing I figured out -- and the insight I'm most proud of -- is my Four Tendencies framework. (See below for a quick overview.)
It took me months of rumination to make sense of everything I'd observed, and to fit it into a system that accounted for everything. I'll never forget the thrill I felt when everything at last fell into place.
I felt like I'd uncovered something like the Periodic Table of the Elements. My framework is balanced, consistent, encompassing, and predictive -- if I do say so myself.
For that reason, I wanted to develop a quiz to help people figure out their Tendency. With the help of the extraordinary Mike Courtney and his team at Aperio Insights, it's ready! (It turns out that it's a lot harder to make this kind of quiz than you might think.)
At last, it's finished. Take the quiz here. Your results will give you your Tendency, along with a simple description. If you'd like more information about your Tendency, you'll get a prompt at the end to request a detailed report.
Remember, be honest! The Quiz is only as accurate as the answers you provide.
When I talk about the Tendencies, people often say, "I'm a mix." It's true that the Tendencies do overlap, so each Tendency shares aspects with other Tendencies -- but it's not really possible to be a mix. To be an Upholder is not to be an Obliger. To be a Questioner is not to be a Rebel. While Upholders and Obligers both respond readily to outer expectations, it's how they respond to inner expectations that distinguishes them. Similarly, Questioners and Rebels both resist outer expectations; it's how they respond to inner expectations that distinguishes them. And so on.
For this reason, part of what made the Quiz tricky was that I had to figure out questions that would really pinpoint the key differences among the Tendencies.
Once you've taken the Quiz -- did your answer ring true for you?
In Better Than Before, I explore at greater length the nature of the Four Tendencies, and how they affect habits.
In fact, I'm thinking of writing a little book that's a field guide to the Four Tendencies, one that goes even deeper into this framework. Would you be interested in something like that?
In the meantime, https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4232520/gretchenrubinfourtendenciesquiztake the Quiz! I'd love to hear what you think.
If you need a quick overview of the Four Tendencies:
In a nutshell, it distinguishes how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).
Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense--essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
I hope you find the Quiz useful. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun to do. I'm very curious to hear people's reaction to it, so please do post a comment to share your thoughts..