Updated: Feb 13, 2020
This last Sunday Kaitlin and I were sitting in church going through the normal attempts to keep the kids focused on doing their worksheets and not discussing their lunch plans with with their friends. (You would think they would include the people who make the lunch plans and pay the bills in these plans but I'm getting off topic) I'm doing my best to multitask, take notes, and listen to Jerry preach, parents I know you can relate to this season in life.
I have learned in the last couple years that if Jerry repeats something, it means you probably should write it down. As I heard it the second time I realized he was dropping a piece of gold, as he often does, on us.
It stuck with me enough that I wanted to put a few thoughts together on it.
He specifically mentioned taking an enneagram test (Here is some info from the foremost leader in enneagram research; https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/). I thought to myself, I remember spending $12 one time and took a "real one" (there are many free ones on the web, but I do believe you get what you pay for), and that maybe I should take a look at it again. If you haven't ever taken one I do highly suggest it, I mean I am writing a blog post about it.
It's funny how we will spend 15 minutes on a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what Disney character or dog breed we are, but we don't think to invest the time into something that might actually give us some insight. I never thought about the practical nature of the enneagram and how using it can help us grow, but all the sudden it clicked when Jerry mentioned it. We call it self-awareness in the business world; being aware of who you are and of your strengths and weaknesses. When I first started in business I made the mistake of always trying to hire the next "me," the one who had the same skill sets and strengths that I had. It took me a few years to realize that while I may be skilled at what I do, having people around me who are strong in areas I am not will make us all exponentially better.
My results show me as an 8-The Challenger, with a 7-The Enthusiast wing, basically the 8 was higher but not by much and I'm a solid mix of the two. The Enneagram Institute refers to this combination as "The Maverick". I can only assume and hope they are relating it to the character in Top Gun. Well, the more I think about it, Maverick was a bit cocky, egotistical, and probably not the best person to emulate. Ahhh: self-awareness. That sounds like a younger me...I can see that now. It is amazing to read the descriptors and motivators, though. If you have the same experience I had, you'll continually think to yourself "How do they know what is going on in my head?"
I would love to say that all the things that describe this type are sunshine and rainbows, but the reality is it also shows the darker side too. At our best, Type 8's are a force to be reckoned with and not much can stop us from achieving our goals. At our worst though, we easily become addicts, use intimidation, and will destroy those around us.
I am no expert on the enneagram and have not done much more research than what you will find on the website I listed above, but in my opinion one of the greatest things you can get from it, is understanding how you change under stress and when you aren't at your best. Being self-aware and understanding how you respond, you have the ability to correct it much easier than without this knowledge. If you take a look at the levels of development, there have been times I've been at my best, and times I've been very 'average borderline unhealthy,' as it says.
Take a test, find out your type and learn more about yourself. Jerry is right, you do have to know yourself before you can grow yourself.
You can click below to read all about the types, but I would encourage you to take the test first and try to stay as unbiased as possible, your results may surprise you.
The Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions
Click on any of the titles below to read detailed descriptions about each of the nine Enneagram types.
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionist
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Easily Distracted, and Scattered
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent