As a writer attempting to communicate his ideas with the world, I often find myself wondering how my message is received. I tend to view this exchange of information from a teacher/ student dynamic. I just so happen to have information that you don’t, and I am more than happy to share it with you. Today, we’re going to look at a different dynamic, the introvert versus the extrovert.
In her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain explains that one of the main differences between introverts and extroverts is that introverts tend to opt for environments with less stimulation. A benefit of being introverted is that introverts are more likely to create an environment for themselves that allows them to perform something called deliberate practice.
Another difference between the two is that extroverts tend to be lead by materialistic and hedonistic drives. Introverts are more likely to learn for learning’s sake. We can sometimes see this difference in the way we work out.
A lot of us are goal oriented. And that’s not a bad thing, do not misunderstand. But, it can also benefit us to be internally driven during our workouts as well. It doesn’t always have to be about the weight on the bar or that we smashed a certain exercise. It can just be about the process of understanding our bodies better.
The introvert might set up a workout that is designed to learn how to squat better. Not to squat a certain amount of weight a certain amount of times.
The introvert in this situation has set up an environment for his or herself to perform deliberate practice. The external parameters do not concern them. The workout gravitates toward what they feel needs the most work.
“Persistence isn’t very glamorous. If genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration, then as a culture we tend to lionize the one percent. We love its flash and dazzle. But great power lies in the other ninety-nine percent.”
It should be said that all this doesn’t mean introverts are better or that extroverts do not have an inner desire to understand the world better. These are just temperaments that people have.
Introverts are highly sensitive to stimulus. This sensitivity makes it easier for them to do a workout designed around feeling small deviations in the movements of their bodies. Someone with an extroverted temperament might pay more attention to how much grueling work they accomplished. It may be harder for them to feel the small adjustments needed to make their squat better.
Of course, the factors I listed are all skills that can be learned. They are just more accessible to you depending on whether you are introverted or extroverted. Extroverts can learn to tune their inner beings, and introverts can learn to act like extroverts.
The first step is to recognize which end of the spectrum you fall. Take Susan Cain’s Introvert Test.
For more on introverts, watch Susan’s TedTalk.
P.S. If you are looking for something a little different and more regular, I started a daily blog for random ideas and musings.
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