Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A peek into Oscar Pistorius' personality via his handwriting

The subject of this handwriting analysis- Oscar Pistorius has been in news recently for all wrong reasons (allegedly killing his Girlfriend). To clarify upfront, the purpose of this article is not to dissect the current situation that he is in but this is a general personality analysis about the man that Oscar Pistorius is. With media always looking to cash in on the vulnerable situations of celebrities to gain the eye balls or Website hits, it often has tendency to put in so much negativity into the already complex situations. This is what i see happening with Oscar's situation now. My attempt here is to maintain the balance in providing a perspective and that can only be done if we first understand the various facets of his personality better.

This article is the first of the two part series and i would scratch the personality surface more deeply in the next article to provide a perspective on the current situation i.e. Did Oscar really pull the trigger intentionally on his girl friend ? So the answer to this question will be the focus of next article, lets enjoy the basics of what made Oscar so huge figure in the World of athletics.

So Who is Oscar Pistorius?
- Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius is a South African sprint runner.
- Although both of Pistorius' legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, he competes in events for single below knee amputees and for able-bodied athletes.
- At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Pistorius became the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal.
- At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men's 400 metres and 4 × 400 metres relay races.
- Oscar was a reluctant runner earlier in his life. He was preparing to be a serious Rugby player when an serious Injury in one of the game "forced" him into running as a part of the Rehabilitation program.

The Handwriting sample:

The Source of his handwriting:
The handwriting sample being analyzed here was much in new last month primarily doing rounds across the news sites where some handwriting analysts claimed to have found some reasoning behind Oscar's behavior. 
This actually is a  thank you note penned by Oscar Pistorius was uploaded onto a fan's blog sometime back. (Stated source: http://insidemybraintoday.tumblr.com) Since this handwriting sample made so much news and was so visible, i would assume it be a real one. I usually do not trust the samples available on Internet unless backed by some serious data and information related to it being real.

The handwriting Analysis:
The handwriting and signature sample as present in this sample can give a lot more personality information than what is shared below. But in interest of time and size of analysis, i will restrict myself to the major personality areas revealed here.

Low Self esteem:
One of the aspects of his personality that surprised me the most was Low Self esteem. It in quite evident in his handwriting sample. The reason it surprised me was because High Self esteem has been one of the constant personality traits among the high achievers, whose handwriting i have analyzed so far.
In simpler words, Self-esteem is the total value one gives to self. It is one of the most important ingredients’ of success in one’s professional and personal lives. Self-esteem is a soft skill that has a maximum bearing on other Soft skills a person possesses. 

Oscar being such an high achiever and his having Low Self esteem is indeed interesting for me to assess further. Some characteristics of people with Low self esteem-
- Such people are harder on themselves than they really need to be.
- Such people fears failure and fears change that could bring failure.
- Most of the times they think about self, they think of imperfections and constantly question the self-worth.
- They tend to be in bad situations for too long.

After having gone through his biography, there are several aspects that come to my mind regarding his Low self esteem. After having born with deformed feet, his parents pursued his case with doctors worldwide and eventually settled on a decision that his legs have to amputated. Their chosen doctor advised them to go with this decision even before he learned to walk i.e. if he never experienced the role of feet, it would be easy for him to adjust to the artificial legs. As a result, he was amputated when he was not even an year old. So, Oscar had to go through questioning of his state various times in his life. Though he had a very good support system, the constant reminders that he lacked something from the strangers or people lesser known to him could have contributed to him having low self esteem.

In the handwriting sample that i studied, there was one instance where i could notice Persistence in Oscar's handwriting. If at all anything, one thing that is cornerstone of Oscar's life it is Persistence. Almost born in less than normal circumstances and to achieve what he has would require Persistence more than any trait. That Never-Give-up attitude is reflected at the various instances in his life.
His parents instilled the belief in him to Never give up. It is quite evident of his stories of childhood when he almost always played the sports with the able bodied kids. 
Even when he was an adult and competing in the able bodied athletics championships, he had to face a lot of difficulties to get used to the running stance for example. He had difficulties in perfecting the running stance before the stance of the run because of his prosthesis. He was actually not able to feel  the blocks. He overcame this with great deal of practice. This is another example of Persistence that he showed.
Also the instances where IAAF almost disqualified from participating in the able bodied events considering the results of some tests done that proved that, his prosthesis gave him unfair advantage he (with the help of his support system) went through the painful process of going through series of tests and contested the ruling and even won. All this could not have been possible had he lacked Persistence. 

Fierce ability to focus:
Oscar has a great ability to focus on an activity at hand. He can have the ability to eliminate all outside noises, thoughts, interference, and ability to concentrate fully on one subject. When he concentrates, he could become oblivious to everything around you.
Oscar had been into sports all his early life. Its only around the year 2004 or so that he got into running (mostly by accident). To focus on just one Sport and curbing his tendency to do cycling, Wrestling, Rugby and others and become as good as he eventually became needed just sole focus on purpose that he had in mind. In his case, the ability to focus has been extraordinary. Becoming a world class athlete requires great deal of discipline and i believe the discipline is hard to come by if one does not have the right kind of focus. 
His biography states the below about his mindset about his training, which again is a strong reflection of Single minded devotion to his chosen craft-
"The minute i wake up in the morning, I start thinking about my training, about my preparation, about concentrating on being quicker. Everything I do, in my day and in my life, is centered on training and running hard."

The person who is Dominant likes to be in control and likes the feeling. He likes to take charge of the situation. He makes a very interesting mention in his biography on how he likes to exercise the dominance-
"I am a kind of athlete who prefers running from behind. In short, i prefer chasing to leading and so i try to avoid the eighth lane where you are out in front of everyone else. I like the first three lanes, since that way i always have someone in front of me to chase."

Positive Orientation:
I dont think he could have achieved what he has on the track and field without being a Positive thinker to almost a fault. This aspect is very evident in his handwriting as well as signature.  He says in his biography-
"People often ask me what it is like to have artificial limbs but i am unable to answer that question. My prostheses are my legs, I have never known others and so I invert their question and ask them to explain to me how it feels to have legs. One should try to celebrate, or atleast enjoy, what one cannot change".

This reflects his positive thinking even in a situation where most people would have chosen to given up or even succumbed to fate.

Emotional intensity, Objectiveness:
He has very deep and enduring feelings. Any emotional situation or feeling will stay with him for a long time. He may forgive, but will find it hard to forget. Such writers feel situations intensely.
He is objective and given to evaluating facts before taking decisions. At best, he is quite non-judgmental.
His biography at quite a few instances states how his mother's untimely demise left an indelible mark on him and his personality. By his brother's narration, the passing away of his mother brought in more focus to his life and that incident made him more inwardly focused towards the goals. He went through almost a quiet transition during this phase of his life and let all the energy out on field. He could accomplish such phase primarily with his high emotional intensity.
Stay tuned for the second part of this analysis!
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