I stare at the blank piece of paper.

A thousand thoughts fill my mind, but as soon as they make their presence known they are quashed by a cynical voice I recognize as my own, replying to each and every ‘grand idea’ by shooting them down.

All I’m trying to do is write a song.

“Maybe I should use these chords – ” “There’s no way that is going to fit there.” “Ok, but what about this sente-” “What are you trying to say? These words are stupid.” “So maybe let’s try coming up first with the melody, then the -” “I think you should just stop now. While you’re ahead. It’s probably not going to sound nice anyway.”


After having been through the Emergenetics Certification, and learning more about my profile, I’ve been trying to apply it very deliberately. And sometimes not so discretely too. Conversations with my family and friends have turned into either sessions of mini-debriefs or intelligently guessing their profiles, then thinking very hard about how to respond to them by appealing to their preferences.

But perhaps the biggest change has come from within.

I belong to one of the rarer profiles – bi-modal yellow (41%) and green (38%) preference thinker, which is found within 2% of the population. Emergenetics resources have found the strongest negative correlation between the conceptual and structural thinking preferences. Meanwhile, my narrative report describes me as a person with an internal tennis game going on within my brain – while the conceptual part of my brain wanted to think big and think imaginatively, the structural pathway preferred to play things a little safer and continued to focus on the details.

About 3 weeks ago I was asked this question – “How has knowing your profile helped you?” – and I had no way of formulating a coherent response. At first I was worried that I had not been deliberately applying Emergenetics to my life, that I was wasting this knowledge and the opportunity to be more effective. Half a day of reflection later, I realised why I couldn’t formulate the answer. It was because the conceptual part of my brain was screaming, “The answer is inherently obvious!” If it still isn’t, let me delve a little deeper.

There’s a time and place for anything. The problem comes when we try too hard to do too many things at the same time. Research has revealed how ineffectual multitasking can be. When your brain is constantly “at odds” with itself, and you find yourself being pulled in two very distinct directions, it’s easy to become lost in the chaos. For me, this meant I would often just… shut down when confronted with a problem, because my two preferences would act up in very different ways.

With my profile, I understood this problem, and I understood the need to clearly define when which preference could dominate while the other took a back seat. Even this blog post, which was conceptualized by my conceptual preference, but metted out by my structural preference, follows my latest strategy, which is to have a time for brainstorming, and a time for planning.

Knowing my Emergenetics profile has benefitted me greatly, and that’s part of the reason why we want to share this knowledge with as many people as we can. Imagine a world, where everyone knows exactly why he or she tends to think and act in a certain way, and can explain it to the people around them. Where we know how to bring our point across in a way everyone can understand. Where effective teams and organizations are no further than a glance across the table at that little pie chart and 7 bar graphs.

I’m taking the time to immerse myself in this knowledge that is Emergenetics, to create a well-researched, well-planned package that everyone can use and find fun. And I’m approaching it in a way that appeals to both my preferences. The best part? I can still find time to play tennis. Once in a while, anyway.

Written by Lin Kaiyang
Co-founder of Intriva Pte Ltd
Student of Economics at the National University of Singapore
Member of the Boon Lay Youth Executive Committee

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