The Ancient Chinese Personality Indicator You Need To Know About + What It Says About You

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The system of the Five Elements began as a healing practice that grew out of a 5,000-year-old Asian medical system. Chinese physicians believed that the universe is composed of forces that include water, wood, fire, earth, and metal—the five elements. They proposed that human behavior, emotions, and health are also influenced by these elements and that people are led by one or two elements. If we understand these elements, we can use them to stay in balance physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Here's what you need to know:

1. If your primary or secondary element is water:

Water Archetype: The Philosopher

Famous Waters: Kurt Cobain, Nicolas Cage

Water people dive deep into life. Waters are the ones who walk slowly through the rain, soaking up the smell of the wet pavement and listening to the droplets on the ground. Waters take their time. The word "hurry" is not in their vocabulary, and this plays out in the way they speak, walk, act, react, and live—they take in everything around them.

Waters have unique and inspiring ideas, but putting those ideas into action is quite difficult for a Water. They can get lost and overwhelmed by the details. They yearn for someone else to manage the little things for them.

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2. If your primary or secondary element is wood:

Archetype: The Pioneer

Famous Woods: Alecia Moore (aka P!NK), Simon Cowell

Woods are fearless and they lead with a determination that surpasses all limits. They see the bigger picture, find solutions, seek out the best in things, and make changes. They are strong, sturdy, stable, logical, bold, independent, and unapologetic. They are also very fair-minded, and nothing upsets them more than injustices. This makes them powerful.

Woods exude confidence and don't let much stand in their way. If they can imagine it, it can be done. They enjoy debates and arguments and are not easily swayed by other's opinions. Once they make up their minds, there is little that can convince them that someone else's opinion is right. Woods know they are right, which acts as fuel for their strong drive but doesn't always bode well for their personal relationships.

3. If your primary or secondary element is fire:

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Archetype: The Wizard

Famous Fires: Jim Carrey, Ellen DeGeneres

Do you know someone who always seems to be happy, joyful, or excited? They walk into a room with a huge smile, almost dancing as they walk. There is an uplifting, lively rhythm to their existence, and they seem to not get stuck in the muck that slows down the rest of us.

Fires have the natural ability to pull other elements out of darkness or boredom into the land of the living. Their energy is contagious. They laugh easily and seem to be bubbling over with excitement even if others don't see any reason to get excited. Just about every day is an incredible experience for them.

Pleasure, fun, and anything that feels good is where Fires are drawn. However, Fires often abandon people or events that lack excitement and passion. They are loyal and dedicated until something doesn't feel good, and then they move on to the next pleasurable experience. It can seem like a Fire person loves everybody and that their love for you isn't so special or sincere.

4. If your primary or secondary element is earth:

Archetype: The Preschool Teacher

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Famous Earths: Mister Rogers, Pope Francis

Earths are the angels of compassion and caring. Earth people almost always have children, but if they don't they will pour their love into caring for animals or teaching children. Their nurturing nature comes from deep within the heart and shows itself through generosity. They quilt, sew, garden, cook, or paint, all so they can give handmade gifts to others. They want to make you feel comfortable, safe, and know you are loved. Deep inside, they are hoping for love in return.

Change can be excruciating for Earths, and they don't want anyone to feel bad or dislike them so they are careful not to rock the boat. Uncomfortable with change and risk, they tend to walk on eggshells, say what they think people want to hear, and enable others.

5. If your primary or secondary element is metal:

Archetype: The Alchemist

Famous Metals: Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham

The Metal person is a master at meeting life where it is at and rising above it. They are above the fray of its ups and downs and never get too ruffled.

Metals are spiritual seekers often looking to the next guru or mind-body-spirit connection. Because the Metal person is often seeking a higher path of spiritual existence, if you don't fit into their vision of the divine, then they may politely end their relationship with you without arguing or struggle. The Metal will say "farewell" and move on to something and someone at the level that they require. It can feel cold and detached, but for the Metal it is a path of the highest respect for themselves and their journey.

Learn more about the Five Elements (and take the quiz to learn yours) right here.

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