For Fun: Ba Zi Profiling Part 1


In simplicity, Ba Zi is an ancient method of personality profiling. What the system is today has evolved through thousands of years of observations; reinterpretations and modifications. It is an awkward branch of personality profiling. Through this time period, there has not been a large scale validation. Even modern personality tests needs validation and validated system do not have 100 percent accuracy.

A workable system will be useful as a tool to the entrepreneur or head of business to ensure critical business functions are in place; and for managers and supervisors to allocate jobs. The value of this analysis is the learning points.


I am not an expert in this subject matter. My interest in it is purely for the distilled observation of 10 clusters (themes) of personal strengths identified in the system that considered critical enough to personal success to be included in the Bazi system. It is much like Gallup’s Strengths Finder, which has 34 themes. In the system that I am looking at, the clusters are known as “Day Masters”.They share the same philosophy: It would be easier for one to succeed if one takes advantage of one’s strength while minimizing one’s weaknesses. Under the Gallup system, the recommendation is to focus on one’s 5 most dominant strengths.

Possible Errors

In this system, there are some possible errors as mentioned below. Again, I am not an expert so my understanding is limited.

  • Un-validated assumption: The system uses a person’s birth date (year, month, day and hour) to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses. Subsequently, the Chinese fortune telling system uses this model to predict one’s fate or fortune (degree of success in life).
  • Unproven model: The system is based on the Chinese almanac (Tong Shu) and this is based on the Chinese solar calendar.
  • Lack of clarity: Although I admire the ancient Chinese’s efforts tried to connect this system to the Chinese concept of Change (Yin-Yang) and Chinese alchemy (fire, water, wood, earth, metal), I felt that the connection is unclear. This is like connecting ideas about your personal strengths to the periodic table or the uncertainty of life.
  • Superstitions: As knowledge is handed down through generations, misconceptions or superstitions are added to it.
  • Natural observable phenomena: There exist natural observable phenomena that are yet to be scientifically studied.

We should not ignore something that seems to work just because we do not understand it well. Even scientists are continually relearning because new discoveries indicate shortfalls in what they know previously. This article is written because it is an area of fascination for many people. It is like trying to relate classical Feng Shui to newer scientific discovery made possible by modern equipment geomagnetism ( and


For this article, we will be referring to Joey Yap’s Bazi Profiling System. In the following video, he is introducing this system to his audience.

This system is based on the philosophy that that are 2 factors that equally influences how successful a person could be. One is the internal factor (internal destiny or luck) that the person have control and the other is the external factor (external destiny or luck) which the person has no control. Joey Yap explained that we can become more successful by gaining more control over the 50% that is made up of the internal factor. Robert Greene, the writer of The 48 Laws of Power said something similar, so did Jim Rohn.

The internal factor is made up of 3 components:

The first component is about our character; traits or personality.

The second component is about how we think. How we achieve our purpose in life is determined by how we think. A common purpose is to be happy. It reminds us of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness.

He pointed out awareness is the first step of change. He also pointed out that all of one’s past successes or failures can be attributed to someone in one’s life because everything that you want in life comes from other people. Thus, it will help if you know how to inspire and instruct others, provided that you know how they think.

The third component is that we need to contribute (give something) in order to get something from others. For this, we need to know what we have; that is our talents and skills. These tell us what we can achieve in our life time. For our talents to be useful to us, we need to discover them early in life; so that we can then train and develop our talents so that it will bring us the money or success that we want. He said most people have at least 1 talent while the very lucky have 3 talents. You have to invest in yourself – If you become a better you, you can make more money.

Joey Yap explained that our destiny is not pre-determined at birth but that destiny is a destination; we have the power to change it and we can do this by maximizing our talents. He said that if he is going in 1 direction but it is not working or he did not like it, all he did was to change direction. It reminds us of Eric Moo decision to become a Chinese pop music singer despite his father’s advice for him to find a job in his home town as a welder. This was also something mentioned by Jim Rohn.

This is the philosophy:

  • If we are better informed (better optics) about what are our strengths (talents) and weaknesses; how we think and behave; and
  • With better optics, then we are better aware of the life options available to us.
  • With better options (choices), the quality of our decisions will be better.
  • With better decisions, our life will change for the better.

He said that to be successful, you need to take actions. This means that you should do what you are talented in – this is the path of least resistance to your success. However, 90 percent of people do not want a better life. This is because these people could have started out on the wrong life path; have been there for a long time and find it hard to change; they are reluctant to make the change.

He pointed out success is not attributed to luck, but rather to preparations and opportunities. He said that you should change yourself (personality, thinking and skills) before you can become rich.

He also pointed out that everything that we want in life comes from other people – We should find out who are compatible with ourselves, and can complement us in terms of making up for our weaknesses; and form a team with them.

Basics: Yin-Yang

The basic idea of the ‘yin- yang theory’ consists of two natural, complementary and contradictory forces in our universe, the principle of opposite polarity and duality. Both of the forces are different, but in the best way, they mutually complement each other.

Yin characteristics: passive, negative, darkness, earth, north slope, cloudy, water, softness, female, moisture, night-time, downward seeking, slowness, consuming, cold, odd numbers, and docile aspects of things.

Yang characteristics: active, positive, brightness, heaven, south slope, sunshine, fire, hardness, male, dryness, day-time, upward seeking, restless, producing, hot, even numbers, and dominant aspects of things.

It reminds me of Jim Rohn’s book “The Seasons of Life”. I Ching is the ancient Chinese tool used to adapt to Change.

Left and Right

Basics: The 5 Elements

Interestingly, Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird wrote a book titled The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, published by Princeton University Press (ISBN 978-0-691-15666-8). The book has 5 chapters, with the following titles:

  • Earth: Understand deeply – ground your thinking.
  • Fire: Fail to succeed – Igniting insights through mistakes.
  • Air: Be your own Socrates – Creating questions out of thin air.
  • Water: Look back, look forward – Seeing the flow of ideas.
  • Change : Transform Yourself – Engaging Change

Source: A world of good health website

Five Elements

Joey Yap’s Bazi Profiling System

There are 3 steps in Joey Yap’s Bazi Profiling System:

Part A: 10 Day Masters – These answer the question “Who am I? (What are my strengths and weaknesses)”. They are:

  • Yang wood
  • Yin wood
  • Yang fire
  • Yin fire
  • Yang earth
  • Yin earth
  • Yang metal
  • Yin metal
  • Yang water
  • Yin water

Part B: 5 Structures – These answer the question “Why I behave the way I do? How do I think?” They are:

  • Managers
  • Creators
  • Supporters
  • Connectors
  • Thinkers

The different combinations of 10 Day Masters and 5 Structures makes up 50 types of people.

Part C:10 Roles or Profiles – These answer the question “What roles will I be best at?” They are:

      • Friend
      • Pioneer
      • Leader
      • Performer
      • Philosopher
      • Diplomat
      • Artist
      • Analyzer
      • Warrior
      • Director

To be continued in Part 2