By: Saadia Jabbar
We are witnessing a growing trend of addictions to what I would like to call demoralising desires and temporary pleasures.
We know of our purpose, we know of our destination — so why do we continue to live for the dunya (this world, as opposed to the Hereafter) as if it were our only goal and the real essence of our existence?
This life is but a preparation for the next. We must focus on our destination and choose our paths wisely.
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [Qur’an: Chapter 51, Verse 56]
Yet we find ourselves sitting in front of televisions, computer screens and game consoles, investing our precious time in unprofitable matters, and in many cases, haram exposure. We waste away our wealth in masking our insecurities and fulfilling a moment’s thrill for a lifetime of debt. We are even shamelessly falling deep into the culture of drugs and alcohol despite their clear forbiddance in the Qur’an!
This is the seventh of a series of eight articles on ‘Productive Thinking’. The series aims to address the challenges that Muslims face on many different levels when it comes to productivity. These levels include: the mental, emotional and physical levels. This series will tackle thinking and mindset on the mental level; negative emotions like anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, fear, etc. on the emotional level; and habits on the physical level. (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6)
This article will explore the DISC behaviour profile and offer solutions on how to overcome associated self-sabotage to maximise your productivity and actualise your potential. It also includes an exercise that will help you identify your real values.
Behaviour Styles and Self-Sabotage Patterns
Your behaviour profile, or personality profile as many people like to call it, is a profile that indicates how you normally see the world and function. I think calling it a personality profile is restricting because the profile does not define who you are as a person. Besides, your personality is a combination of your values, beliefs, identity, habits, attitudes, motivations and emotions. Behaviour profile mainly shows your unconscious thinking style, behaviour and communication styles. It shows how you behave under certain situations and shows your strengths and weaknesses (areas of improvement). Behaviour can be changed, but if you say this is my personality and this is who I am, then your behaviour becomes your identity and it becomes a challenge to change.
The purpose of this section is to highlight the aspect of productivity that people rarely talk about and are unaware of: The four major behaviour styles and how each style affects productivity. It is often what we are not aware of that trips us up.
Imam Sakhawi said: “Whoever knows themselves knows their Lord”. It is only through knowing ourselves that we learn to appreciate the wisdom of our Creator. It is even more than that. It is through knowing ourselves that we can maximise our strengths, mitigate our weaknesses and reach our full potential.
By knowing the different behaviour profiles, you will get insight into why some people have challenges seeing a vision or setting goals for themselves and why some people have challenges following through.
“And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.” (Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 22).
It is from Allah’s wisdom that people are created to be different, everyone with his/her strengths and weaknesses, so we all learn from and complement one another and work together. It is about knowing where your strengths lie and maximising them, then learning the strength of others and how they think and view the world, so that we can model different aspects of their behaviour to achieve our higher purpose. The key is to be flexible in our thinking and action.
“The first step towards change is awareness,” says Nathaniel Branden, author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem.
For the sake of simplicity and for the purpose of this article, I will be generalising quite a lot to make the behaviour profile and patterns simple to understand. There are so many levels to this and many nuances and combinations, which is not within the scope of this article.
The DISC profile includes four main behaviour profiles:
- Dominance: the type who wants to win
- Influence: the type who wants to be liked
- Steadiness: the type who wants to be comfortable
- Conscientiousness: the type who wants to be right
An individual has a behaviour profile that is a combination of at least two types and at most three, but he/she can usually be identified by one dominant type.
Please keep in mind the following three thinking patterns (motivators) as we move forward:
• Moving away or moving towards (Pain/pleasure motivated)
• Detail or big picture thinker
• People-oriented or task-oriented