Four Core Temperaments and Their Opposing Directions

Core Temperaments

What stands in your way of reaching your fullest potential or arriving at the destination in life you want to go?  Is it resources like money, time and education? Even with an unlimited amount of these things, both failure and success are possibilities. So, it seems unlikely that these have the strongest influence on failure or success in life. What about resources like motivation, imagination and fortitude? Are these the difference between success and failure? I say, “yes.” But ONLY if you understand how to mobilize these strengths and devote them to a specific direction and purpose that is innately yours. Let’s understand more about the four core temperaments and the direction your life is intended to go.


Core temperaments are strong currents.

Previously, we spent time differentiating between personality and temperament. Whereas personality reflects your response to changing circumstances, temperament serves as a steady, unchanging force that operates much like a strong current. Over time, this current shapes the contours of your personal circumstances and carries your greatest potential forward with great momentum. And since all momentum (or motion) has direction and purpose, it makes sense that you need to understand more about where temperament means to take you.

Your temperament is the source of drives, urges and strengths that shape your path to success, regardless of your circumstances. When you know your temperament, it opens up a clear path before you.  If you don’t know yours, it’s time to…



Just like north, south, east and west…

The four core temperaments are moving in opposing directions, just like north, south, east and west. Each of us are operating an intelligent design that’s urging us to choose its preferred ways of thinking, feeling and acting.

  • Consider the SPs: They’re bold, spontaneous and impulsive and they operate with the desire to impact their world with real-time solutions to real-world problems.
  • Moving in a direction opposite to the SPs are the SJs. They are cautious, careful and planned. They desire to achieve order and structure in the world, thereby solving real-world problems with a logistical and proven plan.

Even though the SP and the SJ are moving with opposing forces at work within them, they can achieve perfect tension between them when creating solutions together.

Similarly, the NT and the NF round out the sophisticated interactions of the four core temperaments.

  • NTs use calm, logic and strategy to create their improvements and solutions. They create systems where efficiency and creativity go hand in hand.
  • Whereas NFs use passion, diplomacy and intuition to solve very complicated issues. They’re greatest influence is in the area of complicated human interactions.

All four temperaments are working to create solutions. But all four are following a current that pulls them in perfect tension. It gets easier to see that it is this tension that expands the possibilities of what we can accomplish when each of us is understanding and appreciating the important differences between us.

Don’t get sidetracked with the multitude of personality tests available.  Discover your temperament and follow the inner current that carries you steadily toward a sense of purpose and satisfaction.


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