On Seeking Serenity

So, who wouldn’t want a little more peace and serenity in their life, right? And of course the moment I hear the word serenity, I think the serenity prayer from Alcoholics Anonymous. You know, the one that goes: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

But of course Bill W. and Bob S. the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were not the authors of the prayer. The original Serenity Prayer is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, and the full length version is a bit longer than the commonly quoted four verses. The full version says:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

But, oh, the joys of the internet!! If you do a diligent search of the internet, you can uncover a differentially distributed Serenity Prayer by Myers-Briggs Type! Which of course is funny only if you have a bit of background understanding of the Myers-Briggs Types. So, here is a little on Myers-Briggs Types, followed by the Myers-Briggs Serenity Prayers.  (oh be persistent, read the background, the differentiated Serenity Prayers are funny enough to be worth it).

Excerpted with permission from the MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®

Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N)Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?

So, your Myers-Briggs Type is your combination preferences from those four groups. This is a very quick and very, very dirty way of coming at it, but have a look at the four groups, and the questions, and pick out your four preferences. Then have a read below 😉

And here are the Myers-Briggs Type based Serenity Prayers:


ISTJ – God, help me to begin relaxing about little details tomorrow at 11:41:32 am

ISFJ – Lord, help me to be more laid back, and help me to do it exactly right

INFJ – Lord, help me not be a perfectionist (Did I spell that right?)

INTJ – Lord, keep me open to others’ ideas, wrong though they may be

ISTP – God, help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them are hypersensitive

ISFP – Lord, help me to stand up for my rights (if You don’t mind my asking)

INFP – Lord, help me to finish everything I sta. . .

INTP – Lord, help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.

ESTP – God, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually not my fault

ESFP – God, help me to take things more seriously especially parties and dancing

ENFP – God, help me keep my mind on one thing – Look, a bird – at a time.

ENTP – God, help me follow established procedures today. On second thought, I’ll settle for a few minutes

ESTJ – God, help me to try not to run everything, but if You need some help, just ask.

ESFJ – Lord, give me patience and I mean right now

ENFJ – God, help me to do only what I can and trust You for the rest. Do You mind putting that in writing?

ENTJ – God, help me to slow downandnotrushthroughwhatIdoAmen.

As Niebuhr says, Forgiveness is the final form of love. Let it be.



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