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Nexus Quest Discussion Q&A

Below are the questions discussed in The Nexus Quest parable and some possible answers. If you have additional answers that you would like to add to this list, please send them to info@insightlearning.com.

  1. If you had to choose to live under a new government, which form would you choose?
  2. Pull out the Blue card in your set of Insight Discovery Cards. This card summarizes the characteristics of the people who inhabit the Blue island. As you look at the photograph, what words would you use to describe the qualities of Blue people?
  3. Pull out the Gold card. As before, look at the picture use your own words to describe the characteristics of a Gold person.
  4. Carefully examine the Green card. What adjectives would you use to describe a Green person?
  5. Finally, take out the Orange card and think of some words that describe this personality type.
  6. Which island would you prefer to live on?
  7. Is it good to pair off with someone with whom you have a lot in common? Why or why not?
  8. What are some additional things that people who share personality styles have in common?
  9. Is it good to assign workers to supervisors who share the color preferences and core values? Or students to teachers? Why or why not?
  10. Looking at history, what problems arise when one group of people become intolerant of another group of people?
  11. What problems can be solved once you have a greater understanding of temperament?
  12. Who are some people from history who have tried to lead their people out of misery or captivity, but were unsuccessful?
  13. Why did they fail?
  14. Why are people willing to give up self-government in exchange for peace, protection, or prosperity?
  15. What are some specific ways governments begin to exercise unfair or unjust control over their people?
  16. What would you be willing to accept as payment for the loss of freedom?
  17. Can you think of any government in history which has collapsed after trying to cover up their inequities by appeasing their people?
  18. Suppose you were a parent. What would you do if your daughter did something that caused her to suffer and she came to you tearfully pleading for help?
  19. Why is it important for Prince Hugh to first learn about the people before he diagnosed the problem and prescribed a solution?
  20. What is a virtue? What is a vice?
  21. Ancient philosophers believed that virtue is halfway between two vices. How can maximizing or minimizing a virtue morph into a vice?
  22. What are some virtues (or vices) that come naturally to each color?
  23. How can acquiring virtue and eliminating vice lead people out of bondage?
  24. Why is it important to begin a self-improvement program by focusing on enhancing the strengths that come naturally to you?
  25. How can you identify potential mentors?
  26. How do you ask them for help on acquiring a virtuous quality?
  27. What tools or resources would you need to eliminate vice from your life, strengthen your current virtues, and acquire new virtues?
  28. Researchers believe that it takes about 13 minutes every day, for at approximately 13 weeks, to establish a habit or acquire a new behavior. Can you afford to spend 13 minutes a day to live a more virtuous life?
  29. If you lived a more virtuous life, how could that benefit those living around you? How would your example affect their lives?
  30. What do you fear would be your greatest obstacle in adopting a year-long behavior change program?
  31. How can living a life filled with virtue benefit your employer? How can it benefit your community? How can it benefit our entire society?
  32. On the surface this is a story about people on some islands and their leaders. Can you identify some other parallels?
  33. Where do you see yourself in this story?
  34. What else have you learned from this story?

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Bullet If you had to choose to live under a new government, which form would you choose?

There are many forms of government. Here are just a few:

  • Absolute Monarchy
  • Anarchy
  • Aristocracy
  • Associated State
  • Asymmetrical Federalism
  • Authoritarianism Dictatorship
  • Autocracy Dictatorship
  • Capitalist Republic
  • Chiefdom
  • Communist State
  • Confederation
  • Consensus Democracy
  • Consociationalism
  • Constitutional Republic
  • Constitutional/Limited Monarchy
  • Corporatism
  • Corporatocracy
  • Crowned Republic
  • Demarchy
  • Democracy
  • Despotism
  • Devolved State
  • Diarchy/Co-Kingship Monarchy
  • Dictatorship
  • Direct Democracy
  • Elective Monarchy
  • Empire
  • Ethnic Democracy
  • Ethnocracy
  • Fascism
  • Federacy
  • Federal Republic
  • Federation
  • Feudalism
  • Gerontocracy
  • Islamic State Theocracy
  • Kritocracy/Kritarchy
  • Logocracy
  • Meritocracy
  • Military/Military Junta Dictatorship
  • Minarchism/Night Watchman
  • Monarchy
  • Noocracy
  • Ochlocracy/Mobocracy
  • Oligarchy
  • Panarchism
  • Parliamentary
  • Parliamentary Republic
  • Plutocracy
  • Presidential
  • Puppet State
  • Representative Democracy
  • Republic
  • Right-Wing Dictatorship
  • Socialist State
  • Sociocracy
  • Sultanism
  • Supranational Union
  • Technocracy
  • Thalassocracy
  • Theocracy
  • Theodemocracy
  • Timocracy
  • Totalitarianism Dictatorship
  • Tribal
  • Tyranny
  • Unitary State

Bullet Pull out the Blue card in your set of Insight Discovery Cards. This card summarizes the characteristics of the people who inhabit the Blue island. As you look at the photograph, what words would you use to describe the qualities of Blue people?

