Here is a quiz that I give frequently in my presentations and trainings to people who are seeking to find psychological freedom and peace of mind.

  1. Imagine that your personality is a circle.
  2. Now imagine all the parts of that circle where your personality is trying to prove something, show something, hide something or please someone.
  3. Erase all the parts of your personality that are involved in proving, showing, hiding or pleasing.
  4. What is left?

When I do this quiz, the majority of the attendees will smile with a a look that tells me it was a “gotcha,” and say, “Nothing.”

If that is the case with you, then you are leased out to other people and you don’t belong to you.

Here’s the benefit of the quiz.

If you can keep those aspects of your personality out of it, you may feel awkward or worse, disoriented and anxious, but if you can stay steadfast with your commitment to it, you may discover that there is a calling that has been calling out to you for decades for you to heed.

However, you haven’t been able to hear it or heed it, because you were too busy proving, showing, hiding and pleasing.

Give it a try and report back and tell us what reveals itself to you.

And remember, don’t try to make the calling happen. That will more often drive it further away.

BTW the calling that I discovered when I eliminated prove, show, hide, please parts of my personality and when I listened to the “quiet” located between the noise in the world and noise in my head, was a screaming from the world to hear and feel people’s pain with them, so they could feel less alone in it.


  • Mark Goulston, M.D.

    Author, speaker, podcast host, psychiatrist

    Dr. Mark Goulston is the inventor and developer of Surgical Empathy an approach that helps people to break their attachments to counterproductive modes of functioning and frees them to connect with more productive and healthier alternatives. He is the host of the “My Wakeup Call” podcast where he interviews people on the wakeup calls that changed who they are and made them better human beings and at being human and the host of the LinkedIn Live show, "No Strings Attached." He is a Founding Member of the Newsweek Expert Forum. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on deep listening, radical empathy and real influence with his book, “Just Listen,” becoming the top book on listening in the world, translated into twenty languages and a topic he speaks and teaches globally. He is an advisor, coach, mentor and confidante to CEO’s, founders and entrepreneurs helping them to unlock all their internal blocks to achieving success, fulfillment and happiness. Originally a UCLA professor of psychiatry and crisis psychiatrist for over 25 years, and former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, Dr. Goulston's expertise has been forged and proven in the crucible of real-life, high stakes situations including being a boots on the ground suicide prevention specialist and serving as an advisor in the OJ Simpson criminal trial. Including, “Just Listen,” he is the author or co-author of nine books with multiple best sellers. He writes or contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Biz Journals, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today and has appeared as an psychological expert in the media including: CNN, Headline News, msNBC, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Today and was the subject of a PBS special. He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California.