I remember the first time I took a personality test. I think it was the one where there are four animals. No, maybe it was the one with the letters. It could have been the one that just gives you a label. I’m positive it was not the one with colors or numbers. Anyway, I remember that feeling of wonder- “how could this test have gotten me so right?” It’s as if the test reached into my very soul with it’s 20 questions and excavated the very essence of who I am. The next day, I remember seeing the world and its people with all new eyes. Everywhere I looked at my fellow humans, I could explain their behavior by virtue of my new animal or letter or label paradigm. “Well, they must be an otter. Only otters act like that.” I was also freed from a multitude of other personality traits which I no longer had to be. I mean, if you want a driver, go get Fred, he’s a “d”…he’s a lion. He’ll lead us out of this mess. My strength is “WOO”, so if you need to win someone over, call me.

And what an incredible bonus to know there were other people who were the same label as me. “Oh my gosh, you’re a golden retriever…I’m a golden retriever too.” In this chaotic universe, I had found my people. Me and my INFJ gang could party or spray paint our tag on a bridge or something. Yep, there’s something so orderly in knowing that the whole world can be divided into 4 animals or letters or 9 numbers or 5 love languages.

But then, as instantaneously as I had found the key to the core of my identity, I began to experience post-personality assessment stress disorder…PPASD…which was a whole new set of letters. It started when I studied all the personality result possibilities and I thought, “well, actually there’s a side of me that’s a four, and a one, two, three….nine…actually there’s a part of me in all of these numbers?” Am I schizophrenic? What if I like gifts AND words of affirmation AND physical touch AND quality time…and aren’t all of these acts of service? Is there something wrong with me? The lines that were so distinctly drawn between me and my fellow humans began to blur. I mean, Sally is WOO. I am WOO, but Sally definitely doesn’t WOO like I WOO. And why did you say- “being a 4 explains everything about me? How dare you reduce me down to a number? And don’t tell me ‘that’s exactly what a 4 would say!’ “ My faith in that all-knowing quiz that sorted me like the hat at Hogwarts was riddled with scrutiny and doubt. I mean, what if I am a Slitherin? Would I just be doomed to a lifetime of evil-doing? Could I not change into a Hufflepuff? Like a house of cards, it all began to crumble into a pile of hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades…with me wanting to be the Joker!

And then it happened! I stumbled upon the power of my Top 10 movies. You see, there’s a piece of me in Red in SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Maria in the SOUND OF MUSIC, Saliere in AMADEUS, Harold Crick in STRANGER THAN FICTION, Guido in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, Norman in ON GOLDEN POND, Billy Beane in MONEYBALL, Jack in FAMILY MAN, George in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and Indiana Jones in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. My top 10 movie list is not like your top 10 movie list, is it? Yes, I have SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION on my list and so do you, but it’s likely for totally different reasons. You resonate with the way Maria stands up to the Captain out of love for the children, but I identify with how she is so devoted to God that she has lost a sense of her own desires…what she wants. And most people love the climax of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE as a glimpse of what it looks like to see the investment you’ve made in others return to bless you. But I love George when he’s bitter because he has to stay and save the building and loan one more time and he lets his frustration out on Mary, who has all these expectations of how he should react to her attempts to rekindle their romance. This scene speaks to so many times in my life when duty turns to bitterness for me and expectations of my reactions choke out my ability to determine what I really want. Wait! That’s two characters, George and Maria, who both struggle with devotion in tension with their own desires…and that’s me! That’s part of my story…part of who I am, that is represented in these favorite movies of mine.

And just like that, the same feeling I got when I took that first personality test returned, but this time it was not attached to a test that spat out a number for me. Instead, I was finding my story within a collection of stories that moved me…and these stories had something that no group of letters, nor number, nor other label had…they were visual articulations of my heart.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a motion picture has to be worth 100X as much. And so, I began to find themes, desires, triggers to conflict, truths I needed to hear, lies I needed to destroy, ways to face change, God…on and on…and all of these were specific to me. Unlike the personality test that gave me an affinity grouping, these insights are personal…so individually specific that there are times when a specific movie scene seems to have been made for me. And because I was looking at 10 movies instead of just a favorite movie, I could see the clear evidence of patterns. For example, many of the main characters in my Top 10 movies have an angel/Jesus-like character who disrupts their lives to give them a new perspective on their story: FAMILY MAN, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and STRANGER THAN FICTION. What did this have to say about the way I viewed God? What did this say about the value I place on new perspectives and life-significance?

It’s been seven years now with the same Top 10 movie list, and I still find incredible insights into my story. There’ve been timely moments such as the time I explored the best expression of love in my top 10 from ON GOLDEN POND, and it happened to be exactly the visual I needed to know that I was loved during that circumstance, in the same way that Norman was loved by Ethel. The time I looked through the lens of desire and saw in Indiana Jones the desire to preserve what is sacred, that we both shared. The time I looked through the lens of antagonism and saw the lie that I needed to destroy- that I could never change the system and this experiment would fail and leave me working at Dick’s Sporting Goods – like Billy Beane in MONEYBALL. And then also from MONEYBALL, the affirmation that I, too, was developing methods that allowed people who wouldn’t naturally be seen to be seen and valued.
There have been so many transcendent insights tied to this endless well of imagery, tied to the breadth of plot, character and theme found in 10 full-length stories, tied to scenes that speak to my head and my heart. How could I ever go back to a number or label to give me comfort…when my top 10 movies help me know that who I am is seen and my story known, by my Creator? And sharing these massive insights so that others can see me is as easy as dinner and a movie…and a conversation.

Yes, your favorite movies will never give you a clean and tidy label to share with others. But it will express your thumbprint. In a world that needs security in knowing that they belong to a tribe of people, there might be room for a collection of movies to express how you are so uniquely and wonderfully made…even if that looks a little like Indiana Jones.

For more information please visit- https://www.reelexperiences.com/enneagram-or-indiana-jones/

Author's Bio: 

George Krishton having over 5 years of experience into content writing, wrote articles globally for small and medium size business.