By Gigi Vorgan and Gary Small, MD –
Our friend Mindy told us about some real estate she and her husband bought after retirement, and used the phrase, “location, location, location.” She said it had a gorgeous view and was close by so family and friends would come and visit.
We weren’t talking a scaled-down house, or condo. We were talking about the kind of real estate you buy and keep for later. Hopefully, much later. We‘re talking cemetery plots. Mindy said they’d gotten bunk-beds in Simi Valley. We asked what bunk-bed plots in Simi Valley were selling for these days, and hoped they were dirt-cheap. Mindy told us that they had already been approached to sell the plots to another party.
We’d never realized there was a market for this type of final-resting place real estate – people buying and selling cemetery plots like timeshares in Palm Springs, until this conversation. We had never really thought about cemetery plots at all. What if you change your mind and get cremated? Do your kids inherit your plot like a condo in Boca Raton?
Mindy’s personality would likely score very high on the conscientiousness scale. She was the type of person who always thinks ahead and plans carefully for the future.
Conscientiousness is one of the five personality domains which have been shown to predict overall success in life. Conscientious individuals are organized, punctual, thorough and trustworthy. They also tend to have better relationships and lower divorce rates.
People who score high in conscientiousness are not only more resilient, they also enjoy better health. These individuals are more likely to take their medicines and visit their doctors on a regular basis. They tend to consume healthier foods, exercise on a regular basis, and not smoke.
Clearly, conscientiousness is a personality trait that helps people accomplish their goals. But sometimes too much of a positive trait can become a negative attribute. For instance, conscientiousness taken to the extreme can be seen in obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. People with OCD are often extreme perfectionists, unusually rigid and stubborn, and not much fun to be around. Thankfully only about 2% of the population have full-blown OCD, and effective treatments are available.
The good news is that most people can become more conscientious if they set their minds to it. In our new book, SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days, we provide readers with the strategies and tools to change their personality in just one month.