19 Five Questions (Metaphorical)
The first two questions are for the period of our life when we are still at the mercy of the environment. Call it our passive “plant self” stage, it is where our emotional imprint is strongest and difficult to alter.
The second two questions are for our active “animal self” stage. Here we are more or less able to use our mental power to negotiate challenges we face.
The last question is about our unadulterated personality, modeled after the Enneagram of Personalities.
Answering these questions leads to suitable plant helpers.
1. Water Element theme: When describing your upbringing as a plant, what kind of soil did you grow up in?
___ Hard, dry soil. It was difficult to spread roots. Lonely because there were not enough of us around.
___ Fertile soil. But because of it, there was a lot of competition.
___ Poor, thin soil. There were not enough nutrients to grow vigorously.
___ Over fertilized. Too much expectation that actually was burdensome.
___ Cold and damp. There was a risk of root rot. Needed to get out.
2. Metal Element theme: Every climate has its own challenges. What was your hardship?
___ Icy cold. Had to fend myself against neglect.
___ Tropical. Had to fend myself against sarcasm.
___ Desert dry. Had to fend myself against cynicism.
___ Temperate. Had to fend myself against the mundane.
___ Humid. Had to fend myself against physical abuse.
3. Earth Element theme: You’ve been given a task that is not to your liking or is beyond your capacity. What was your response?
___ I’m putting in my effort but don’t see the return.
___ I worry that my performance is not good enough.
___ Unsettled because my mind wanders away from the task.
___ Borderline depressed by my inability to cope.
___ I am slow and missing my opportunity out of hesitation.
4. Wood Element theme: On the path you set for yourself suddenly appears a formidable mountain. How will you respond?
___ I will pause. I take it as a chance to see the picture.
___ I will negotiate. I change the path if it makes life easier.
___ I will take one step by step. I will accept the hardship and suffering with gratitude.
___ I will not see it as a challenge. I keep my pease regardless.
___ I will take on the challenge and blast through it. The reward will be greater when taking the risk.
5. Fire Element theme: Who do you think you are born to be, and what do you love?
___ I am a reformer. I love perfection.
___ I am a helper. I love to give.
___ I am an achiever. I love to perform.
___ I am an individualist. I love romance.
___ I am an investigator. I love to observe.
___ I am a loyalist. I love to believe.
___ I am an enthusiast. I love novelty.
___ I am a challenger. I love the truth.
___ I am a peacemaker. I love to love.