Did you think of these concepts?

  • Perceptive
  • Warm
  • Humane
  • Spiritual
  • Patient
  • Poetic
  • Genuine
  • Sensitive
  • Artistic
  • Romantic
  • Idealistic
  • Caring
  • Emotional
  • Compassionate

Bullet Pull out the Gold card. As before, look at the picture use your own words to describe the characteristics of a Gold person.

Did you think of these concepts?

  • Responsible
  • Reliable
  • Consistent
  • Organized
  • Concerned
  • Loyal
  • Thorough
  • Punctual
  • Conservative
  • Structured
  • Traditional
  • Practical
  • Parental
  • Prepared

Bullet Carefully examine the Green card. What adjectives would you use to describe a Green person?

Did you think of these concepts?

  • Curious
  • Scientific
  • Abstract
  • Independent
  • Ingenious
  • Bookish
  • Rational
  • Logical
  • Theoretical
  • Technical
  • Competent
  • Distant
  • Factual
  • Complex

Bullet Finally, take out the Orange card and think of some words that describe this personality type.

Did you think of these concepts?

  • Active
  • Adventurous
  • Bold
  • Optimistic
  • Charismatic
  • Skillful
  • Spontaneous
  • Competitive
  • Persuasive
  • Charming
  • Daring
  • Mechanical
  • Flexible
  • Exciting

Bullet Which island would you prefer to live on?

Within the general population of the world:

  • 6% are Green
  • 44% are Gold
  • 40% are Orange
  • 10% are Blue

Bullet Is it good to pair off with someone with whom you have a lot in common? Why or why not?

Most people are attracted to their opposites. They seem to be seeking someone who will “complete them.” However, those who have the longest-lasting relationships, usually have a number of common interests and shared values.

Bullet What are some additional things that people who share personality styles have in common?

People who share personality preferences share many of the following:

  • Values
  • Motivations
  • Joys
  • Strengths
  • Liabilities
  • Needs
  • Stressors
  • Reputations
  • Thinking styles
  • Work styles
  • Occupational interests
  • Recreational interests
  • Hobbies and sports
  • Learning styles
  • Teaching styles
  • Communication styles
  • Writing styles
  • Leadership styles
  • Clothing styles
  • Home décor
  • Conflict styles
  • Preferred chores
  • Favorite gifts
  • Reading preferences
  • Favorite TV shows
  • Favorite toys & games
  • Preferred cars
  • Behavior at parties
  • Favorite books
  • Etc.

Bullet Is it good to assign workers to supervisors who share the color preferences and core values? Or students to teachers? Why or why not?

The more characteristics people have in common, the easier it is to communicate and interact. Because of their similarities, they can easily accommodate each other's preferences. In general, this will lead to increased success. However, without opposing viewpoints, they may become intolerant of the differences in others and end up "colorblind."

Bullet Looking at history, what problems arise when one group of people become intolerant of another group of people?

  • Hatred
  • Bigotry
  • Discrimination
  • Prejudice
  • Unfairness
  • Sexism
  • Disrespect
  • Revulsion
  • Prejudgment
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Injustice
  • Arguments
  • Brawls
  • Controversy
  • Divorce
  • Assaults
  • Violence
  • Feuds
  • Struggles
  • Riots
  • Jousts
  • Combat
  • War
  • Genocide
  • Holocaust

Bullet What problems can be solved once you have a greater understanding of temperament?

Just about any interpersonal conflict can be reduced in magnitude or resolved once you understand personality preferences and adjust your behavior accordingly. This resolution can radiate outward, and solve problems in your home, in your workplace, in your neighborhood, in your city, in your state, in your country, and in the world.

Bullet Who are some people from history who have tried to lead their people out of misery or captivity, but were unsuccessful?

Within the past 100 years:

  • Mao Zedong, China
  • Joseph Stalin, Soviet Union
  • Adolf Hitler, Germany
  • Pol Pot, Cambodia
  • Benito Mussolini, Italy
  • Idi Amin, Uganda
  • Saddam Hussein, Iraq
  • Francisco Franco, Spain
  • Fidel Castro, Cuba
  • Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe
  • Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya
  • Ferdinand Marcos, Philippines
  • Kim Il-sung, North Korea
  • Mengistu Mariam, Ethiopia
  • Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan
  • Than Shwe, Myanmar
  • Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia
  • Charles Taylor, Liberia

Bullet Why did they fail?

  • All were more concerned about achieving wealth, rank, or power rather than peace, harmony, and prosperity.
  • They thought their values and perspectives were better than all others.
  • They did not accommodate the strengths and needs of others.

Bullet Why are people willing to give up self-government in exchange for peace, protection, or prosperity?

  • They don't understand or appreciate the value of personal freedom and liberty.
  • They would rather be told what to do rather than risk making the wrong choice.
  • They want complete equality, regardless of differences in skill, ability, desire, and effort.

Bullet What are some specific ways governments begin to exercise unfair or unjust control over their people?

  • Eliminating the freedom of choice
  • Enslaving its citizens
  • Demanding bribes and kickbacks
  • Taxing without representation
  • Taking away inalienable rights
  • Imposing punitive regulations
  • Creating and enforcing bad laws
  • Delivering biased judgments
  • Rewarding friends and supporters
  • Acting with condescension and superiority

Bullet What would you be willing to accept as payment for the loss of freedom?

  • Peace
  • Prosperity
  • Pleasures
  • Power
  • Position
  • Protection
  • Possessions
  • Fame
  • Fortune
  • Knowledge
  • Influence
  • Honor
  • Nothing!

Bullet Can you think of any government in history which has collapsed after trying to cover up their inequities by appeasing their people?

  • Egyptian Empire
  • Assyrian Empire
  • Babylonian Empire
  • Persian Empire
  • Mongol Empire
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Kingdom of Judah
  • Roman Empire
  • Yuan Dynasty
  • Qing Empire
  • Japanese Empire
  • Umayyad Caliphate
  • Spanish Empire
  • British Empire
  • Third Reich
  • Soviet Union
  • All of them?

Bullet Suppose you were a parent. What would you do if your daughter did something that caused her to suffer and she came to you tearfully pleading for help?

  • Punish her for acting badly
  • Commiserate with her and feel her pain
  • Place the blame elsewhere
  • Carry part of her burden
  • Do whatever you can to rescue her
  • Retaliate on her behalf
  • Restrict her freedom
  • Let the natural consequences take effect
  • Allow her to learn from the experience

Bullet Why is it important for Prince Hugh to first learn about the people before he diagnosed the problem and prescribed a solution?

  • People have different needs
  • Each person perceives the problem differently
  • One remedy doesn't solve every ailment

Bullet What is a virtue? What is a vice?

  • Virtue (Latin: virtus, Greek: ἀρετή “arete”) is moral excellence.
  • A virtue is a trait or quality deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
  • Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual and collective well being.
  • The opposite of virtue is vice.

Bullet Ancient philosophers believed that virtue is halfway between two vices. How can maximizing or minimizing a virtue morph into a vice?

Any strength can be maximized or minimized until it becomes a weakness. For example, the virtue of fitness can be maximized to the point when you become obsessed with bodybuilding, or minimized until you become a flabby couch-potato.

Bullet What are some virtues (or vices) that come naturally to each color?

Blue Virtues and Vices

  • Attentiveness (Neglect)
  • Thoughtfulness (Inconsideration)
  • Kind-heartedness (Mean-spiritedness)
  • Friendliness (Disagreeableness)
  • Sensitivity (Oversensitivity)
  • Inclusivity (Exclusivity)
  • Peacefulness (Hostility)

Gold Virtues and Vices

  • Disciplined (Abusive)
  • Obedience (Self-righteousness)
  • Punctuality (Tardiness)
  • Accountability (Irresponsibility)
  • Charity (Stinginess)
  • Orderliness (Fussiness)
  • Self-reliance (Dependence)

Green Virtues and Vices

  • Confidence (Arrogance)
  • Diplomacy (Offensiveness)
  • Civility ( Sarcasm)
  • Clarity (Confusion)
  • Cleverness (Cunningness)
  • Open-mindedness (Cynicism)
  • Precision (Pickiness)

Orange Virtues and Vices

  • Adventurousness (Recklessness)
  • Generosity (Self-indulgence)
  • Persuasiveness (Manipulativeness)
  • Flexibility (Intolerance)
  • Chivalrousness (Barbarism)
  • Candidness ( Deceitfulness)
  • Playfulness (Immaturity)

Bullet How can acquiring virtue and eliminating vice lead people out of bondage?

  • When inmates demonstrate they have abandoned their criminal behaviors and acquired more virtue, they are often released early from prison.
  • Some vices are addictions that physically or emotionally enslave people to certain habits and chew up their resources (gluttony, lust, sloth).
  • Most vices are based in selfishness; most virtues are based in selflessness. Thinking of the effects of your behavior on others is a hallmark of a free and stable society.
  • People who are filled with vice normally elect leaders who are also filled with vice.
  • Dictators and despots who take away freedom always have more vice than virtue in their personal lives.
  • People don't voluntarily fight for freedom if they are fighting for people who habitually choose to live a vice-filled life.
  • No society in the world's history has thrived because of its vice-filled behaviors. When it eventually collapses, freedom is lost and the people return to bondage.

Bullet Why is it important to begin a self-improvement program by focusing on enhancing the strengths that come naturally to you?

  • It is faster and easier to build on an existing foundation than to start over and build a completely new foundation.
  • You'll have more interest in enhancing and perfecting existing abilities than in building new ones.
  • It is easier to start a new habit by doing familiar activities than unfamiliar activities.

Bullet How can you identify potential mentors?

  • Think about the people you already know and identify their strengths and virtues. Just about everyone has an attribute or ability that is worthy of emulation.
  • Be open and willing to meet new people.
  • Go where people you admire assemble regularly, both in real life and in cyberspace.
  • Join an organization where you can interact with others on a regular basis, such as a church, service group, club, athletic team, or business network.
  • Join a mentor network and get to know other mentors who are obviously interested in helping others.

Bullet How do you ask them for help on acquiring a virtuous quality?

  • Just ask! Most people will be flattered that you want to follow in their footsteps.
  • Be clear about what you want.
  • Boil it down to something specific and realistic.
  • Don't pester them. Be respectful of their time.
  • Do what you say you'll do.
  • Show genuine gratitude often.

Bullet What tools or resources would you need to eliminate vice from your life, strengthen your current virtues, and acquire new virtues?

  • A powerful incentive to work on something that will change my life.
  • Specific and effective directions on what to do and how to do it.
  • Sufficient time and energy to devote to the project.
  • Support from others who are also enriching their lives.

Bullet Researchers believe that it takes about 13 minutes every day, for at approximately 13 weeks, to establish a habit or acquire a new behavior. Can you afford to spend 13 minutes a day to live a more virtuous life?

Of course! I'd be happy to invest 13 minutes per day if it truly makes a significant difference.

Bullet If you lived a more virtuous life, how could that benefit those living around you? How would your example affect their lives?

  • It can provide a good example.
  • It can rescue them from misery and failure.
  • It can bring them joy and happiness.
  • It can give them hope in other people.
  • It can bring them peace and comfort.
  • It can increase their sense of self-worth and confidence.

Bullet What do you fear would be your greatest obstacle in adopting a year-long behavior change program?

  • My pride; I'm fine with who I am and see no reason to change.
  • I have a tendency to give up if something is too hard or takes too much effort.
  • I don't have enough time or energy to devote to the program.
  • I'm afraid I won't see significant results. I have a difficult time staying motivated.

Bullet How can living a life filled with virtue benefit your employer? How can it benefit your community? How can it benefit our entire society?

  • People prefer to hire and work with people who demonstrate virtue in the business world.
  • People are more likely to trust and follow those who are virtuous.
  • It is easier to love someone who has more virtue than vice.
  • People will be more likely to bless the lives of those around them—even strangers.
  • People will become more tolerant and understanding of those who are different or have alternative viewpoints.
  • The severity and frequency of interpersonal struggles will decline.
  • People will become more optimistic, hopeful, and motivated to do good things and try to make a positive difference in the world.

Bullet On the surface this is a story about people on some islands and their leaders. Can you identify some other parallels?

  • It represents the problems that exist within my own family and shows how parents should deal with their children.
  • It represents today's political world and the struggle between different forms of government.
  • It represents the moral and ethical struggle between right and wrong or good and bad.
  • It illustrates how to achieve more success and happiness in life.
  • It tells the story of God, His prophets, the enemies of God, and how they try to influence humanity.
  • It reveals how to build a more perfect or ideal society featuring unity, peace, and freedom.

Bullet Where do you see yourself in this story?

  • I'm an inhabitant on an island, trying to convince others that my way is the best way.
  • I'm one of those who has chosen to give up certain liberties in exchange for a little peace and security.
  • I'm beginning to see that I've been working for the evil governor; perhaps I ought to find employment elsewhere.
  • I'm a royal parent who wants to help my children make better choices but still respects their freedom to choose their own consequences.
  • I'm Prince Hugh, and am convinced I know the truth, and would like to help others learn that truth and get on the path to peace and joy.

Bullet What else have you learned from this story?

  • Understanding personality preferences is extremely important in understanding why people do the things they do.
  • Too many leaders quickly become corrupt and misuse their power and authority.
  • The freedom to choose is a fundamental, God-given right that should never be taken away.
  • Change must come from within the person wanting change if it is to be meaningful and permanent.
  • People need to try to see the world as other people see it before they can motivate others effectively.
  • Nothing of intrinsic value is ever free— it always comes with a price.
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