Type One exemplifies the desire to be good, to live up to the highest ethical standards, and to effect positive changes in the world. While a number of types care about achieving goals, Ones are particularly aware of how they achieve their goals. Were they honorable? Did they use their resources wisely? Were they fair and truthful? Ones are people of high standards
and they expect themselves and others to live by those standards as much as possible. They tend to see things in terms of long-range objectives, and they can be aware of how current actions might affect future situations. For example, Ones are often in the forefront of battles to improve environmental standards or to make people aware of healthier lifestyle choices.
Most Ones report feeling a powerful sense of mission, a deep feeling of purpose that they remember from their early childhood. They sense that they are here for a reason and, unlike some other types, they have a fairly clear idea of what that reason is.
This sense of mission impels Ones to rise to their highest standards, to make personal sacrifices, and to evaluate themselves regularly to see if they are falling short of their ideals. They feel that they must live a balanced, sensible life in order to have the clarity and inner resources necessary to fulfill their purpose.
Ones also have deep convictions about right and wrong, what is just and unjust.
They are often dedicated to reform and social causes
since they feel personally obligated to improve the world and leave it a better place.
They put themselves on the line for their values and ethical convictions—if it means risking their jobs, their fortunes, or even their lives.
Ones are convinced that there are indeed some truths—some values—that are worth both living and dying for. To accomplish their missions, Ones maintain self-discipline and do their best to practice "moderation in all things."
While Ones focus their attention on serious life issues, their high standards can also be directed to less significant matters
—although they may seem equally important to Ones at the time. They can become extremely upset, for instance, if their spouse or one of their children fails to clean up after themselves adequately after using the bathroom sink. Ones are nothing if not thorough and well organized. Some Ones express this as an extraordinary concern with "neatness," the kind of people whose socks and underwear are folded neatly, whose file folders are labeled and filed alphabetically, and whose pencils are all sharpened. Other Ones focus their perfectionism in other areas, such as punctuality, ethical standards, political or religious ideals, office protocols, or uncovering misdeeds and untruths.
While Ones tend to see themselves as people of logic and reason, they are often driven by strong feelings and impulses—usually experienced as personal convictions. Because they so strongly feel that they must accomplish their life mission, they conclude that they must be serious and determined and must not waste time. They can become very strict with themselves
, feeling they must always be working toward their ideals, "making progress," and pointing out how things could be improved. They are extremely conscientious about how they use their time and resources. Under pressure, time becomes a major interpersonal issue for Ones—they insist that they and others be punctual, efficient, and particular about details. They make lists, organize things, and constantly prioritize their activities. Their sense of obligation, however, can make them feel heavier and more burdened. Consequently, they begin to be afraid of making a mistake because they want everything to be consistent with their strict standards. At such times, others can perceive them as overly rigid and perfectionistic
In brief, Ones want to be right, to strive higher and improve everything, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, and to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone
. Ones do not want to be proven wrong, to make mistakes
, to allow sloppiness, to be with people they perceive as lazy or not serious, to be in chaos or in situations that seem out of control, or to be embarrassed by emotional display.
Their Hidden Side
Ones appear well balanced and sure of themselves, but they can suffer from extreme self-criticism
, feeling that they are never able to measure up to their Olympian standards. Similarly, they can feel lonely and alienated from others
seeing themselves as the only responsible adult around
. At such times they feel burdened by their responsibilities and by the sense that others will not do as thorough a job as they will. If these feelings intensify, Ones can become harsh with themselves and others, and prey to hidden depression. They may attempt to maintain an outer attitude of self-control and reserve while inwardly feeling anguished and alienated. As they become more isolated, their self-criticism can become more cruel and irrational.
Few casual observers would suspect how much they are suffering from the relentless attacks of their Inner Critic (superego).